Natalia Kravchuk received the Prize of Prizes “Golden Day” (a piece of jewelry by the jewelry art studio HARARUK) for her political report YES.
“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,” said Larysa Ivshyna as she was awarding the winner. “The author admitted that 10 years ago she sent a photo to Den’s Photo Contest, and it did not make it to the final round... And I want to say that we have been watching her grow all these years, and we are very happy for Natalia’s success!”
“The deadline for Den’s Photo Contest was almost over and I still did not submit my application, when we made a report on the Yalta Summit YES, so I sent it,” Kravchuk says. “I took photos in Yalta for the second time already, and I think I knew what should be captured. First I submitted only one photo for the contest, but then I added the whole series. This is how I participated in the contest, and won it. This is the first time I receive an award like this. It is absolutely unexpected for me, but very pleasant at the same time; even though I am not an ambitious photographer and do not really participate in photo contests. But I do participate in Den’s one. I like the idea that it is a Ukrainian contest and that a lot of my colleagues and friends participate in it as well. I want people to take photos and enjoy it. As for the photo exhibition, I plan to visit it once more and give more thought to the works presented there. It is important not only for the general audience, but for professional photographers as well.”
SHARING IMPRESSIONS. VITALII HAIDUK AND BOHDAN HAWRYLYSHYN / Photo by Ruslan KANIUKA, The Day
By the way, the anniversary exhibit is held under the motto “Each tyro has a chance with Den newspaper.” And as it can be seen from the visitors’ reviews, the motto is not pretentious, it has a right to live. Therefore, we invite everyone to the photo exhibit, which is to be open until November 3 at the Lavra Art Gallery in Kyiv (1 Lavrska Street). And we present reviews of the first exhibit visitors as an additional motivation to see the best photographs of the country.
“ONE DAY, OUR DESCENDANTS WILL READ THE ALBUMS PUBLISHED BY DEN AS UKRAINE’S HISTORICAL CHRONICLE”
Viacheslav YUTKIN, first deputy chairman, Prominvestbank:
“Den’s exhibit is strong, as always, it is integral in its content and it features many interesting works. When choosing the grand prix laureate, we took into consideration the tiredness from political portraits and political life; that is why we replaced it all with a very bright and inspiring photograph with a part of great Ukrainian identity, which is attractive. The faces of the young couple in the photo represent the true Ukraine. This is essentially a very deep photo.
“It is nice to see that there is less of politics and more of real life. The photos became closer to what is happening in Ukraine every day. The photographers reach every tiny bit of Ukrainians’ everyday life, which makes up the whole image of the nation. And it makes this exhibit different from all the previous ones.
MANY VISITORS AT OUR PHOTO EXHIBITS HARVEST THEIR PHOTO AND VIDEO CROPS / Photo by Ruslan KANIUKA, The Day
“At the same time, it is impossible to imagine Ukraine without politics. But it would be great if politics, which did not offer anything new during these 20 years, would fall into the background and make room for the real life of a specific person.
“The Ukraine that was represented this year surprised me with people’s faces. Despite the fact that everything does not go perfectly well, these faces radiate optimism, hope, and faith in our country. The theme of faith is plainly seen in every photograph, except for political ones. In these photos people are full of optimism, they are more lively, humane, sincere, and more European. Perhaps, they felt that we are moving towards Europe. The fact that Ukrainians stopped worrying about politics on a daily basis shows their European choice. That is the reason for less politization and more real life, which is complicated or funny sometimes, but it is ours, Ukrainian.
“I also liked the work In Kyiv Hospice by Nesterenko. I hesitated for a long time whether it should be the one to win the grand prix, since it shows a diametrically opposite side of Ukrainian life. And you cannot ignore this problem. After all, optimism won because we want to believe that Ukraine will move forward. I also liked the photo Patriotism beyond the Limit, which features a podium with the three empty places for the first, second, and third-place winners, and a few brooms near it. I saw in it that the brooms have swept away everything old, and the podium is free, so we are about to see new people standing on it. What will they be like? This is a new and very relevant question, which makes us think.
WINNERS OF THE “DEN 2013” PHOTO CONTEST AND DEN’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF LARYSA IVSHYNA / Photo by Mykola TYMCHENKO, The Day
“If we analyze Den’s photo exhibit in retrospection, we can see it has won a solid reputation in the world of photography. It reflects the whole Ukrainian life like a mirror. I think that one day, our descendants will read the photo albums, which are published by Den and feature the best photos, as historical chronicles of the Ukraine of our times.
“Fifteen years of Den’s photo exhibit are the 15 years of the newest history of Ukraine, which cannot be rewritten, because you cannot change a printed photograph. This is a captured historical moment, it cannot be anything else.
“I wish Den to keep it up and raise the bar even higher.”
“THOUGHT IS THE MAIN QUALITY OF THE SELECTED WORKS”
Mykhailo HROKH, People’s Artist of Ukraine:
“I saw the genuine, realistic, and optimistic Ukraine at Den’s 15th photo exhibit. It is not the first time this annual exhibition stands out among similar events thanks to its high bar. It is good that we can see these photos not only once in a year in a gallery, but printed in Den newspaper as well. I evaluated the works from an artist’s point of view, and I must say that thought is the main quality of the selected works. Even the large number of works did not let me become less attentive after some time. I went round the display three times, looked closely at each photo, and in each one I found a hook which caught at my soul.”
PORTRAIT AGAINST A HIGHLAND BACKDROP / Photo by Yevhen MALOLIETKA
“THE EXHIBIT IS EXTREMELY EMOTIONAL”
Bohdan HAWRYLYSHYN, Ukrainian economist, public figure, full member of the Club of Rome:
“Perhaps, this is the best photo exhibit by Den. And it is not because it is the anniversary 15th one, but because it is extremely emotional. My heart filled with happiness as soon as I entered the exhibition hall. Near the entrance, I saw a photograph of an old woman, and it made me cry. I adore the photo We Are Brothers. These works evoke strong signals and sensual reactions, and not just aesthetic assessment. And the main thing is that this exhibit represents the diversity of Ukraine, which unites us.”
“IF WE COMPARE THIS EXHIBIT TO THE PREVIOUS ONES, IT STANDS OUT BECAUSE OF THE DIVERSITY OF GENRES... AND TIREDNESS FROM POLITICS,” SHARES OLENA HAIDUK (WITH YULIA HAIDUK IN THE PHOTO) / Photo by Ruslan KANIUKA, The Day
“THIS EXHIBIT COVERS A LARGE PERIOD OF UKRAINE’S LIFE”
Mikheil UKLEBA, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Ukraine:
“I liked Den’s exhibit very much. It is important for me as for an ambassador who came here literally five months ago. You can see a very diverse Ukraine through these photographs: from miners to ordinary villagers, intellectuals, and politicians, both foreign and Ukrainian. I find it extremely fascinating, this exhibit covers a large period of Ukraine’s life in many faces and pictures. I like this very much. My favorite photo is the one of a miner. My congratulations! We are definitely going to participate in this exhibit next year.”
“THESE WORKS REVEAL OUR SOUL”
Olena HAIDUK, entrepreneur:
“People are tired of politics once and for all. If the previous photo exhibitions by Den featured a lot of political photos, now such works are very few. And even the ones that are presented are not shots of political stories, but rather individual, vivid portraits of politicians.
“The photograph Admirer is probably the most colorful one out of the ones I remembered. This horse and its ‘love’ for the girl brings up the most sincere emotions.
“There is much contrast in the photos between the countryside and our reality. It is the most vividly reflected in the photograph of a boy which is called When?
ADMIRER / Photo by Oleksandr SYNYTSYN
“There are also many ethnic motives. Such works reveal our soul, show us who we are.
“I was touched by the photo in which an old woman sells her home library. She looks sad, deep in thought. Whether she reflects on her life, or regrets that she has to sell something that is very dear to her. Look at how smoothly she spread the oil cloth, how neatly she put the books on it, and tagged each one of them... It must hurt her to part with the books because she has been buying them her whole life.
“There is plenty of emotions here.
“I also want to note that there are many works featuring animals (horses, dogs, pigeons) as main characters of the story. It might be a reflection of another tendency in the current mood of the humankind, we pin more and more hopes on animals, but not on our own kind.
“If we compare this exhibit to the previous ones, it stands out because of the diversity of genres. It is very versatile. It features works by very different people, as well as works with very different plots. There are many interesting portraits. A wide spectrum of authors is represented: from mature artists to young beginners. Of course, another special feature of this exhibition is its theme, which I already mentioned: much less politics. I remember the exhibition of 2011: political photography was the key ‘solo,’ as well backing vocals and the musical accompaniment of Den’s photo exhibition. I think that it was dictated by the then reality of the country. The politics was in the air, it was in everyone’s head. Now, everybody is tired of it.
“It is also peculiar that those few photos of politicians at the “Den 2013” exhibition are rather amusing. Just look at the work portraying Arsenii Yatseniuk against the background of the riot police helmets. Or the photo of the First Deputy Prime Minister Serhii Arbuzov leaning above the Minister of Revenue and Duties Oleksandr Klymenko. There is a funny caption for this photo as well, Financial Aces, if I’m not mistaken.”