Dozens of teenagers aged 14 – 18 from schools in Thessaloniki and the Macedonia and Thrace regions have taken part in #teens_PRESS_photostories 2021

#teens_PRESS_photostories 2021

With clear eyes

Text: Tassos Retzios

In these hard and challenging times, their young gaze can sort the wheat from the chaff and is more important than ever in a world that is urgently and agonizingly searching for balance in the face of new developments.

not just able to tell the important from the trivial but is also of integral importance to a society – a world – that is urgently and agonizingly looking for a new balance in the face of new circumstances. Dozens of teenagers aged 14 – 18 from schools in Thessaloniki and the Macedonia and Thrace regions have taken part in #teens_PRESS_photostories 2021, a competition organized by the Cultural Foundation of the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia and Thrace (ESIEMTH), under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, looking to hone teenagers’ media literacy by introducing them to photojournalism.

To this end, local youths attended three two-day workshops on the image, visual communication, photojournalism, journalism and the arts. Following this, attendees as well as non-attendees had the opportunity to take part in a photography exhibition-competition modeled after #PRESS_Photostories for professional photojournalists, annually organized by the ESIEMTH Cultural Foundation since 2018.

A total of 83 students of all genders submitted 604 photographs, addressing three themes: Society, Culture, and Education. The pictures were then evaluated by a panel of five judges, all eminent representatives of the fields of photojournalism, journalism, and education.

The grand prize, #teens_PRESS_photo2021, which awards €600, was shared equally by two female students, while two male students split the top award in the Society category. The judges also selected the best pictures in Education and in Culture categories – with each category awarding €300 to its top submission.

For the exhibition, which is on show in Warehouse D at Thessaloniki Port until January 11, 2022, 131 photographs were chosen – await the public’s gaze.

In their own words

Olga Eleni Petrogianni
GRAND PRIZE #teens_PRESS_photo2021
3rd grade Lykeion student, 1st General Lykeion School of Thermi
“I exist to learn” Thermi, Thessaloniki. November 3, 2021 

“The competition helped me combine two of my favorite hobbies – photography and reading books. As, for this picture, I was inspired by the love I have for books and,  more generally, the sense of enjoyment and relaxation that overtakes me when I sink into the pages of a book.” 

Agni Pyrovetsi
GRAND PRIZE #teens_PRESS_photo202
2nd grade Lykeion student, Anatolia College, Thessaloniki.
March 15, 2021 

“My picture depicts the paradox of a meeting of two people under the unusual circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic – who, although they are almost together and would normally have the ability to converse without obstacles of any kind separating them, they are now communicating from their cars, windows rolled up and using their mobile phones. The use of monochrome black and white serves to capture the mental oppression of these people within the new reality we are experiencing.”

Alexandra Vyzantiadou
2nd grade Lykeion student, Anatolia College
“Art… A source of knowledge” National Gallery. July 2021 

“Art to me is everything around me. It is a source of inspiration and knowledge that offers me inner peace and stimuli. I consider it a source of education that does not just inform us about history and culture in the most real way, but it can also carry the torch of this culture’s spirit and soul. So, I opted for this image to capture this everlasting source of knowledge that art can offer, and to remind those around me that this uniquely creative way to teach can help them discover new sides to themselves and to forge closer bonds.”

Dimitris Petridis
CULTURE prize 
1st grade Lykeion student, Experimental School of Thessaloniki
“Under the Sun”. Skateboarding tricks at the waterfront. Thessaloniki. October 30, 2021

“The picture is of a boy doing skateboarding tricks in the sunset, in front of the statue of Alexander the Great. In the background is the city’s life.” 

Evangelos Stamatis
3rd grade Lykeion student, 1st General Lykeion of Thermi 
“At the old sewing machine”. Grandmother’s house, November 4, 2021

“As the night falls, the sewing machine starts up… Its sound and meager light permeate the room. The elderly woman’s preoccupation with the sewing machine fills the empty hours.”

Odysseas Ouzounis
SOCIETY prize 
2nd grade Lykeion student, General Lykeion of Kavala 
“So close, so far”. Kavala, October 25, 2021 

“Influenced by current affairs, I wanted to use photography to immortalize the tender, loving moment between two elderly people who are expressing their love through actions.”