At the entrance to Kyiv’s prestigious Lavra Art Gallery one is met by an immaculately dressed pair who welcome everyone to the photo exhibit. The main hall is filled with muted classical music performed by the Anima Ensemble. The general atmosphere is relaxed, with visitors exchanging friendly smiles while examining the display featuring this year’s best photos.
This gallery has become a true modern art photography center, with 2,677 unique pictures submitted by 290 photographers, of which the exacting jury selected only 350 for Den’s photo exhibit.
On that particular occasion I wanted to express my gratitude to Den’s organizers on more than one occasion because the event held many surprises in store, including the new kind of infographics, new Route No.1, Den TV, and of course, the photo exhibit launch ceremony.
Larysa IVSHYNA, Editor-in-Chief, Den/The Day, addressing the photo exhibit: “I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this project. Without our support group – our sponsors, advertisers, and business partners – we would have never achieved this much! We count on your support and we promise to reciprocate a hundred times over. I see all of the photos on display as winners. We on this jury were hard put to pick the best ones. That’s good, it means there is an increasing number of people who can take pictures of Ukraine and show it for the rest of the world [as another European country] without fearing any ‘measures.’ The main thing is to keep one’s stand and lend each other a helping hand. I am also pleased to note that this photo exhibit boasts pictures taken by children, members of [amateur art] photography studios in their cities and towns, because children can see our world in their own unbiased way. This adds to the general human treasure-trove that features the achievements made by humankind, including those made by the Ukrainian nation.”
OUR MAIN AWARD WAS CONFERRED ON OUR COLLEAGUE, NATALIA KRAVCHUK, FOR HER UNIQUE, POLITICALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY REVEALING SERIES OF PHOTOS / Photo by Mykola TYMCHENKO, The Day
This was followed by the fireworks display of the award ceremony, with photographers receiving prizes in the traditional Events, Personality, Ukrainian World, Life The Way It Is, and The World As Seen By Our Children standings (the latter meant for the younger photographers). Sixty prizes conferred in all.
The Grand Prix and the Den’s Golden Award remained the biggest intrigue kept secret until the ceremony’s end.
Prominvestbank’s CEO Viacheslav YUTKIN (his bank remaining Den’s photo exhibit’s invariable partner) presented the Grand Prix, a UAH 25,000 deposit contract, solemnly proclaiming, “The winner in this standing is Yevhen MALOLIETKA with his photo Against a Highland Backdrop – because there is more to it…”
Yevhen Malolietka won Golden Day Award last year for his photo entitled Help the Child. This time it was a picture he took of a Hutsul wedding ceremony.
Yevhen MALOLIETKA: “I took this picture during a Hutsul wedding ceremony, strictly a local festive event. The ceremony was something you’d never see in any big city. Then I thought my photo was good enough to send to Den’s exhibit, for it showed the true kind of Ukraine.”
Larysa IVSHYNA: “I have the honor of conferring our main award on our colleague, Natalia Kravchuk, for her unique, politically and psychologically revealing series of photos. I’m sure these pictures will become a landmark in the political life of Ukraine.”
Natalia KRAVCHUK: “I’m overwhelmed. I’ve seldom taken part in any photo competitions, save for that organized by Den, especially considering that this one is purely Ukrainian. I want people to take pictures and enjoy the process. There wasn’t time enough to send all of my photos, so the ‘Yalta series was all I could submit.”
Vasyl VITER, film director: “Each photo reveals a captivating image. Without overstating it, I’d describe this photo exhibit as portraying all of Ukraine. This country is diversified, at times engaged in refined creative endeavors, and other times lost in thought, pondering over its future. I’d advertised the event and told my students the photo exhibit would start tomorrow. They’re here tonight, they said they couldn’t wait, that they wanted to see the winning photos. Here one can see an ambitious Ukraine, an interesting nation that wants to rank first.”
Arja MAKKONEN, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Finland to Ukraine: “This turned out to be an excellent photo exhibit. One could see various regions of Ukraine and various social strata. Some of the photos show young and middle-aged people, poverty-stricken and well-to-do Ukrainians, religious believers and politicians. By examining these photos, one can build a comprehensive image of Ukraine.”
A visitor to this photo exhibit can act as a jury member, by voting for what one considers to be the best picture. The visitor’s choice award will be conferred along with a special price from Dendue that member of the visitors’ jury. One can also buy the new issue of our glossy supplement Route No.1 “My Tutor,” copies of books from Den’s Library Series, our company postcards, and copies of newspaper issues [in Ukrainian, Russian, and English].