The first exhibition featuring the awarded photographs in the international news photography competition “Istanbul Photo Awards 2018” organized by Anadolu Agency (AA) was opened at Istanbul Taksim Maksem Cumhuriyet Art Gallery.
Ahmet Sel, Editor-in-Chief of AA Visual News, “Photography is a media that always has an important place in our lives as a versatile interaction tool.” said.
Participating in the event, Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mevlüt Uysal stated that the competition has come to good places in 4 years and expressed his wish that its international activity will increase and it will come to better points.
Underlining that it is important to organize an international photography contest under the name of Istanbul, Uysal noted that Istanbul will add value to this contest and that the contest will add value to Istanbul.
Mevlüt Uysal thanked those who contributed and said, “Photojournalism is a difficult profession. I was busy with this job as an amateur during my student years. Evaluating those immortalized frames while doing that hard work in a competition and displaying the frames from all over the world is the biggest gain for Istanbul.” said.
“The awareness of the competition increased in a short time”
AA Visual News Editorial Director Ahmet Sel emphasized that Istanbul Photo Awards, which is an international news photography competition, has gained an important place among news photography competitions in the world in 4 years.
Sel stated that the number of photojournalists participating in the contest increased and that the participants were among the best photojournalists in the world.
“Both the prestige, recognition and recognition of this competition, organized by Anadolu Agency, reached a very good point in a short time. The photojournalism profession is one of the hardest and most powerful professions in the press. It is powerful in terms of the meaning it carries and the messages it conveys. Without these people and these photographs, we would not be able to see many things, and we would not be able to follow the developments in the world. Photojournalists have a very important role to play in our lives, in the world of information and communication. Istanbul Photo Awards wants to support people who do this difficult profession. One of the biggest expectations of a photojournalist when he enters this profession is that his work is accepted, recognized and known.”
“Photography is a universal language”
Pointing out that photojournalism is one of the most difficult professions in the media sector, Ahmet Sel said, “Photography is a universal language with an international language. Sometimes you can detect a photo's message even without captions. Sometimes a photograph can affect the course of all events. We have seen examples of this in the past. Even if photography does not change everything, at least it is a communication tool that allows people to be aware of many issues.” expressed his opinion.
Noting that photography can be perceived as a key and central point in agency journalism, Sel said, “Of course, written journalism and video news are very important. Photography has a very important place among them. As a versatile interaction tool, photography is a media that always has an important place in our lives.” found its assessment.
“Photojournalists want to be judged by these people”
Sel reminded that various photography competitions are organized around the world.
“Photojournalists usually pay close attention to two things when participating in a competition. One is the stages and prestige of this competition so far. The second is the jury. The jury members brought together in our Istanbul Photo Awards competition consist of people who are at the most important points of the world in the field of photography and journalism and direct news photography. A jury that includes such prestigious names naturally attracts the attention of photojournalists. Photojournalists want to be evaluated by these people.”
Stressing that the first photo is about the drama that Rohingya Muslims experienced during their arrival in Bangladesh, Sel stated that this photo of a child who lost his life both appeals to the emotions and gives information about the occurrence of an event beyond emotions.
Stating that there is a dead child in the photograph, and that death also carries some traces of life, Sel said, “The fact that the tree leaves, which are the symbols of life, were covered over the eyes of the child when he finished his life, added a different dimension to this photograph. I think this is the characteristic of the whole photograph, a dead child photograph also contains life in it. I think the biggest reason why this photo was deemed worthy of first place in the competition is that it has this depth.” used his statements.
“The name of the competition as 'Istanbul' is an effective decision”
AA Board Member Şaban Kızıldağ noted that the competition was organized to support the photojournalism profession, which continues under difficult conditions, and that it will be better understood in the coming years that the name 'Istanbul' is an effective decision.
Noting that there were approximately 37 thousand photography applications from 125 countries to the competition, Kızıldağ stated that the jury gathered in Istanbul awarded 27 photographers from 22 countries as a result of a 3-day evaluation.
Kızıldağ thanked the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality for their official sponsorship, Turkish Airlines (THY), which is Turkey's flag carrier in the world, and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) for their contributions to the competition on behalf of AA. He informed that the frames will be exhibited first at the UN Headquarters in New York and then at the Red October Gallery in Moscow.
Şaban Kızıldağ underlined that the contest will be made visible in the international arena with exhibitions abroad, and said that the award-winning photographs will be seen by millions of people.
After the opening speeches, Deputy Chairman of the AA Board of Directors Kızıldağ presented a gift to İBB President Uysal.
Later, AA Visual News Editorial Director Ahmet Sel gave information about the exhibition to Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mevlüt Uysal, İBB Culture Department Head Rıdvan Duran and AA Board Member Şaban Kızıldağ.
In the competition, where Bosnian photojournalist Damir Sagolj won the "Photo of the Year" award for his photo "Child", which he took for Reuters in Bangladesh, 37 thousand photo applications were made from approximately 125 countries.
The exhibition, where all 180 award-winning photographs can be seen, can be visited until May 15. A special selection of photographs will simultaneously meet with Istanbulites at Taksim Metro station.