Istanbul Photo Awards opens New York exhibition

40 photos to be displayed at UN headquarters until Nov. 2


The third exhibition of the 2018 Istanbul Photo Awards, organized by Anadolu Agency, opened Monday in New York, with the winning entries on display at UN headquarters.

Anadolu Agency's Deputy Director-General Mustafa Ozkaya said he was glad to open this year’s exhibition, which was also held in Istanbul and Ankara.

The contest was sponsored by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, or TIKA, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Turkish Airlines.

In his remarks, Ozkaya praised the contest as being a "widely known, prestigious" event around the world.

"On behalf of Anadolu Agency's director general [Senol Kazanci] and our colleagues, I would like to thank the United Nations for hosting our exhibition for the third time, and also, I would like to thank our guests and our sponsors," he said.

Turkey's UN Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu also praised the contest for supporting "talented photojournalists".

"We see in these photos the power of photography to communicate powerful messages to all humanity," said Sinirlioglu.

He also paid tribute to the late renowned photographer Ara Guler who passed away last week.

Among the attendees were Turkish and foreign officials and one of the winners of the contest, Marcus Yam from the U.S., who won in the story nature and environment category. His photo series for the Los Angeles Times was about the 2017 California wildfires.

The exhibition at UN headquarters will continue until Nov. 2.

Roughly 37,000 photos from 125 countries were entered in the contest with 27 photographers from 22 countries receiving awards.

Bosnian photo correspondent Damir Sagolj won the photo of the year prize for a picture of a child in a Rohingya camp in Bangladesh.

Kevin Frayer from Canada was the winner of the story news category for photos of Rohingya.

German Lukas Schulze was awarded first prize in the single sports category. His photo titled "Athlete versus Animal" was taken during the 2017 FINA World Swimming Championships in Budapest.

Pavel Volkov from Russia won first prize in the story sports category with his photo of a handicapped athlete.

Malaysian photographer Muhamed Fathil Asri was given first prize in the single nature and environment category. His photo, taken from a height, shows vehicles moving to an old bus terminal to escape a flood in Malaysia's Pekan Rantau Panjang in early 2017.

Andrew McConnell from Ireland won the story portrait category and Russian photographer Sergei Stroitelev won the story daily life prize.

Philippine photographer Ezra Acayan received the young photographer award.

Rodrigo Cabrita from Portugal claimed the honor award in the story nature and environment category while Russian Anastasia Rudenko won the same award in the story daily life category.

All winning photos are available on www.istanbulphotoawards.com and professional photographers can apply for next year's contest on the same website from Nov. 1, 2018 to Jan. 31, 2019.

Award-winning photographer depicts stories of refugees

'I sometimes wait months to take a single photograph,' says Iranian contestant





Runner-up of the 2018 Istanbul Photo Awards Enayat Asadi described to Anadolu Agency his experiences since 2009 of photography focusing on refugees and human trafficking.

With nine years of photo journalistic experience, Asadi’s entry came second place in the photography expo in the ‘Story News’ category.

“I pursue stories by first listening to myself, then observing the events around me,” he said, adding that this is the only way to grasp people’s genuine emotions.

Beginning his career in Afghanistan where he aimed to capture the civil war from his lens, he returned to Iran in 2011 to conduct various projects.

Participating in the Istanbul contest for the first time, Asadi’s entry dealt with Afghan refugees fleeing Daesh and other dangers in their country.

“I sometimes wait months to take a single photograph,” he said, speaking of the difficult journey from Afghanistan through Pakistan to Iran in which he took part along with the people he observed.

Saying that he examined several other photo expos before deciding to participate in the Istanbul Photo Awards, Asadi described the experience as “valuable”.

“When you look at especially the sponsors, participants and jury of the Istanbul Photo Awards, you can already see the high quality of the competition,” he said.

Currently focusing on refugees on the Turkish-Iranian border and their trek to Greece, Asadi’s plans include observing refugee experiences from the Arabian Sea to Pakistan to the western frontier of Tehran and from there to Turkey and finally Greece.

The Istanbul Photo Awards is an international news photography contest organized by Anadolu Agency aiming to contribute to the sphere of news photography and offer a perspective shaped by the region’s unique position at the center of diverse cultures. 

The contest received 37,000 applications from 125 countries and the international jury rewarded 27 photographers from 22 countries in single and story categories of news, sports, portrait, nature and environment, and daily life.

Professional photographers may submit their entries for 2019 from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31 at www.istanbulphotoawards.com.


Ankara exhibition opens

Awards have grown into one of most prestigious photo contests, Anadolu Agency’s Deputy Director General Mutanoglu says




The second exhibition of work from 80 award-winning photographs in Anadolu Agency’s 2018 Istanbul Photo Awards opened in Ankara on Thursday.

"Anadolu Agency is the address of news, photos and videos but we want to be more effective in photography," Deputy Director General and Editor-in-Chief Metin Mutanoglu said.

All the photographs from "Istanbul Photo Awards 2018" will be displayed at the ATG Shopping Center in the High-Speed Train Station in Ankara until Oct.14.

"Istanbul Photo Awards have grown to become one of the most prestigious and significant photo contests and thousands of photographers take part in it," Mutanoglu added.

The international contest is sponsored by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Turkish Airlines and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).

The agency's Visual News Editor-in-Chief Ahmet Sel said almost everything about life was present in the photos.

"We especially want the youth in Turkey to focus on the art of photography," Sel added.

Damir Sagolj, a Bosnian photojournalist from Reuters, was named this year's winner with a striking shot of an 11-month-old dead Rohingya boy, whose eyes were covered with leaves.

The contest received 37,000 applications from 125 countries and the international jury awarded 27 photographers from 22 countries in single and story categories of news, sports, portrait, nature & environment and daily life.

2018 Istanbul Photo Awards exhibition to open in Ankara

Anadolu Agency’s Istanbul Photo Awards’ second exhibition set to open in Ankara on September 13




With its 80 award-winning photographs, the second exhibition of Anadolu Agency’s "Istanbul Photo Awards 2018" is to be opened in the Turkish capital Ankara on September 13.

The international contest is sponsored by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Turkish Airlines and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).

All the winning photographs from "Istanbul Photo Awards 2018" are to be displayed at ATG Shopping Center in the High-Speed Train Station in Ankara.

Damir Sagolj, a Bosnian photojournalist from Reuters, was named this year's winner with a striking shot of 11-month-old dead Rohingya boy, whose eyes were covered with leaves.

The contest received 37,000 applications from 125 countries and the international jury rewarded 27 photographers from 22 countries in single and story categories of news, sports, portrait, nature & environment and daily life.

Photographer recounts moment he took winning image

Bosnian photojournalist recalls moment he took image at Bangladesh refugee camp that won 2018 Istanbul Photo Awards


When photojournalist Damir Sagolj shot the winning image of this year’s Istanbul Photo Awards at a Bangladesh refugee camp, he knew it was special.

“This is one of those pictures that you know when you take it, it’s going to have a big impact,” Sagolj told Anadolu Agency at the opening event of the first exhibition for the 2018 Istanbul Photo Awards in Turkey’s largest city.

His striking shot of an 11-month-old dead Rohingya boy whose eyes were covered with leaves was chosen as the 2018 Photo of the Year. Titled “Child,” the photo was taken at a refugee camp in Bangladesh on Dec. 4, 2017.

“It is, unfortunately, one of those images that remains strong and grows stronger,” said the 47-year-old Reuters chief photojournalist based in China. 

People in the refugee camps have struggled a lot and have survived ethnic cleansing as well as a very dangerous trip over the border to settle in the camps, he added.

Since August last year, more than 750,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled their homeland amid a brutal crackdown by the Myanmar security forces, according to the Amnesty International.

“Unfortunately, the danger does not stop there,” he added: “This child died most probably from pneumonia.”

The main reason Sagolj, who has been covering the Rohingya crisis since 2012, was at the camp that day was actually to look for another camp for widows and orphans.

While their assistant was talking to the people in an effort to locate the camp, “I saw the mother and one of the relatives actually carrying this child in a blanket,” he said.

They put off the search to the next day to follow the family for the funeral preparations in their tent.

“The refugee camps, wherever you go, are full of tragedy,” he said.

“I met with this child’s mother while she was with another relative who was carrying the dead child from the clinic back to their tent where they were living, and this was inside the family tent as it is prepared for the funeral,” he added.

He remembers the custom where the aunt uncovered the blanket and placed the leaves on the child’s eyes. “I was not aware of it, so I was not expecting this to happen,''

“I was taking pictures of the whole scene, which was very sad. A lot of relatives in the tent were also crying,” he added.

“I actually got very emotional and excited because I knew it was going to be a very big picture,” he said. He was in the tent for around 45 minutes, taking a lot of frames.

“This picture has very strong elements with the green leaves covering the child’s face, not only the eyes, so it makes it as if he is almost anonymous, so he could be everybody’s child. It reaches people much easier,” he said.

On winning the Istanbul Photo Awards, Sagolj said: “Just like every award, it means a lot to recipients, to us.”

Awards push photojournalists to work more, he said: “Every award for us is another opportunity to work more on similar stories.”

“Now in its fourth year, the Istanbul Photo Awards is becoming more and more relevant in the industry,” he added.

Sagolj, whose career spans over two decades, has mainly covered conflicts around the world. But his home country, Bosnia, still has a big impact on him.

“I covered the end of the war as a journalist, and I did cover some of the brutality. The scale of what I have seen, what I have experienced in Bosnia, has never matched anything I have seen in my career. That left the biggest impact on me,” he said.

The exhibition at the Maksem Cumhuriyet Art Gallery, where all the winning photographs of the 2018 Istanbul Photo Awards are on display, will be open to visitors until May 15.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Turkish Airlines and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) are the contest’s sponsors.