The pandemic, as captured by the photographic lens for informational purposes in 2020, is the exclusive topic of the photojournalism competition exhibition #PRESS_photostories 2020, held by the Cultural Foundation of the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia-Thrace Daily Newspapers (ESIEMTH). In the aftermath of such an unprecedented year, bestowing separate awards in the customary thematic categories (environment, politics, culture, society, sports) was ruled out as inconsistent with the current reality.
A total of 423 pandemic-themed photos, taken by 42 photo-reporters and journalists during 2020, were submitted in the competition. Subsequently, a 5-member jury selected 88 of them to be showcased in the exhibition and handpicked the final 3 nominees, as well as the winner, of the #PRESS_photo 2020 award.
In view of the conditions imposed by the pandemic, and in collaboration with the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the Thessaloniki Concert Hall Organization, the exhibition is carried out in accordance with the necessary health safety measures. All 88 photos of the exhibition are displayed at the “Garden of Sculptures” glass box, situated in the New Waterfront of Thessaloniki, while a limited selection of photos will be showcased – suitably placed to be made visible from outdoors at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall M2 building. In both cases, the audience will have the chance to enjoy the exhibition without the risk of entering into a enclosed space. The exhibition kicks off on April 16th and is scheduled to run until May 30th.
The full version of the exhibition will be also available online, at www.esiemth.gr.
The official launching of the exhibition, as the as the granting of all prizes and accolades, took place online on Friday, April 16th 2021.
Yiorgos Vitsaras / SOOC
Sample test for COVID-19 conducted by a team of doctors at Zappeion Hall. Athens, July 3rd 2020.
Giorgos Moutafis / iMEdD
Inside the ICU of the Thoracic Diseases General Hospital “Sotiria”, intensivist doctor Kostis Pontikis awakens a COVID-19 patient from a medically induced coma. The patient responds and shakes the doctor’s hand. Athens, April 17th 2020.
Mrs. Konstantina Vavouraki, aged 85, is chatting with her granddaughter through video call, amidst the second quarantine. Athens, December 5th 2020.
An Evzone, member of the presidential guard, gives a military salute while wearing a protective face mask. Presidential Palace, Athens, November 1st 2020.
Refugees wearing protective face masks are running away from the flames engulfing the Moria camp. Lesvos, September 9th 2020.
Konstantinos Tsakalidis / SOOC
A COVID-19 cemetery. A land surveyor is standing between the demarcation lines drawn for the expansion of a cemetery. Thessaloniki, December 5th 2020.
The recipient of the #PRESS_photo 2020 award will be granted a 1,500 Euros cash prize, while the 2nd and 3rd place awards will be accompanied by a 1,000 and 500 Euros cash prize, respectively.
The selection of photos included in the exhibition, as well as the bestowing of awards and accolades, is carried out through a “blind” system of transparency. All photos were “nameless” (as metadata had been removed from the digital files) and jury members were called to vote individually, selecting the photos to be included in the exhibition. The votes were collected and sorted, forming a preliminary group of qualifying contestants. A long deliberation followed, where the jury ran through the selected photos and handpicked the winners of the competition.
The jury was comprised of photojournalist Artistotelis Sarrikostas, architect and photographer Aris Georgiou, AUTh’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications professor Grigoris Paschalidis, MOMus – Museum of Photography curator Iraklis Papaioannou and Tassos Retzios, general secretary of ESIEMTH’s Cultural Foundation.