Scottish Parliament welcomes World Press Photo exhibition 2008

07/08/2008

On Friday, the Scottish Parliament will once again open its doors to host the World Press Photo (WPP) exhibition gallery, from Friday 8 to Saturday 30 August 2008.

On Friday, the Scottish Parliament will once again open its doors to host the World Press Photo (WPP) exhibition gallery, from Friday 8 to Saturday 30 August 2008.

The World Press Photo exhibition is the result of a worldwide annual competition attracting entries from leading photojournalists, agencies, newspapers and magazines from across the globe. The free exhibition has attracted more than 70,000 visitors in its previous two years at Holyrood.

The Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer, Alex Fergusson MSP said: “We are delighted to welcome back the exhibition for a third year to our Main Hall. The thought provoking images always form an inspiring addition to the Festival of Politics and are extremely popular.

“Photojournalism will also feature prominently in our Festival of Politics line up this year with the winner of the Portraits category, Platon, discussing how he captures his award-winning images.”

As well as being the only Parliament to host the exhibition, Holyrood is also the only venue outside of Amsterdam to include three Apple iMacs – providing touch-screen interactive information on the winning photos, photographers and judging panel.

Amongst 2008’s prize winning photojournalists, this year’s overall winner is UK born Tim Hetherington, with his powerful image of an American soldier resting at a bunker in Afghanistan.

Other UK winners include Vanessa Winship for her portrait of two girls living in rural Eastern Turkey, and Platon’s portrait of Vladimir Putin, former President of the Russian Federation.

Stephen Mayes, Secretary to the International Jury who has the role of managing the competition judging, said:

"In looking at over 80,000 images submitted to this year's competition the judges sought to reward creative and effective journalism. Some images are challenging, others are metaphorical, but all of them add richness to our understanding of the world."

The exhibition contains breathtaking images from leading world events in 2007. The winning images were selected from 80,536 photographs submitted by 5019 professional photographers from 125 countries. The exhibition will be free to view.

The World Press Photo exhibition travels to 100 cities in 50 different countries and is now in its 51 st year. The Parliament is once again one of only two locations in the United Kingdom and the only Parliament in the world to display the winning photos.

Background  

World Press Photo Exhibition

Founded in 1955, the World Press Photo (WPP) is run as an independent, non-profit organisation with its office based in Amsterdam. The WPP is widely known for organising the world’s largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest. Prize winning photographs are assembled into a travelling exhibition visited by over two million people in 45 countries worldwide. In addition, promotional activities include the stimulation of photojournalism through educational programmes and creating greater visibility for press photography through a variety of publications. Its mission is to encourage high professional standards in photojournalism and to promote a free and unrestricted exchange of information.

Members of the Dutch photojournalists' union created an international competition to complement a national one that in turn created the first World Press Photo of the Year in 1955.

World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon and TNT.  

Stephen Mayes

Stephen Mayes is the Secretary to the International Jury at World Press Photo Foundation. A s Secretary he has a non-voting role and his job is to manage the jury to ensure proper process. He has recently been appointed as Director of VII Photo in New York which is an agency representing a group of leading photojournalists. He has worked with photography, art and journalism for 20 years and is currently director of the image archive at Art + Commerce (New York).

While Director of Network Photographers (1989 - 1994), London's leading independent reportage agency, Stephen chaired the World Press Photo competition and curated several photographic exhibitions including Positive Lives which continues to tour in four continents. He went on to develop creative strategies for major commercial agencies, working as Creative Director of Getty Images and CEO of Photonica in USA. As Creative Director of eyestorm.com Stephen worked with many contemporary artists including Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Richard Misrach and others. He has written and broadcast extensively on the ethics and realities of photographic practice.

Festival of Politics

The exhibition forms part of this year’s Festival of Politics. Now in its fourth year, the award winning Festival of Politics runs from Wednesday 20 to Saturday 23 August and features twenty eight sessions many with famous faces from the world of politics, the arts and the media.

This year’s Festival of Politics is delivered in formal partnership with:
Carnegie UK Trust and the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust
The Law Society of Scotland
The Scotsman

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