Athens Photo World is happy to announce photographer Yiannis Antonopoulos as the winner of the newly established Athens Photo World Award for photojournalists living and working in Greece and/or Cyprus. Antonopoulos is a free lance photographer based in Athens. He entered first contest with his photographic project “South East of Eden” comprised of 12 photographs, shot in 2018 and 2019.
His statement about his work:
South east of Eden
History of Balkans has been presented over the centuries as a history of violence and conflict. This stereotype, which has shaped the image of the Balkan people in the eyes of European public opinion, has contributed to the marginalization of the Balkan peninsula and its exclusion from what is considered “real Europe”. In addition, the stereotype has contributed to the way Europe perceives itself as capable of finding sensible solutions to conflicts, as opposed to the “warm-blood” Balkans that are worthy of commemoration only when it comes to war and violence. In this context, the Balkan states have shaped their historical and ethnic identity through the conflict with the neighbor, the other, the Balkan neighbor. On the other side, the image of Europe looks to most Balkan peoples as a modern Eden, considering it to be an ideal place to emigrate. In the above-mentioned view of history, the main features of the Balkans, such as the immediate proximity of different populations, the diversity and interaction of cultures, the similarities of traditions and customs, are lacking.
South east of Eden aims to accentuate the modern Balkan landscape, as it has been established after the political and economic upheavals of the last thirty years. One of the main objectives is to highlight the interaction of the place with its inhabitants, often immigrants from one country of Southeast Europe to the other, and to present the image of the other/the neighbour as an image not so different from ourselves after all.
The Athens Photo World Award of 5.000 Euros is established with the exclusive donation by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation in collaboration with Athens Photo World.
The jury was chaired by Aristotelis Sarrikostas, the first Greek photographer of Associated Press news agency comprised by Nikandre Koukoulioti, advertising and corporate special project manager, Magnum Photos Paris, Penelope Petsini, Historian of Photography, Professor at the Department of Political Science and History of Panteion University, Eirini Vourloumis, Photographer, contributor at the New York Times, Thanassis Stavrakis, Photographer, Head of the Photographic Department of the Associated Press Agency for Greece, Cyprus, Albania and North Macedonia. Jurors received all entries in a blind judging procedure, with no information whatsoever about the entrants identity.
The Award was presented during Athens Photo World 2019 closing ceremony. “South East of Eden” will be hosted at a solo exhibition during next year’s festival (location TBA).
Athens Photo World Award will be annual, with entries opening on December 31st of each year and closing on April 30th.
The jury will be comprised by five members, selected every year.
Athens Photo World is grateful to all the photographers who submitted their work in the first competition with high quality photographic work.