“I wanted to portray the violent transformation of nature in the European periphery. I have experienced that the concept of wilderness, and virgin land untouched by humans, has disintegrated.” –Helene Schmitz
After obtaining a degree from the Department of Cinematography at the Tbilisi State University, she moved to New York to study photojournalism at the International School of Photography (ICP). Before graduating in 2006, she was awarded the John and Mary Phillips Scholarship as well as recognized by the ICP Director’s Fund. Upon finishing, she returned to the Pankisi Gorge in her native Caucasus nation of Georgia and continued Photojournalism. She won second place of the Magnum Foundation’s Young Photographer in the Caucasus award in 2009. The SCI (Civil Society Institute) award for the Best photo for Journalism. She was also featured in the American Photography 25 book, Social Documentary’s best of 2008, and recognized as PDN‘s 30 emerging Photographers to watch.