At the top of their game

Anastasia Beauty Competition

Photographer Rafal Milach's latest work is a delightful collection of pictures that depict winners of various state and local competitions in Belarus.

His portraits capture a wide range of those at the top of their game, though the categories are free ranging, including:

  • the best couple in love
  • the best Jennifer Lopez lookalike
  • the most beautiful staircase
  • the best milkmaid of the Slutsk region

The work is naturally enough entitled Winners and is part of Milach's ongoing work examining propaganda in post-Soviet bloc countries.

Each portrait is a delight, framed to perfection, with the background details telling the story as much as the sitter themselves.

Milach's pictures have gained international recognition, including a World Press Photo award as well as being shown in solo exhibitions from Poland to China.

Here are a few from the series for you to enjoy.

Marina, Miss Belarusian Railway in Brest region, Minsk
Stas and Vlad, award-winning twins
Arri, the multi-champion in dog beauty contests
Sasha, the best welder of the Republic of Belarus
Olga, the mother of the best large family of Smorgon
Natalya and Konan, the best couple in love. The contest is organised by local structures of BRSM (Belorussian Youth Association).
Ania, fitness Queen
Elena, the best milkmaid of the Slutsk region. Personal best: 1,160 litres (255 gallons) of milk per month.

All photographs by Rafal Milach, courtesy Institute. Winners is published by GOST books.