Mila Teshaieva (b. 1974) uses photography to understand driving forces for constructed societies from the point of view of a curious researcher. She is working passionately to go over and further develop the traditions of the long form of storytelling, and in so doing, to draw attention to her subject matter through new powerful, innovative and resourceful ways. Her work often combines in-depth scientific research with special esthetics and opens new layers for a viewer to reevaluate the mechanisms, which construct nations, modify memories and thus invisibly influence our being.

Since 2004 Mila has been engaged into long-term projects on the territories of former USSR, in particular, she dedicated many years working in the Caucasus and Caspian Sea region. This work has resulted in her first monograph Promising Waters that was published with Kehrer Verlag in 2013, and book “Faces and Stories of Entrepreneurs”, which she was commissioned and published by Swiss Development and Cooperation in 2015.   

Mila’s work has received multiple distinctions for her work, among them 1st prize in NPPA Best of Photojournalism 2010, Critical Mass Book Award and PDN Photo Annual and appeared on the pages of Courier International, British Journal of Photography, Time Magazine Lightbox, among many others. 

Her projects were exhibited internationally, with the most recent solo exhibitions in Museum Art of West Coast (Föhr 2016), Haggerty Museum of Art (USA 2015), Blue Sky Gallery (USA 2015) Photoquai Biennial 2015 and are kept in multiple public and private collections.


2018 Imagined Community in MIT Museum Boston

2017 InselWesen in Museum of European Cultures Berlin

2017 Promising Waters in Alma Lov Museum Sweden

2016 Die Insel at Museum Kunst der Westküste

2015 Promising Waters at Musee quai du Branly

2015 Promising Waters at Blue Sky Gallery Portland

2015 Promising Waters at Haggerty Museum of Art Milwaukee

2014 Promising Waters at Museum Kunst der West Küste, Föhr

2014 Beyond the Frame at Parliamentary Library Tbilisi

2013 Beyond the Frame at Kapellhaus Baku

2011 Kahriz Revival at French Cultural Institute Baku

2009 Buffer Zone at Gallery Bar Floreal, Visa/ANI Paris

2009 Buffer Zone at PHODAR Photography Biennial Sofia

2007 Uzbekistan at Gallery RA, Month of photography Kiev

2005 Bay of Bengal at Gallery Mystets, Month of Photography Kiev


2020 Unseen - Goethe Institute project in Kunststiftung Sachsen Anhalt

2019 Unseen - Goethe Institute project in Micamera Gallery Milan

2017 Promising Waters in Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Gera

2016 Promising Waters in Kunstfoyer Versicherungskammer München

2015 Promising Waters at Istanbul Photofestival

2014 Legacy at Side Gallery Newcastle UK

2012 Darmstadter Tage der Fotografie Germany

2011 Heidelberg Print Media Academy Germany

2011 Encontros da Imagem International Photography Festival Braga

2011 FOTO8 Summershow, Host Gallery London UK

2010 Vilnius International Photo Festival Lithuania

2009 Black and White, Gallery "Mykola" Kiev Ukraine


2016 Lightwork Artist in Residence

2016 VG BildKunst Project Grant

2014 Robert Bosch Grenzgaenger Project Grant

2014 Art Residence at MKdWK (Museum Art of West Coast)

2012 VG BildKunst Project Grant

2011 European Culture Foundation Step Beyond Grant


2013 NPPA Best of Photojournalism 2st place Portrait Story

2013 PDN Photo Annual Winner

2012 Photolucida Critical Mass Book Award

2011 PX3 Silver Award Winner Feature story Pro

2010 NPPA Best of Photojournalism 1st place Feature Story

2010 Scoop International Journalism Award -­‐ Honorable mention

2009 Visas de L'Association Nationale des Iconographes seleceted laureate, France

2009 Humanistic Photography award, PHODAR Biennial


2016 Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography

2013 Prix Pictet Consumption

2012 Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50

2011 Magnum Emergency Fund

2011 Encontros da Imagem Photography award

2010 Vilnius Photography Festival Award


Academy of Art Berlin, Haggerty Museum of Art; Museum Kunst der Westküste, Museum of European Cultures Berlin


InselWesen. Hardbound, 230x210mm, 96 pp, German-English, Kehrer Verlag 2016

Faces and Stories of Entrepreneurs. Art book, 206x260, 224 pages, hardcover, Swiss Development and Cooperation 2015

Promising waters. Hardbound, 240x210mm, 120 pages, English. Kehrer Verlag ­Heidelberg-Berlin 2013


Insight. Ukrainian Black and White Photography XXI century. Art book, 189x250mm, 144 pages, hard cover. Ukraine, 2007


British Journal of Photography, Wired Raw File, NYTimes International, Time Magazine , Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Die Zeit, Courrier International, Outlook Magazine China, Alternatives Internationales, The New Times, Forbs Ukraine, others.

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit; UNICEF, International AIDS/HIV Alliance, SOS Children Village.


2016 Syracuse University

2014 Barcelona Photography Festival

2009 Multimedia and photojournalism in Moscow State University

Using Format