Photography in focus at the Scottish Parliament


World-leading photojournalism will take centre stage at the Scottish Parliament this summer as two inspirational exhibitions are unveiled.

The World Press Photo (WPP) Exhibition 2015 is an international contest for photojournalists and features 130 moving and thought provoking images taken during the course of 2014. Once again the Scottish Parliament is the only Parliament in the world to host the exhibition.

Michael Peto: Politics in Focus includes photographs by Michael Peto – the celebrated Hungarian-born photographer who witnessed some of the most historic moments of the 1950s and 1960s.  The exhibition includes a number of unseen photographs of some of the world’s most iconic figures.  People who have shaped and changed the way we see the world including Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Indira Ghandi and Jennie Lee. 

Both exhibitions are free to visit and will be on display in the Main Hall and Burns Room (Committee Room 1) of the Scottish Parliament from Wednesday 22 July – Saturday 22 August.

The Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP said: 

“The photographs in these two exhibitions show photojournalism at its finest. The images may be split by decades but what they have in common is their quality and thought provoking nature. They capture moments of time and make us look at who we are and what we do in a different way.

“I am proud that the Scottish Parliament is once again home to remarkable photography exhibitions that offer the people of Scotland the chance to see these images in their Parliament.”

Award-winning actor Brian Cox, Rector at the University of Dundee and Patron of the Peto collection said: 

'From humble beginnings Michael Peto grew into an incredible artist and photographer. With an intense interest in the variations of human form he had a talent for capturing his subjects in their natural environment. This collection is an extraordinary gift he has left us, so please learn, appreciate, enjoy.'


World Press Photo Exhibition 2015

Now in its 58th year, the annual World Press Photo Contest is the world’s leading international contest for photojournalists, setting the standard for the profession.  The judging is conducted at the World Press Photo office, in The Netherlands. 

The contest draws entries by professional press photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers from across the world, with 5,692 photographers from 131 countries participating this year with 97,912 pictures submitted.

The jury selected an image by Danish photographer Mads Nissen as the World Press Photo of the Year 2014.  The picture shows Jon and Alex, a gay couple, during an intimate moment in St Petersburg, Russia.  

Michael Peto: Politics in Focus

Born in 1908 in Bata, Hungary, Peto settled in London at the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, working firstly as a writer. He took up photography in 1947 mainly to illustrate his own work. His photographs were first published in The Observer in March 1949.  He became a regular contributor alongside other celebrated photojournalists including Jane Bown, Peter Keen and David Sim. During the 1950s and 1960s, Peto documented social issues and the key cultural and political figures of the era. 

The exhibition takes place in partnership with the University of Dundee who own the Collection.

Further information on the exhibitions

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