Culture, Corporate News

Istanbul Photo Awards exhibition kicks off in Turkish metropolis

In opening speech, Anadolu Agency's deputy director general says event is more impactful every year

Rabia Iclal Turan and Merve Berker   | 02.12.2021
Istanbul Photo Awards exhibition kicks off in Turkish metropolis


The third exhibition of Istanbul Photo Awards, an international photography contest held by Anadolu Agency to support photojournalism, opened to visitors on Thursday, Dec. 2.

The award-winning photos of the contest will be presented at the Bilgi University santralistanbul Campus Energy Museum until Dec. 10.

Delivering the opening remarks of the event, Anadolu Agency's Deputy Director General Oguz Enis Peru started with this year's photo of the year, taken by Bangladeshi photographer Mohammed Shajahan during the coronavirus pandemic.

The image Shajahan captured, Peru said, "summarizes the fight against the coronavirus since 2019 with this single frame, making us feel the story that thousands of words try to tell."

He added that Istanbul Photo Awards was an annual project "meant to recognize the efforts of distinguished photographers, efforts that we have witnessed most closely."

Noting that Istanbul Photo Awards 2021 marked the event's seventh edition, Peru said the contest's worldwide impact becomes greater with each passing year.

Photographers from 96 different nationalities participated in the contest this year with around 15,000 photos submitted, he added.

3rd prize winner: Adam Pretty

Adam Pretty, a photojournalist with Getty Images and winner of third prize in this year's Single Sports category, was also present at the opening ceremony, saying it was a "great honor and privilege" to come to Istanbul for the first time in 17 years.

"I think Istanbul (Photo) Awards are fantastic photographic awards," he told Anadolu Agency. "If you can spread the word about photojournalism across the world, in different countries, cultures, I think it's a really positive thing."

He underlined that the event was "one of the awards that's really prestigious and highly looked upon." "The exhibition, the book they publish, it all helps and it's done in a really good way," he added.

Being awarded for his work and having his photographs exhibited around the world is a "positive thing," said Pretty. "I think as a storyteller, that's kind of what I want to do. It's the driving goal behind what I'm trying to do."

On the importance of sports journalism during the pandemic, he said: "Especially in the last couple of years with the whole COVID pandemic, sports played a really big part in helping people through it."

"Hopefully, that's the story behind my picture as well," he said, speaking of the award-winning photograph he took, titled "Log Pile Bouldering," of an athlete in Germany.

The image, he said, is the story of one person as well as how they survived COVID pandemic by keeping on with their training and their physical exercise.

A special selection of photos featuring events that marked the last year, from lachrymose scenes of the COVID-19 pandemic to the explosion in Beirut and the Superbike World Championship, are expecting visitors.

The winning shots were previously exhibited at CerModern Arts Center in the Turkish capital Ankara and the UN headquarters in New York in October.

Some 15,000 photographs from across the world competed in the contest, and 14 photojournalists of 12 nationalities were awarded in Single News, Single Sports, Story News, Story Sports, Story Daily Life, and Story Portrait categories.

Istanbul Photo Awards is officially sponsored by flag-carrier Turkish Airlines and state-run agency Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), with the Istanbul leg of the exhibition hosted by the Istanbul Bilgi University.

Dates of applications for 2022, the eighth round of the contest, will be announced in the forthcoming weeks, and more information on the contest and the award-winning photographs can be accessed via the website

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