Entry Title: "Spirit above Waves"
Name: Jan Caga , Czech Republic
Category and Expertise: Portrait|Deeper Perspective, Professional


Entry Description: The project shows portraits of disabled swimmers in a pool. Ten percent of total world population consists of people with some form of physical disability. Almost all people enjoy competing, because it belong to our human nature, to our animalistic status. And the water is a prenatal liquid. Blurring the distinctions. Even allows three axes movement simultaneously, thus up and down. In water due to floating, humans levitate like birds.

Story: I work with disabled communities consistently for several years, to point out that even the handicapped can live a full life. The project Spirit above Waves, as a segment of a wider concept, shows disabled swimmers in a pool. Almost all people enjoy competing, because it belongs to our human nature, to our animalistic status. And the water is a prenatal liquid. Blurring the distinctions. Even allows three axes movement simultaneously, thus up and down. In water due to floating, humans levitate like birds. Ten percent of total world population consists of people with some form of physical disability. In Central and Eastern Europe, living with a disability means overcoming many obstacles, including the barriers in the minds of people who are unexpectedly exposed to disability. One of the main reasons was the effort of communist regime in the former Eastern Soviet bloc to assimilate people with mental or physical disabilities, and to clean up and locked them to special care institutions, which only caused a deeper social exclusion. Thus the society was naturally full of prejudices against disability. Disabled disappeared out of sight and off the streets. After the collapse of the socialist bloc and the fall of the Iron Curtain in autumn 1989, finally the newly formed democratic society became more open. The handicapped emerged in new hope. Arising newborn organizations now tries to minimize social isolation of people with a disabilities and activate disabled individuals in areas where they can succeed in a straight contest. The life with a disability can be just as intense as the lives of healthy people.

About the Artist:

Jan Caga was born in a small industrial town Hodonin, Czechoslovakia in 1976. After graduating from university in Art Design he began working as a freelance magazine/journal photographer. Later he started to work on long-term projects exploring the state of contemporary society. Because life is such a rich and still open book and the world is constantly changing. It's not just wars, social problems and riots as intentionally presented in the media. Naturalness, pleasures, sorrows and subtle nuances that differentiate one man from another. Of course interaction between beings. Man create and transform the world in its image and attempting to do the best he can. Jan has received numerous awards in photojournalism such as several prizes in the Czech Press Photo Contest, Award of Excellence in the 68th Pictures of the Year International, Grand prize PhotoEspa┼ła OjodePez Award of Human Values etc. Now lives in Brno, Czech Republic, with his wife Veronika and two sons, Jachym and Matej. For a photographer, the globalization does not make the world smaller, but instead of it, creates a new and wider context.