Matt Lutton: 2013 in Pictures

2013 was an interesting year for me, full of travel and new experiences. I was able to see a couple of stories I’ve been trying to produce for years turn into full pieces in major magazines. I was also thrilled to join Boreal Collective, where I will be collaborating with fantastic photographers and good friends of mine. We have a lot of exciting plans for 2014, and you can follow us on twitter or facebook. Another high moment from last year was exhibiting my work “Only Unity” in Belgrade, Serbia in November. It was the first complete solo exhibition of the project I’ve been working on for the last seven years.

It has been a year to take stock and think about how to present the work that I’ve completed in my time living in Serbia and start to plan what comes next.

Today, weeks late as is my tradition here on dvafoto, I present 25 of my favorite images from the last year, presented chronologically. Now I can’t wait to get started on new projects and new endeavors in 2014.

You can follow my work more regularly through my tumblr: and on instagram: @mattlutton. Here are some of the other major happenings in my life and work last year, some of which showed up in my slideshow above:

    I completed a story that I’ve been looking in to for the last year about segregation in Roma communities in Slovakia, which sometimes takes the form of construction of barrier walls separating Roma communities from Slovak neighborhoods. The project was commissioned by Vice Magazine and published in April as “The New Roma Ghettos: Slovakia’s Ongoing Segregation Nightmare” alongside an incredible story written by Aaron Lake Smith. More of the project can be seen on my website.

    In April I attended the first New York Photo Review organized by the New York Times and James Estrin of the NYTimes’ Lens Blog.

    I spent June traveling around Croatia and Serbia for the Dutch travel magazine Columbus. It was great to get off my normal beat in the Balkans and see some beautiful sights and eat very well, especially in Central Serbia near Uvac Canyon. The photographs from Croatia are now available in my archive.

    In July I was invited to be the first photographer to take over Burn Magazine’s Instagram Feed (@burnmagazine) for their new feature “Burn Diary”.

    While photographing for Burn I visited Istanbul, Turkey for a friend’s birthday and promptly found myself photographing street skirmishes relating to the Taksim Square / Gezi Park protests we wrote about in mid-June. It was my first real experience with tear gas and rubber bullets, giving me a new perspective on the work all of our colleagues who work in these situations regularly. It is not easy.

    In August and October I was reporting in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina for the Chronicle of Higher Education for a piece that was published as “The Science of Hatred”. My pictures and work was published alongside Tarik Samarah’s photographs from Srebrenica.

    My exhibition at the ArtGet Gallery, part of the Belgrade Cultural Center, was a part of Raw Season organized by the collective Belgrade Raw, who I interviewed on dvafoto in 2009. The series of exhibitions this year included shows by very talented friends of mine, including Donald Weber (who was showing his project “Interrogations”) and Pete Brook (who exhibited ‘Seen But Not Heard’: Photos from US Juvenile Prisons.). It was tremendous fun to show them around Belgrade when they were in town for their openings.

    The year concluded with an opportunity to see through another story I’ve been interested in for years, and to do it alongside my friend and fellow Belgrade foreign correspondent Andrew MacDowall. The Financial Times commissioned us to produce a audio-visual slideshow in Bosnia and Hercegovina about the unique relationship between a iron ore mine in the Republika Srpska village of Omarska and a smelter in the Federation city of Zenica. The piece which was published online as “Zenica partnership helps banish ghosts of Omarska” as part of their annual Connected Europe magazine. More images from this piece are also available on my archive.

See some of the presentations of these stories in print and pictures from my exhibition on the published work section of my website.

My yearly roundups from past years: 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.

Thanks everyone, and see you around dvafoto this year!

Matt Lutton: 2012 in Photos

This was a very interesting year for me, definitely the busiest since I moved to Belgrade, Serbia in February 2009, filled with lots of travel and some interesting assignments. Notably I had the chance to visit Africa for the first time, on assignment in South Sudan, and received the Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund Grant for my ongoing project “Only Unity”.

I started the year in England, then was in Sarajevo for a story about the 20th anniversary of the start of the war there. My mother came to visit me in Belgrade in April, but our trip was interrupted by Presidential elections in Serbia, which I covered for the Wall Street Journal. That assignment led to one of the strangest days of my career, when I photographed both Serbian President Boris Tadic and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani hours apart in the same TV studio (see the WSJ article about Giuliani in Belgrade).

Soon after I was documenting the destruction of the Belville Roma settlement. My friend Darko Stanimirović and I handed out disposable cameras to residents of the camp so that they could document the eviction themselves. We published a multimedia piece at with these community pictures alongside Stanimirović’s audio recordings, a text by Alan Chin and some of my pictures as “The Sound of Barking Dogs: The Eviction of the Roma from Belville”.

In September I was in South Sudan reporting a story about the future of the Jonglei Canal and the issues of water rights for the youngest country on the planet. The project was commissioned by Austrian magazine 2012, an interesting one-year-only magazine published by Red Bull Media House. I have included a few images from the project here, but for now the only other pictures online are the tearsheets from ‘2012’ which you can see on the clips section of

I also spent a total of four months in the United States, and was able to finally visit the area of the former Republic of Serbian Krajina in Croatia to document the remnants of Serbian life there. I was invited to be on the jury of the Organ Vida international photography festival in Zagreb, and was a speaker and juror at the “Foton” Makarska Photo Days Festival.

The biggest news of the year for me though was the Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund Grant, which I received in June for my project “Only Unity”: Serbia In The Aftermath of Yugoslavia.

The response to the project has been very exciting, and I’m eager to finish the work this year. If you would like to know more, have a look at one of the interviews I did last year following the announcement: “Award-Winning Project Documents a Fractured Serbia” with Pete Brook at Wired’s Raw File blog, “Picture Story: Holding up a Mirror to Serbian Nationalism” in PDN Magazine (subscribers only unfortunately, see what it looked like in print here), and my chat with fellow EPF-finalist and friend Ian Willms on “BOREAL Spotlight: Matt Lutton, “Only Unity””.

You can have a look at my previous year-end posts on Dvafoto: 2009, 2010 and 2011. If you’d like more regular updates about my work, feel free to sign up for my occasional newsletter.

Thanks again everyone for continuing to follow Dvafoto and supporting all of the photographers we feature here. I wish you all a fun and successful 2013!

Matt Lutton wins 2012 Burn Magazine Emerging Photographers Fund award with Only Unity

Burn Magazine 2012 Emerging Photographer Fund award video - screenshot (composite)

I couldn’t be more ecstatic and proud to congratulate Matt, the other half of dvafoto, on winning the Burn Magazine 2012 Emerging Photographer Fund award for his long-term project Only Unity: Serbia in the Aftermath of Yugoslavia. Announced in a video presentation at Look3 and online at Burn, Matt’s piece was chosen out of over 1,000 entries by an all-star jury: photojournalist Stephen Dupont, National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Sarah Leen, National Geographic Creative Director Bill Marr, photographer Rebecca Norris Webb, LaFabrica Madrid editor Arianna Rinaldo, and Magnum photographer Alex Webb. The video isn’t embeddable, so click here or on the modified screenshot above to watch the whole presentation.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching this essay grow from the beginning and helped with a few edits over the years. The early fits and starts (some of which you might have seen when this blog was nothing more than a cooperative photoblog) gave way to a century-spanning examination of Serbian identity. As the years went by, disconnected images found place in this narrative and Matt found his voice. It’s a powerful piece, and I know he’s got bigger plans for the work. In the meantime, we’ll have a discussion here on this blog about what went into this project and what it tells us. For now, we’ll have this public congratulations and a hearty “Huzzah!” for Matt. If you see him in Belgrade (or in the US this summer) be sure to give him a knowing nod and buy him a drink. And stay tuned for more.

Congratulations also to the other finalists and runners-up in the contest this year. The 10 essays shown in the video at Burn are stellar, and each deserving of their recognition here. The finalists were: Ian Willms, Gustavo Jononovich, Ayman Oghanna, Laia Abril, Danny Wilcox Frazier, Bieke Depoorter, and Anastasia Taylor-Lind. The two runners-up were: Simona Ghizzoni and Giovanni Cocco.