Biljana Jurukovski born and raised in Prilep, Republic of Macedonia is Multi-Award Winning Photographer who has been inspired and amazed by the diverse and beautiful expressions of different cultures. Biljana’s passion is travelling to remote destinations to learn about the cultures and traditions of indigenous people and to photograph them.
Biljana’s portraits are a culmination of her passion, love and respect for people; they depict a graceful world where strength and pride are engraved on the faces of the people photographed. Her aim is through photography to create discussions about different cultures, respect for traditions and about accepting life challenges.
“We can enjoy this wonderful world full of beauty, charm and diversity if we can only decide to appreciate and cherish our differences”–
Call of the Wild
From a very young age, Biljana was always fascinated by the diversity of traditions and cultures and loved learning about them. Raised in conservative and traditional family Biljana pursued a career in Management of Health care services and even today alongside photography Biljana still works as Executive Manager for private Aged Care provider in Sydney, Australia.
2014 was the crucial year when Biljana decided to step towards the completely unknown world. Biljana took the journey of self-discovery through photography, a journey where fear has been defeated by the curiosity, journey of finding beauty in places where most people will not even dare to go and find it. Since then, Biljana has been going to the remote areas of Ethiopia, Angola, Mongolia and other places to photograph different tribes.
Over the course of few voyages to Africa’s Omo Valley and Kibish, Biljana became fascinated by the beauty of the Surma, Mursi, Arbore, Hamar and Karo tribes, who share a taste for body painting and extravagant decorations borrowed from nature. The collection of photographs in the series “Tribal Muses-The Avant-Garde of the Tribal World” captures these accoutrements with the Surma tribe.
Most of the photographs of the “Tribal Muses” collection have been taken under very challenging circumstances, due to remoteness of the location, lack of amenities and presence of tribal conflicts.
Surma tribe resides on the border between Ethiopia and South Sudan. What makes Surma one of the most iconic tribes for me at least is their imagination and artistic skills when it comes to beautification in its own way. With no Western influence, the Surma tribe managed to create their own “Code of fashion and beauty” using only elements from Mother Nature.
Surma use their bodies as canvases painting unique arts on their skins with pigments made from powdered rocks and adorning themselves with flowers, leaves, grass, shells and animal horns. Their art is endlessly creative, inventive, magical and natural. Most of them were photographed against a backdrop so the focus of the viewer can be on the people artistic skills. The sense of individuality and creativity is very strong among the Surma and I felt I need to share the story, a story of creativity, of community, a story that goes beyond the world of poverty, wars and fear of unknown places.
Biljana’s work has been featured internationally in many magazines, newspapers, websites including The Guardian, Lens Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald, La Fotografia Magazine, EYS magazine, Silvershootz Magazine, Dek Unu Magazine and many more.
Jurukovski has received numerous recognition’s including multiple national and international awards and nominations, those include 13th and 14th Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Woman Photographers 2018 and 2019, Moscow International Foto Awards, Australasia’s Top Emerging Photographers 2018 and 2019, Siena International Photography Awards, Australian Photographer of the year. She has also been selected by Jimmy Nelson Foundation for 2020 volunteer project on documenting and researching the world’s last indigenous cultures from the participant own personal perspective.
Biljana has also been awarded the most prestigious Award “3rd of November” 2019, for achievements in the field of photography and affirmation of city of Prilep, Macedonia.
Exhibitions (group and solo)
Ten photographs from “Tribal Muses” portfolio broadcasted from December 2019 to February 2020 at the largest digital facade in Europe, “ Verone Building Facade”. 164 Rue Ambroise Croizat, La Plaine, Saint-Denis, Paris.
•Part of the exhibition “Africa in Macedonia” November 2019-March 2020 in Museum of Macedonia, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.
•Winning Photograph “Call of the Wild” – on exhibition by The Independent Photographer in Berlin: Best of 2018/19 in CLB Berlin – November 2019.
•Winning Photograph “Call of the Wild” – on exhibition by The Independent Photographer in Barcelona: Best of 2018/19 in Alalimon Galeria, Barcelona, Spain, October 2019.
•Portfolio “Tribal Muses” – exhibition on 2nd Annual Africa Photo Festival – Harlem, New York, September 2019.
•Image “ Flower Of Kibish” – on exhibition at Affordable Art Fair Fall 2019 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC, September 2019.
•Portfolio “Tribal Muses” published in the book “ 12th Macedonian Photographers”.
•Featured in The Talents of The Year 2019 Photobook by The Independent Photographer.
•Portfolio “Tribal Muses” – exhibition at the 4th Macedonian Film Festival – Sydney, October 2018.
“Somewhere in the middle of a journey, journey of my self-discovery I entered into the kaleidoscopic world of cultural diversities and I fell in love so much that I refuse to go back into the monochromatic world again”