Russian illegal prison on IZOLYATSIA premises has been operational for 10 years.

Open Call: Debaltseve, Where Are You?

Exhibition or product designers are invited to develop a 3D mobile foldable photography exhibition about refugees from the Donbas region in Ukraine.

About the Project

Debaltseve, Where Are You? (working title) is a documentary photo project about starting a new life again and rediscovering yourself. Debaltseve is a city in the Donbas region in Ukraine. In January 2015, Debaltsevo came under heavy fire during The Battle of Debaltseve, because of the location of the city that was located exactly between Ukrainian and Russian rebels. During a cease-fire in early February 2015, residents were given the opportunity to evacuate. Of the 25,000 inhabitants, most of the people have fled the city while 80% of the city has been destroyed.

What happened to the people who fled from Debaltseve? Where are they? What does their life look like now? Debaltseve, Where Are You? follows a number of people who now live elsewhere in Ukraine and are rebuilding their lives. It shows an intimate and personal portrait of the daily life of these people in a mobile photography exhibition. In a more universal way the project is about how to start a new life and how to make yourself at home in a new place after leaving everything behind you ever had.

Mobile Foldable Exhibition

Instead of a classical photography exhibition the project is trying to translate the concept of ‘leaving home with just one or two bags, and starting all over again’ in the design of the exhibition. In collaboration with the team, the applicants are asked to develop a foldable exhibition that can travel to different places in The Netherlands, Ukraine and further abroad. For instance, the suitcase where the exhibition can be transported in, is foldable to a table that is part of the exhibition.


The project and the call may be interesting for the one who

  • is concerned with the social issue of refugees (IDP’s) in Ukraine;
  • has the ability to translate the theme of the exhibition ‘starting all over again’ in an innovative conceptual exhibition design that is easy to carry and install at other locations;
  • has the ability to work with others, as part of a team;
  • has the capacity to manage a design project from start to finish, following the tightest deadlines;
  • is adaptable and is able to solve practical and conceptual problems;
  • has the capability to work independently;
  • is willing to become an equal partner believing in the project;
  • can speak fluently in English, Ukrainian and Russian.

The Project Offers

The participants will be part of a team with talented creative people from different backgrounds. Besides, they will receive an adequate compensation depending on their experience.

The Team

Karine Versluis is a documentary photographer and visual storyteller from The Netherlands with roots in Debaltsevo. She studied photography at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and holds a bachelor in Social Studies. In her work, she seeks to question how people deal with their identity, culture and the society they are living in and how it influences their daily life. Work has been exhibited at Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam, Kunsthal Rotterdam, FotomuseumThe Hague, Humanity House The Hague, Noorderlicht Fotofestival Groningen, EYE Filmmuseum Amsterdam, FOTODOK Utrecht, Fotofruhling Kassel (DE), Lagos Photofestival (NG), Kolga Tbilisi (GE), OjodePez Photomeeting (ES), Encontros Da Imagem (PT) amongst others. The official website of Karine.

Eefje Blankevoort is a producer, journalist, documentary maker, and editor. She writes articles and books and makes multimedia documentaries. Eefje is the co-founder of journalistic production bureau Prospektor, together with Arnold van Bruggen. Prospektor is a non-profit foundation with the aim of facilitating and co-financing long-term (cross media) documentary projects. These include the 4-year-long project The Sochi Project, the interactive music documentary Hidden Wounds, and the transmedia projects Love Radio, and The Asylum Search Engine. 

Information and Application

For more information, please, contact Karine Versluis via email: [email protected] or by phone: +31(0)6-3395 4665. To submit an application, send a motivation letter, CV and portfolio (or link to the website) to [email protected] before April 15, 2019.