‘Images can change world’: Veteran photojournalist Yuri Kozyrev

'What’s happening in Palestine is genocide, power of photography still exists,’ Yuri Kozyrev tells Anadolu

Yuri Kozyrev, a jury member of the Istanbul Photo Awards and a veteran photojournalist, expressed his belief that the horrific images coming from Palestine can mobilize people and potentially change the world. 

"I think we can absolutely call what’s happening in Palestine 'genocide,' without a doubt, and the power of photography still exists," Kozyrev told Anadolu after attending "Istanbul Photo Awards Talks" where experienced photographers shared their experiences.

"I remember Eddie Adams' photo showing the execution of Vietnamese people in 1968. Yes, that photo somehow caught the attention of students, and then people went out to protest the war in Vietnam," Kozyrev recalled.

"We have students protesting the war in Palestine. I believe they have seen the horrific images coming from Palestine. This drives them to go out and do something,” he stressed.

“Therefore, I believe these powerful images can change the world," Kozyrev said.

Kozyrev also hailed Mohammed Salem, who won the "Photo of the Year" award with his image titled “A Palestinian Woman Embraces the Body of Her Niece.”

"I think Mohammed captured an iconic image. It says a lot. And at the same time, it’s not crude, raw, or straightforward. It conveys so much in a very delicate way. You understand what’s happening there," he noted.

"Most of the photographers applying from Palestine are locals. They are trapped there. So they are not outsiders. They are trying to do their jobs despite all this tragedy," Kozyrev explained.

Kozyrev underlined that journalists who have no choice but to stay in Gaza are showing the world what is happening on the ground.

"They need to take care of their families. The conditions they work under are absolutely incredible. When most of us go to conflict zones, we have a return ticket; they don’t," according to Kozyrev.

- Istanbul Photo Awards

The first exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Istanbul Photo Awards, organized by Turkish international news agency Anadolu, opened Monday.

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

The competition, which evaluates single and series photographs in the categories of news, sports, environment, portrait and daily life, received over 20,000 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 as the overseas events sponsor, and Turkish Airlines 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.

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.

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