All-star team of judges will review works of young photojournalists in this year's competition
An international panel of six photography professionals will determine the winners of the eighth annual Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest. The jury, which was named on Wednesday, includes experts from Russia, the US, and Germany, among others.
The annual photo competition is held in honor of acclaimed photo journalist Andrei Stenin, who was killed in eastern Ukraine in 2014 at the age of 33. Since 2015, young photojournalists from all over the world have had the opportunity to win cash prizes and make a name for themselves internationally.
The "Andrei Stenin Contest is a great trampoline in the carrier of any photographer," according to Agence France-Presse Photo Director for Asia-Pacific Mladen Antonov, one of this year's judges. "Chief photo editors around the world are familiar with the level of qualities any photographer must have in order to win in this contest," he said, adding that the international tour of the winning photos "opens many unexpected doors for their creators."
Despite the restrictions imposed around the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event has retained one of its most important traditions - the international touring exhibition of the winning photos.
Winners could see their works displayed in cities across Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as the UN Headquarters in New York and the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
Apart from the international acclaim, this year's competition comes with awards ranging from 75,000 rubles to 125,000 rubles ($950 to $1,600) in various categories. Young journalists can submit their works for 'Top News,' 'Sports,' 'My Planet', and 'Portrait. A Hero of Our Time,' with both individual images and series eligible for submission. The winner of the top prize, the Grand Prix, will be awarded 700,000 rubles ($8,850).
Simply taking part in the competition can lead to unexpected results, according to Anna Zekria, founder and director of the independent Russian photo agency SALT IMAGES, who is also on the panel. "Quite frequently, even if a photographer fails to win an award but his or her work has moved me, I afterwards try to keep an eye on them and provide whatever assistance I can. The same is true of many of my colleagues," she said.
Other jury members are Denis Paquin, the deputy director of photography at the Associated Press; Peter Bitzer, a member of the extended board of the German Photographic Society; Grigory Dukor, the head of TASS news agency's Photo Information Department; and Xenia Nikolskaya, a Russian-Swedish photographer and professor at the German University in Cairo.
The panel members said they were excited to see how "young photographers with [such] different cultural backgrounds" shape "developments in photojournalism today."
"It's such a unique chance to see so many works of young photojournalists from all over the world and to get in touch with their current humanistic spirit," Bitzer said. Nikolskaya said she expects "2022 to bring new themes to the fore," adding that she hopes to "see new creators, new stories - and a new visual language - during this year's contest."
The competition is organized by the media group Rossiya Segodnya under the patronage of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO.
It also enjoys the support of prominent media organizations and international NGOs, including the Shanghai United Media Group, the Al-Mayadeen pan-Arab information holding, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).