Nomination Panasonic Readers’ Choice Award

A special nomination of the Bird in Flight Prize with a winner selected by readers

All nominated projects


Maria Kokunova, Russia

The year of 2012 – a wave of fires swept through Ulyanovka (Leningrad oblast, Russia).

In the period from 2012 to 2013, there occurred 90 fires, 32 of which were caused by arson. According to one version, there was a pyromaniac behind the fires.

I am interested in the phenomenon of pyromania – a rare psychological defense mechanism detected among fewer than 1% of the population. It occurs as a reaction to trauma and is characterized by unstable impulsive behavior and an irresistible urge to set fires.

The most interesting point in the behavior of pyromaniacs is that they do not secure material gain of any kind when they set fires. They are fascinated by the process itself. The mysterious “call of fire” gives them power to overstep social norms and law.

To share this obsession I must understand the pyromaniac.

I'm looking for him, following in his footsteps, becoming him.

"To commit the act"
The temple
Publications about fires in Ulyanovka in 2013-2016 in media and social networks
The rejoicing
The game
Map of fires in Ulyanovka in 2013
The act