Portrait | Winner

Damian Lemański

Warsaw / PL

Kids of Lunik IX


Series of photographs of children and teenagers living at Lunik IX – a district in Kosice, the biggest city of eastern Slovakia, almost entirely inhabited by Roma people. Among few thousand (3,500 - 6,000) inhabitants live more than 1,000 children.

They live in unworthy conditions, sometimes with a dozen or so family members, nestling in twenty square meters. Although there are no walls around the housing estate on the outskirts of Kosice, almost no one from the outside visits this place mainly from the fear and stereotypes that are in the minds about the Roma people.

The Roma are by far the most long-term discriminated against minority in the EU. Eighty percent of Roma in the EU still live below the poverty line in their country. Every third Rom lives in a building without running water, and every tenth in a building without electricity. Every fourth Roma child and every third Roma child live in a household where they experienced hunger at least once in the previous month.


Damian Lemaski, born in 1985, he is a Polish-based photographer documenting life around him. He is mainly interested in man and his place in today's world.


  • 2022 – participation in Eddie Adams Workshop XXXV (Jeffersonville, NY);
  • 2022 – participation in workshops led by NOOR photographers: Kadir van Lohuizen, Pep Bonet, Tanya Habjouqa (Budapest, HU);
  • 2019 – participation in workshops led by Espen Rasmussen (Warsaw, PL);
  • 2018 – participation in workshops led by Stefano De Luigi (Warsaw, PL);
  • 2010 – participation in workshops led by Lorenzo Castore (Warsaw, PL);
  • 2008 – participation in workshops led by Michael Ackerman (Warsaw, PL);
  • 2008 – participation in workshops led by Tomasz Tomaszewski (Warsaw, PL);
  • 2006 - 2008 – European Academy of Photography in Warsaw - a school of Izabela Jaroszewska PhD


  • 2019 – „Fighting and preventing malnutrition in children up to 5 years of age, pregnant women and nursing mothers” – photographic and video documentation of the work of Polish Medical Mission in Senegal;
  • 2011 – „Portrets and Coins” for the National Bank of Poland;
  • 2010 – "The Promised City" – a production of the Goethe Institute Warsaw and Mumbai and the Ostkreuz School of Photography Berlin in collaboration with the Polish Institute in Berlin.


  • 2018 – "Restauracja" – a film from solitary bike expedition from Poland to Senegal;
  • 2013 – "181" – a film from solitary journey around South America.


  • Poland (Warsaw, Korsze, Krakow, Gdańsk, Olsztyn, Białystok, Wrocław, Poznań, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz, Katowice, Kielce, Lublin, Łódź, Opole, Rzeszów, Zielona Góra)
  • Germany (Berlin)
  • India(Mumbaj)
  • Slovakia (Bratyslava, Kosice)


  • Bloomberg
  • National Bank of Poland
  • Wolf Immobilien Polen
  • Robert Schuman Foundation
  • Polish Medical Mission
  • OcalenieFoundation