Kārlis Bergs

Karlis Bergs is a Latvian born filmmaker and photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He received an MFA in Photography & Media at California Institute of the Arts in 2020. Bergs is a recipient of the prestigious Allan Sekula Social Documentary grant in 2020. Previously, he spent a year studying at The School of Art Institute of Chicago, then transferred to Brighton University in the UK for his BFA.
In his work, Karlis is focused on understanding small communities, including subjects ranging from a small fisherman village in Latvia to California's Central Valley beekeepers. These communities are often surrounded by notions of change, including changes in lifestyle or, more often than not, climate change. Bergs works to shed light on issues and subjects that may seem insignificant at first but, after further contemplation, are clearly crucial. In his recent short film, The Threshold, Bergs documents the almond pollination season in California and the often invisible labor of those who keep bees alive.


2018 - 2020    California Institute of the Arts, MFA

2017 - 2018    Visual Comunication,  Latvian Academy of Arts

2014 - 2016    BA Photography, University of Brighton, First Class Honours

2013 - 2014    School of Art institute of Chicago


2022     Weeping Rocks (Feature-length documentary, In Production)

2021      Amber (16min, Latvia, USA)

2020     The Threshold (22min, Latvia, USA)


2021     Jelly Film Festival

             Black Hills Film Festival

2020     Tacoma Film Festival

             Riga International Film Festival

             Selected for James Benning's Block in Bijou Week, CalArts

2018     The Rencontres d'Arles, Nuit De L'Anne, Arles, France


2020           Allan Sekula Social Documentary Fund

2018 - 20   Lillian Disney Scholarship

2017          Shortlisted for Luma Rencontres Dummy Book Award

2016           Source photographic review graduate directory

2015 - 20   State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia Creative Grant

2013           SAIC Distinguished Scholarship


2018     Art Villa Garikula, Georgia

Solo exhibitions:

2019    "The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually or Every Man Be Blind" California Institute of the Arts, USA

2018    "The Clouds, They Were Blown From a Far Away Land" Riga, Latvia

2018   "What Hath God Wrought" Latvian Museum of Photography, Riga, Latvia

2013   "Between the Lake and the Sea" Engure, Latvia

Group exhibitions:

2020    Time Is Out Of Joint exhibition at The MAK Center Los Angeles, CA

2018    "Tiešā Griba" Mūsdienu mākslas galerija, Līvāni, Latvia

2018    Selection of Latvian photography books, Photobook Week Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark

2018    Tbilisi Night of Photography, Georgia

2018    20 best screenings of this year’s Nuit de l’Année, Arles, France.

2018    Night of The Year, Les Rencontres des Arles, projections, Arles, France.

2018    "Without Too Much Thinking" Room9, Riga, Latvia

2017     Efti, Plurar, 10 Latvian Emerging photographers, projections. Madrid, Spain

2017    Odesa// Batumi Photo Days Festival  projection of contemporary Latvian photography, Odesa, Ukraine.

2016    Cream Graduate Showcase, Brighton, UK. 

2016    Pingyao International Photography Festival, Shanxi province, China.

2016    University of Brighton Graduate show, Brighton, UK.

2016    Ryerson Brighton image exchange, School of Image Arts, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

2015    Tallin Photo Month, "Photography books from Latvia", Tallin, Estonia

2015    ISSP summer school exhibiton, Kuldīga, Latvia

2015    "Where Are We", One Eyed Jacks Gallery, Brighton, United Kingdom

2015    "Shift", Brighton University Second Year Show, Brighton, United Kingdom

2014    Self Publish Riga, Shortlisted of 45, "Between the Lake and The Sea", Riga, Latvia

2013    Grayscale, The Kiernan Gallery, Lexington, VA, USA. Director's Choice Award

2013    Delhi Photo Festival, Evening Screening, Delhi, India

2012    Ping-Pong#8, Contemporary Creation from Latvia, Liege, Belgium

2012    "29 Latvian contemporary photographers Rādītprieks", Riga, Latvia

2012    “9 menesi” ISSP school final exhibiton, Riga, Latvia


2011 – 2013    ISSP school

2008 – 2013   Studio by Andrejs Grants

2015    "Human Nature" ISSP, by Anna Fox and Andrew Bruce

2013    “Book making” ISSP, by Nico Baumgarten

2012    “Editing a project into a book” led by Morten Andersen, ISSP and Norden

2012    “Landscape and Manscape: The Edge of Riga” led by Páll Stefánsson of Iceland Review Magazine, ISSP and Norden

2012    Portfolio review by Anders Petersen, Norden

2012    Arja Hyytiäinen - A personal approach in photography: From diary to fiction, ISSP

2010   “Capturing Your Shadow in Black and White” by Roger Ballen ISSP

2008    “Creative shift in documentary photography” by Andrejs Grants.


LR1 Radio Interview [The Threshold National Premiere]

Youtube interview by Careva Contemporary gallery

Radio interview, LR1, "The Clouds, They Were Blown From a Far Away Land"

FK Magazine "The Clouds, They Were Blown From a Far Away Land"

Exhibition review What Hath God Wrought at Latvian Photography Museum

Radio interview Naba radio 

Radio interview Latvian Radio 1 

Photobooks of 2017

FK Artist Interview 

Aint-Bad Magazine

Fotoroom interview 28.07.2017

Latvian Photography Yearbook 2017

Yet Magazine "Once a Dream Did Weave a Shade"

Landscape stories "Once a Dream Did Weave a Shade" 

Class of 2016 / The Royal Photographic Sociaty

University of Brighton degree show catalogue BA Photography 2016

ISSP 10 postcard set / Ten years - ten photographers

LenseCulture interview   

OST SEE Magazine 

Joseph Chladek | On Photobooks and books

The Angry Bat Blog

DocumentEast article

2015    ISSP Weekly Planner

2015    Yet Magazine

2014    ISO Magazine #11: Traces

2013    Delhi Photo Festival catalogue

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Karlis Bergs | 2021