An exhibition of photographs by finalists of the Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest, organized by Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency under the aegis of the Commission of Russia for UNESCO, opened on Friday in Brussels for the first time.
The Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest for young photojournalists is named after a photo correspondent of the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency who was killed while on assignment in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine in 2014. The contest was established to support young photojournalists aged between 18 and 33 years old as well as to attract public attention to modern photojournalism.
The exhibition is organized at the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Brussels that acts as a partner of Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency on organizing a foreign tour for the exposition. Brussels has become the sixth host city of the exhibition international tour this year after the UN headquarters in New York, Moscow, Cape Town, Shanghai and Beirut.
According to the director of the center, Vera Bunina, it is important to show exactly this exhibition, because one of the main activities of the center is interaction with the youth.
"Photojournalism is a genre that combines an active life position and art, therefore we considered it important to present an international dimension of the artistic journalistic approach," Bunina told Sputnik.
The exhibition presents about 30 high-profile works by the best young photojournalists from Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, India, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Bangladesh, Germany, Russia and other countries.
"This year we have no winners from Belgium, but Brussels is important for us because it is the administrative center of united Europe. The competition itself was held in the nominations 'Main News,' 'Hero of Our Time,' 'My Planet' and 'Sport.' This year almost 6,000 pictures from 77 countries were presented, which is a record number for us," Oksana Oleynik, the coordinator of the contest and a representative of Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, told Sputnik.
The display, in particular, includes works by Grand Prix winner Alyona Kochetkova, who won with her series of photographs called "How I became sick," which documents her dramatic fight against cancer. There are also photos by Iranian photojournalist Shiva Khademi that tell the story of twins and a drone photo called "Cranberry heart" by Sergei Gapon from Belarus, who won the first prize in My Planet nomination.
"I have never seen a cranberry being harvested. Now I know what a spectacular sight it is," a visitor from Brussels, called Ann, said.
According to the press attache of the Russian embassy in Belgium, Violetta Churakova, the presented works are unlikely to leave anyone indifferent.
"Such exhibitions, which brought together photographs of young journalists from several countries of the world, are aimed at drawing public attention to topical issues, help see and feel the diversity of the modern world and promote better understanding among nations," Churakova said.
The display also shows a photograph by Iraq's Taysir Mahdi called "Wish to live," which shows a young football player with an amputated leg captured on camera in the moment of an attack.
"When Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saw this photo at the opening of the exhibition in Moscow she promised to find this boy and bring him to Moscow to help him," Oleynik said.
The exhibition in Brussels will last through December 19.
After the capital of Belgium, the exhibition will go to Madrid, visit the city of Weihai in northeastern China and other cities of the world.
The first exhibition was held at the UN headquarters in New York on November 2 marking the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Alison Smale, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia and Andrei Blagodyrenko, the deputy editor-in-chief of the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency visited the exhibition.
In 2018, the contest jury included representatives from the world's leading news agencies: AFP (France), Anadolu Ajansi (Turkey), Notimex (Mexico), as well as world-class photographers and editors.
The contest's general information partners include the news website Vesti.Ru, the Russian state Rossiya-Kultura tv channel, news website ZhurDom and the Russian Photo website.
International media partners include Sputnik News Agency and Radio, Askanews news agency, Independent Media holding, Notimex news agency, RT TV channel and news site, The Royal Photographic Society, Shanghai United Media Group (SUMG), news agency ANA, TeleSUR international informative multiplatform, China Daily web-site, Frontline magazine, The Philippine News Agency, AlYoum AlSabee, The Paper, Radio Republik Indonesia, BERNAMA news agency, Al Mayadeen. Industry media partners include the academy of Photography, GeoPhoto agency, Photo-study.ru educational portal, the Union of Journalists of Moscow, the Union of Art Photographers of Russia, Young Journalists information portal, school of visual arts. International Exhibition partner - PhotON Festival.