Klavdij Sluban Biography

Winner of the Niépce Prize (2000) and of the Leica Prize (2004), Klavdij Sluban is a French photographer of Slovenian origin based in Paris. Now aged 42, he continues the development of his rigorous and coherent body of work. Sluban learnt the subtleties of black & white printing under the guidance of Georges Fèvre.

Although he held a Masters’ degree in Anglo-American literature, little by little, he gave up teaching to commit wholly to photography. Never inspired by immediate and sensational current affairs, Sluban’s numerous photography trips are permeated with literary references ­ for example, Beckett, Milton. The Black Sea, the Caribbean, the Balkans, and Russia can be read as many successive steps of an in-depth study of a patient proximity to the encountered real. His deep blacks and backlit silhouettes convey to his photographic style uprightness and accuracy free of didacticism or exoticism.

In 1997, his work Balkans Transits, which he published with François Maspero, was awarded the RFI (International French Radio) prize. Since 1995, when not abroad, Sluban has run photography workshops with young offenders in prison. First originated in France, in the prison of Fleury-Mérogis with support from Henri Cartier Bresson, Marc Riboud and William Klein, this commitment was pursued in the disciplinary camps and prisons of Eastern Europe – Ukraine, Georgia, Moldavia, and Latvia ­ and in the disciplinary centres of Moscow and St Petersburg. By offering us pictures of those places he is familiar with and of their inhabitants to whom he is a true partner, Sluban unveils the problems of closed spaces and constrained horizons. And by doing so, he brings to both our consciousness and senses the fractures of a confinement enhanced by the internalization of perceptions.



Prix Niepece 2000
Prix Leica, Medal of Excellence, 2004
Fiacre Fellowship Ministry of Culture, 2001
Villa Médicis Hors-les-Murs, 1998
Fellowship for workshops in prisons, DRAC Ile-de France 1996



Klavdij Sluban 10 ans de photographie en prison ­ L’il Électrique Éditions, Rennes, France DVD on 10 years of photography in prisons.
 Entre Parenthèses, Photo Poche, Ed. Actes Sud 2005, (coll. Société), 10 ans de photographies sur les adolescents en prison (France, ex-Yugoslavia, Ex-Soviet Union).
Balkans ­ Transit, text by François Maspero, Seuil ed., Paris 1997 (Prix Radio France Internationale, paperback).
La Confusion des Genre en Photographie, Bibliothèque Nationale de France ed., Paris 2001, (with texts by Mark Haworth-Booth, Anne Wilkes Tucker,).
Transverses, Maison Européene de la photographie, Paris 2002.



Series Derriére la Page, Coup d’il/Arte, Metropolis, 8min, 2002.
Series Photos-Photographes, Cndp/La 5, 13min, 2001.
In Henri Cartier-Bresson L’amour tout court, Les Films a Lou/Arte, 90min. 2001.
Metropolis, Arte 15 min, 1997.

In 1995, Klavdij Sluban created a photography workshop for teenagers in the Juvenile Detention Centre in Fleury-Mérogis (South of Paris, the biggest jail in Europe). The Adolescents were taught a creative approach, development and printing in photography. Their work is regularly shown inside the jail. Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson attended several times a year from the beginning of the project, as did photographers William Klein and Marc Riboud who also attended to encourage the participating adolescents.

In 2000, K.Sluban created another photographic workshop in Celje, Slovenia, in the only national prison for teenagers.

Following these projects, K.Sluban started working with young prisoners in the former Soviet-Union (Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Latvia), with similar photographic exchange.



Fonds National d’art Contemporain, Paris
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris 
Musée National d’art Beaubourg, Paris
The Metropolitan Museum of Photography of Tokyo
The collections of the FNAC galleries, 
Museum of Photography in Braga, Portugal, 
Galerie du Château d’Eau de Toulouse, 
Musée Réattu in Arles
Museum Pouchkine in Odessa.