The fifth photography competition organised by the European Union’s delegation to Egypt concluded on Thursday with an awards ceremony for the top 12 photographs, attended by the head of the delegation, Ambassador James Moran.
The ceremony took place in Zamalek’s Marriott hotel, a former presidential palace, with multiple luxurious salons and ballrooms. The theme for this year was the role of women in Egypt and the title of the exhibition was Women of New Egypt.
The ambassador presented the photographers with certificates while the top three images won prizes ranging from €1,000 in cash for first place, a digital SLR camera for the runner-up, and an honourable mention for the third-placed photograph.
A new award titled the Mohamed Hassan award was created this year, in the memory of one of the winners of the first EU photography competition in Egypt. The award is presented for the photo with the best “journalistic skills.”
The remainder of the 30 photographs will be shown on the delegation’s website and will be exhibited around the city throughout this month.
The competition was open to anyone who is an amateur photographer in Egypt, a term the delegation defines as “photographers living in Egypt who do not receive a major part of their income from photography.”
The pictures focused on women’s roles in rebuilding Egypt and most took a special interest in the revolution and numerous protests that took place over the last two years. One of the images featured a woman, dressed colourfully, against a sea of central security forces, taken during the 18 days of the revolution.
Others like Marwa Morgan’s “Optimistic” featured a female friend and inspiration of the photographer, holding her hand up with the word “optimistic” and a smile drawn on it.
The images were said to have been judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit, with personal vision being taken into account by the jury, which included photography experts.
From teaching children to leading protests and screaming in anger over the revolution’s martyrs, the photographs captured the different roles women play in the changing Egyptian landscape. Though most images focused on the revolution itself, others displayed a different kind of impact that lies outside the political scene. Where some photographs focused on feminist concerns, others struck a more general, nationalist chord contributing to a diverse exhibition.