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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Peter Jan WOLTERS: “I see huge potential of Ukraine in the field of photography”

World Press Photo 2012 opened in the Kyiv History Museum
11 February, 2013 - 17:44
ARAB SPRING WAS THE FOCUS OF 2011. IT WAS QUITE CLEAR AT THE WORLD PRESS PHOTO 2012 EXHIBITION IN KYIV. THE WINNER OF THE COMPETITION WAS THE PHOTO MADE BY SPANISH PHOTOGRAPHER SAMUEL ARANDA TAKEN AT THE HOSPITAL IN YEMEN (PHOTO TO THE LEFT). ON THE RIGHT IS THE PHOTO BY RUSSIAN PHOTO JOURNALIST YURII KOZYREV ON REVOLUTION ROAD TAKEN IN LIBYA – WINNER IN THE CATEGORY SPORT NEWS / Photo by Anatolii BOIKO

Exhibition of photos participating in one of the most prestigious international photo competitions opened for the fourth time in Kyiv. This time, Ukrainian audience will get a chance to see the best reportage photos that documented bright events, including political ones, that took place in 2011. World Press Photo 2012 exhibition was brought to Kyiv as a part of a traditional tour around the cities all over the world. Last year the jury consisting of professional photographers and editors of media considered 101,254 photos of more than 5,000 photographers from 124 countries. Over 50 winners were announced.

Twenty-nine photo reporters from Ukraine participated in the competition. Even though their names aren’t listed among the winners, our country is still presented at the exhibition: photos of three foreign photographers that won the competition were made in Ukraine. Last year they caused the debate to some extent because Ukraine is presented not at its best on those photos.

Donald Weber (Canada) won the first prize in the nomination “Portraits” for his series Interrogation Room featuring suspects and witnesses interrogated in the Ukrainian police offices. Guillaume Herbaut (France) won second prize in the nomination “Portraints” with single photo New Amazons – a shot of a 21-year old “FEMEN” activist. Brent Stirton (South Africa) won in the category “Contemporary Issues” with an astonishing photo with no title – a portrait of a drug addicted sex worker from Kryvyi Rih. After the results of the contest were announced in early 2012 The Day published a series of articles in an attempt to understand the origins of such perception of Ukraine in the works of foreign photographers (Madonna… from the oligarchs’ land issue No.11 February 21, 2012 and On the willingness of paying debts issue No.14 March 1, 2012).

This year’s exhibition of World Press Photo for the first time is presented at the Kyiv History Museum and not in the art gallery “Lavra” as it used to be. The opening ceremony was attended by Aida Dzhanhirova, director of the art gallery “Lavra,” who remained one of the organizers of the event, representative of the World Press Photo office in Amsterdam Paul Ruseler, and the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Ukraine Peter Jan Wolters.

According to Dzhanhirova, this exhibition is important because it helps Ukrainian journalists to integrate into the international context of the profession. “This competition can be controversial in its assessments but it never leaves the audience indifferent,” said the organizer.

According to Peter Jan Wolters the photos presented at World Press Photo are always a symbol of freedom. “The presented photos are not only a piece of art since each of them has its own story and human pain behind it. They make all of us – the audience, critics, and state authorities, think about how to prevent such pain, how to make the reality less cruel,” said Wolters at the opening ceremony. In his comment to The Day Wolters also noted: “My colleagues and I have noticed that Ukrainians love photography and have interest in it. There are many photo exhibitions in every Ukrainian city. Besides the great interest in photography, I also see huge potential of Ukraine in this field. There are many talented photographers in your country.”

World Press Photo 2012 Exhibition will be open in Kyiv History Museum until February 27. Within the framework of the event there will be organized master classes for photo journalists led by Andrii Mosiienko, Valerii Soloviov, and Viktor Marushchenko.

By Kateryna TOLOKOLNIKOVA
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