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Istanbul Photo Awards opens at Rami Library for 10th anniversary

'Each photograph is a document,' says Anadolu General Manager Serdar Karagoz

10:30 - 11/06/2024 Salı
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- 'Since its inception, the Istanbul Photo Awards have become a global platform with approximately 185,000 photos and 18,000 photographers registered over 10 years,' says Karagoz


- Emotional Gaza photograph wins 'Photo of the Year' at Istanbul Photo Awards


The first exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Istanbul Photo Awards, organized by Turkish international news agency Anadolu, opened Monday at the Rami Library for art enthusiasts.

Istanbul Governor Davut Gul, jury members of the competition, winning photographers, members of the international press and many others from the photography world attended the opening of the exhibition and award ceremony featuring this year's award-winning photographs.

Anadolu's Chairman and General Manager Serdar Karagoz stressed in his opening speech that each photograph is a document and contributes to creating a collective memory.

Karagoz also noted the significant changes in photography from the camera obscura to today's digital photography.

"Since the first permanent photograph was taken, many things have changed in the world of photography, from color photography techniques to today's AI-enhanced image processing technologies. However, the documentary nature of each photograph, serving as a witness to its time and building a memory, has never changed," he said.

-'We continue to showcase the true face of war'

Karagoz expressed a desire to share the award-winning photographs from the 2024 Istanbul Photo Awards with the participants of the exhibition.

"The 'Photo of the Year' award this year went to Mohammed Salem for his emotional and impactful piece 'Palestinian Woman Embracing Her Dead Niece's Body.' This photo tells a deeply affecting story, the story of Gaza, a story that will not be erased from our collective memory.

"Unfortunately, we continue to witness many such moments today. Since October, the Israeli administration has been carrying out intense attacks on Gaza," he said.

Karagoz noted that more than 140 journalists have lost their lives in Israeli attacks on Gaza since Oct. 7, including Anadolu cameraman Montaser Al-Sawaf.

He also compared this number to the 69 journalists who died during the six years of World War II.

"These numbers summarize the current situation most clearly. As Anadolu Agency, we continue our work to reveal the true face of this war and witness the painful pages of human history. In this context, we published our books 'Evidence' and 'Witness' containing visuals that clearly reveal Israel's crimes in Gaza.

"We also premiered our documentary series 'Evidence' in Ankara and later launched it in London at the UK Parliament. We aim to showcase our 'Witness' and 'Evidence' documentaries at many film and documentary festivals worldwide in the upcoming period."

-'We will not remain silent while massacres continue'

Karagoz also said the exhibition includes a 'Palestine Room' dedicated to the memory of journalists killed in Israeli attacks.

He criticized Western governments for their silence on Gaza and their lack of response to Israel's war.

"These authorities, who are uncomfortable with the topic of Palestine being brought up, apply the harshest measures against peaceful demonstrations and continue to exert pressure and violence on journalists covering these events. Last week, our reporter Fatih Aktas was subjected to harsh intervention by New York police. I wish him a speedy recovery.

"Despite all this pressure and violence, conscientious people around the world continue to show resistance against this injustice. People are shouting for a free Palestine in streets, squares and university campuses. This is not a political issue; it's a matter of humanity. We will not remain silent while massacres continue. This courageous, conscientious and determined stance will build the future," he said.

Karagoz emphasized that killing innocent children only results in greater defeat.

"Killing children only inspires millions more with their innocent spirits. Our archives carry the stories of innocent Palestinian children to every corner of the world."

Karagoz expressed his belief that the world will unite against the oppression and evil in Palestine.

"Justice will prevail sooner or later. The evidence provided by Anadolu Agency will be spoken about one by one. Those who kill children will be defeated and disgraced. The good are the children, and the evil are those who mercilessly kill them. We firmly believe that goodness will triumph over evil in the end."

-'185,000 photos, 18,000 photographers in 10 years'

Karagoz shared that the Istanbul Photo Awards has become a global platform with approximately 185,000 photos and 18,000 photographers registered over 10 years. He highlighted the global recognition of the competition.

"This year's competition saw the participation of over 20,000 photos from around the world. From Brazil to Nepal, Canada to Nigeria, Palestine to Japan, some of the world's most talented photographers participated.

"This global representation makes us very happy. Our international jury carefully evaluated each photo, and moments captured by 32 photographers in 10 different categories were deemed worthy of awards. I congratulate all the winners and thank all participants for their efforts and contributions."

-'The world's best photographers created a reaction with Gaza images'

Answering questions from the press after his speech, Karagoz highlighted the prestige of the Istanbul Photo Awards.

"Today, we have gathered the work and photos of some of the world's most respected photojournalists here."

Karagoz said the exhibition will also be displayed in New York and Brussels after Istanbul.

He noted that 2023 was a year of sorrows, particularly with the earthquakes in Türkiye, which did not escape the attention of photographers.

However, Karagoz emphasized that the main theme of this year's exhibition consists of Gaza photographs.

"A photo is a document, a record. We document and record here. The word 'objective' in Turkish means untouched, faithful to its essence, unmanipulated. This is why our photographers captured what was happening in Gaza through their lenses, and some of the world's best photographers responded with Gaza images."

"This year, we included a 'discrimination' category. This selection features visuals of people subjected to discrimination worldwide. The ‘environment' category is very important. We have a selection related to plastic waste, which pollutes the environment. We also present strong photos in the ‘sports' category, always central to news photography, for Istanbul photo enthusiasts."

Karagoz concluded by emphasizing Anadolu's significant contribution to the world of photography through the Istanbul Photo Awards.

-Salem, winner of the ‘Photo of the Year,' sent a message from Gaza

During the ceremony, a video message from Mohammed Salem, winner of the "Photo of the Year" award in the Single News category, was shown.

His brother, Reuters Gaza Visual Editor Suhaib Salem, accepted the award on his behalf.

Awards were also presented to Jeff Pachoud from Agence France-Presse for first place in the Series Sports category, Anna Surinyach for first place in the Series Portrait category, Luca Bettini from Sprint Cycling Agency for first place in the Single Sports category, Adem Altan from Agence France-Presse for third place in the Single News category, Mahmud Hams from Agence France-Presse for first place in the Series News category, Francisco Seco from the Associated Press for second place in the Single Daily Life category, and Marylise Vigneau for third place in the Series Daily Life category.

Thank-you plaques were presented to Istanbul Photo Awards jury members and representatives of supporting institutions, and a group photo was taken with the participants.

- About the Istanbul Photo Awards

The competition, which evaluates single and series photographs in the categories of news, sports, environment, portrait and daily life, received over 20,000 photo submissions this year. A total of 32 photographers were awarded in 10 categories.

This year, the competition was sponsored by Turkcell as the communication sponsor, Sony as the award sponsor, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) as the overseas events sponsor, and Turkish Airlines (THY) as the airline sponsor.

Supported by the Rami Library, the exhibition features photos covering global events from last year including Israel's ongoing attacks in Palestine and the earthquakes in Türkiye, described as the "Disaster of the Century," as well as on subjects including Mexican crime organizations, refugee camps in Afghanistan, plastic usage in Nigeria, the lives of elephants in Sri Lanka's landfills, the world swimming championships in Japan, the Wimbledon tennis tournament, discrimination in India, and migrants who died in Spanish waters.

Additionally, jury member and veteran photojournalist Yuri Kozyrev will hold a special talk with photographers at the exhibition area on Tuesday.

Information about the award-winning photos can be found on "istanbulphotoawards.com" and the exhibition will be open until June 23 at the Rami Library's F3 hall.

#Anadolu Agency
#Istanbul Photo Awards
#Serdar Karagoz
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