Canadian photographer Nicolas St-Pierre with the project Where Have the Birds Gone? is the winner of URBAN Book Award 2021, the section of URBAN Photo Awards dedicated to authorial projects destined to become photo books.
Where Have the Birds Gone?, selected by Italian photojournalist Francesco Cito from over 125 competing projects, conveys the sense of estrangement and alienation felt by the author during the period in which he lived in Japan. A dark and almost dreamlike journey along the streets and alleys of Tokyo, in which St-Pierre’s black and white photography captures presences and absences: the unexpected sight of something that did not belong to the scene, or the deafening silence of something that cried out to be there.
“Nicolas St-Pierre’s work”, writes Cito, “is an intellectual fantasy carried out with mastery and a skilful photographic language. Good photography, engraved, well structured, and masterfully post produced.”
The photographic volume Where Have the Birds Gone?, published by dotART / URBAN, will be awarded and premiered at Trieste Photo Days festival, Saturday 30 October 2021 at the Auditorium of the Revoltella Museum, in the presence of the author and Francesco Cito (award ceremony starting at 18.00).
Also as part of the festival, a selection of the best photos taken from the book will be exhibited at the “Stelio Crise” State Library together with photos from the collective project Tales of the Unwritten.
From 2020 the URBAN Book Award has taken the place of the TPD Book Award, the “call for dummies” launched on the occasion of the Trieste Photo Days festival, thanks to which talents from all over the world have been discovered, awarded and supported: in 2017 Tadashi Onishi with Lost in Shinjuku, in 2018 Zisis Kardianos with the InLimbo project and Hiro Tanaka with Around 42nd and 7th, in 2019 Ilya Shtutsa with Not Only Gray. Last year, the URBAN Book Award was awarded to the Journey to the Lowlands project by Valeria Sacchetti.
Nicolas St-Pierre (b. 1974) is a Canadian photographer and storyteller based in Ottawa, Canada. He has been practicing photography ever since he was offered a Soviet-made Zenit camera by a dear Italian friend some 30 years ago. Lawyer by training, former reporter at La Presse (Montréal, Canada) and diplomat by trade, Nicolas dedicates most of his spare time capturing the places and people that he encounters through his professional and personal travels.
Of all photographic genres, documentary and street photography are currently those that appeal to Nicolas the most. Nicolas strives to capture fleeting moments, uncover the extraordinary in everyday life and lead the viewer to look at the world with a fresh pair of eyes. Often imbued with mystery, his images have an unsettling effect as they leave those who look at them searching in vain for answers.
His work has been exhibited in galleries in Ottawa, Montréal and Val-d’Or (Canada) as well as in New York City (USA), Mexico City (Mexico), Golshahr (Iran), Kirkkonummi (Finland), Beijing (China) and throughout Japan (Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kobe, Sapporo). It was also featured in Canadian, American, French and Japanese publications, including La Presse, Street Photography Magazine, Réponses Photo, Latent Image, Photo Life and Onbeat, as well as in online magazines. In recent years, Nicolas’ work has garnered awards from the International Photography Awards (IPA), the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa and the Japan Through Diplomats’ Eyes Photo Contest. In 2021, Nicolas was the winner of the URBAN Book Award (Trieste, Italy) for his book Where Have the Birds Gone?