WHAT DOES PEACE LOOK LIKE?
What does peace look like? – That was the question that 1,549 photographers from 99 countries on all five continents sought to answer in connection with the Alfred Fried Photography Awards 2014. Éric Falt, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO and a member of the 14-person jury, summarised the scope of the 5,271 submitted works in his keynote speech: “The competition entries for 2014 reflect a myriad of images and approaches, from which you can conclude that peace is an intensely personal thing and that each of us has our own interpretation and understanding of peace, our own intimate way of living it, our own personal symbols and emotions to present it.”
The main prize, which is endowed with EUR 5,000, was given to the one picture that answered this question most powerfully. It was given to the Moscow-based photographer Emil Gataullin for The World’s Best Picture on the Theme of Peace by the President of the National Council, Doris Bures, together with Silvia Lammerhuber, manager of Edition Lammerhuber, and Gerd Ludwig, the jury chairman. His picture, Towards the Horizon, will be on display for one year in the Austrian Parliament. “Only in a society that is democratically organised and based on equal rights and solidarity is lasting peace possible. Therefore, an award that deals with peace is very well placed in the Parliament, the centre of democracy,” said Bures.
Emil Gataullin (42) travelled the Russian back country capturing striking black-and-white photographs of people and moments in the midst of seemingly natural everyday life with his analogue camera. The winning photograph is a symbol of our times: a two-man swing in flight: two upside-down men in an upside-down world.
In addition, the Photographic Society, Edition Lammerhuber, UNESCO, the Austrian Parliament, the Association of Parliament Journalists, and the International Press Institute (IPI), which jointly offer the prize, honoured six works with the Alfred Fried Photography Award Medal: Pierre Adenis for his work Tempelhofer Freiheit, Emil Gataullin for Towards the Horizon, Heidi & Hans-Jürgen Koch for Bison, Max Kratzer for Status, Davide Tremolada for Heal and Ann-Christine Woehrl for IN/VISIBLE.
The medals, which were awarded in the name of Alfred Fried, were presented by jury members Claudia Dannhauser, Gerhard Hinterleitner, Klaus Lorbeer, Rolf Nobel, Pascal Maitre and Hilde Sandvik.
“This award couldn’t have a better patron saint than Alfred Fried,” said the President of the Austrian National Council at the start of her opening remarks. “This renowned Austrian pacifist, writer, and Nobel Prize winner is deservedly commemorated by us once again. Awards like the ones today represent an important voice for peace. And thus a voice against fanaticism, against exaggerated nationalism, against racism, against anti-Semitism, against the escalation of conflicts and the disregard for freedom!”
The importance of such words of admonishment was shown by the report by Alison Bethel-McKenzie, the Director of IPI: “For the moment, there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Journalists continue to systematically lose their lives to conflict, militants, paid thugs, governments, drug dealers, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous security officers and others. Or they are viciously assaulted, tortured, terrorized, locked up after arbitrary arrests and unfair trials, monitored, harassed, intimidated and proverbially suffocated.”
The commemoration of journalists killed while practicing their profession accompanied the acknowledgment of the photographic works as a logical second point of emphasis in the project, which was launched two years ago on the occasion of theInternational Day of Peace, observed by the UN every year on 21 September, by Werner Sobotka, President of the Photographic Society, and the photographer and publisher Lois Lammerhuber.
The third and final element of the project is the keynote speech, which was given by Éric Falt. It was a powerful plea for committed photography, as well as for a life where there is respect for one another: “For UNESCO, peace is living together with our differences – of sex, race, language, religion or culture – while furthering universal respect for justice and human rights on which such coexistence depends. It means access to education, health and essential services – especially for girls and women. It means giving every young woman and man the chance to live as they choose.”
The international jury
Claudia Dannhauser, Editor, ORF Zeit im Bild; Austria
Eric Falt, Assistant Director-General, UNESCO; France
Peter Matthias Gaede, Editor-in-chief, GEO; Germany
Gerhard Hinterleitner, Managing Director, ASAblanca Media; Austria
Lois Lammerhuber, Publisher, Edition Lammerhuber; Austria
Erich Lessing, Photographer, Magnum; Austria
Peter Lindhorst, Director, Freelens Galerie Hamburg; Germany
Klaus Lorbeer, Editor-in-chief, Foto Objektiv; Austria
Gerd Ludwig, Photographer, GEO, National Geographic; USA
Pascal Maitre, Photographer, GEO, National Geographic; France
Rolf Nobel, Professor of Photography, Hochschule Hannover; Germany
Kaisa Rautaheimo, Photographer, Helsingin Sanomat; Finland
Hilde Sandvik, Deputy Editor, Bergens Tidende; Norway
Werner Sobotka, President, PHG; Austria