DEAR photography

Pepa Hristova

Pepa Hristova



Pepa Hristova (* 1977 in Sevlievo, Bulgaria), lives and works in Hamburg and Berlin. She has a degree in communication design with a specialization in photography from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.

Pepa Hristova has worked on a number of photo series on Eastern Europe. She mainly focuses on individuals in search of an identity, and social phenomena in stark departure from classical western values. Hristova shifts between genres, snapshots alternating with obviously staged imagery. Everything takes place in a political and social context that she tackles in an emotional way. Her series Strangers in Their Own Countries deals with the uprooting of muslims in orthodox-influenced Bulgaria and directs our view towards the values of an unknown Europe and a marginalized people in society that are constantly having to assert themselves to the outside world.
Her Albanian Sworn Virgins series takes you into an archaic world of women with masculine identity, women sworn to celibacy and living in the other gender in order to save the honour of their families and gain the same rights as men in a tradition that goes back centuries.

The photographer has garnered several awards with her color series that consists of portraits, landscapes and archive photos. The work has been exhibited on numerous occasions and printed in different magazines. The book “Sworn Virgins” is published by Kehrer Verlag.


On Borders/Labyrinth aus Glas Deutsches Hygiene Museum, Dresden, Germany, 2013

Sworn Virgins Art Museum Magdeburg/Solo exhibition, Magdeburg, Germany, 2013

On Borders/Labyrinth aus Glas Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany, 2012

State of the Art Photography/Sworn Virgins NRW- Forum Düsseldorf, Germany, 2012

The City/Electronic Town Tokyo 2008 Lindenau Museum, Altenburg, Germany, 2011

The City/Electronic Town Tokyo 2008 Kunstfoyer Versicherungskammer Bayern, Munich, Germany, 2010

The City/Electronic Town Tokyo 2008 C/O Berlin, Germany, 2010
Everyday Ideologies/Strangers in Their Own Country Art Museum Magdeburg, Germany, 2010

Sworn Virgins International Photography Festival F/Stop Leipzig, Germany, 2009

Strangers in Their Own Country Fotografevi Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey, 2009

Young Academy 2008/Sworn Virgins Akademie of Arts Pariser Platz, Berlin, Germany, 2009

Strangers in Their Own Country Art.Space.Aleph, Photo Festival Athen:08/Solo exhibition, Greece, 2008

Strangers in Their Own Country C/O Berlin/Solo exhibition, Germany, 2008

Stories from Bulgaria KGaleria/Kamera Photo, Lisbon/Solo exhibition, Portugal, 2008
Strangers in Their Own Country Zephyr/Raum of Photography/ Reiss–Engelhorh-Museum, Mannheim/Solo exhibition, Germany, 2008

What is important/Strangers in Their Own Country House of Photography/Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany, 2007

In the East/Rodina Art Society Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany 2005

In the East/Rodina Art Society, Heidelberg, Germany, 2005

In the East/Rodina Galleria Academia, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2004

Awards / Grants

VG Bild Kunst Grant for Photography 2012, 2011

Border Crossers Fellowship Robert Bosch
Foundation, 2010

Otto-Steinert-Award for subjective photography, 2009

Lead Awards for reportage, 2009

C/O Berlin Talents Award, 2008

Gabriel-Grüner Stipend for Photography, 2008

Academy of Arts Berlin Stipend Section Film and Media Art, 2008

VG Bild Kunst Grant for Photography 2008, 2007

World Press Photo Masterclass Nomination, 2007
What ist important? Grant, Alfred Toepfer Foundation and House of Photography, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany, 2006


Sworn Virgins, Publisher: Kehrer 2013

On Borders, Publisher: Hatje Cantz 2012

State of the Art Photography, Publisher: Feymedia 2012

The Other Side, Publisher: Kehrer 2012

The City. Becoming and decaying, Publisher: Hatje Cantz 2010

24 Stunden Berlin, Publisher: Steidl 2009

Hansel-Mieth-Award 2009/Gabriel-Grüner-Grand, Publisher: Schworer 2009

Aktuelle Szene Bulgarien Ludwig Museum Koblenz, Publisher: Kettler 2008

Strangers in Their Own Country/Talents 11, C/O
Berlin, Publisher: Deutscher Kunstverlag 2008

What is important? A Photographic Research into European Values, Publisher: Nicolai 2007