MOSCOW - The Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest has published the shortlist of the 2019 winners.

The competition jury, which included leading photographers and editors from world media outlets, chose the best pictures from the 6,000 works submitted. In 2019, photography professionals from 80 countries on all five continents contributed their images for the competition. All the shortlisted photographs are marked by a richness of the presentation and a depth of understanding of the topic.

The 2019 winners represent 17 countries: Russia, France, the Philippines, Germany, India, Italy, United States, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, South Africa, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Portugal, Spain, Belarus and Egypt. India made it to the top three contributors by the number of works shortlisted, along with Russia and Iran, beating Spain, Egypt and Mexico.

The main topics of the 2019 photographs were global social challenges. The young photographers did more than create a whole new visual language for describing them, combining various genres and formats. Their works do not simply identify the problems and expose their causes. The possible consequences of these problems — for the country, the region, or the entire planet — become central to their stories.

Oksana Oleinik, the curator of the photo contest and the head of the Visual Projects Service of the Rossiya Segodnya United Photo Information Directorate, commented on the 2019 winners: “The quality of the finalists’ works has been growing every year. The main indicator of their professionalism is not only the superb fluency in the language of photography. It is also reflected in their choice of topics, first of all, social issues, of which there are many this year. And it is not enough for young photographers to just indicate a problem. Modern photojournalism implies the ability to link its causes and effects, to look beyond its momentary expression. In this sense, photography has no equal, because its language is international.”

Chairman of the Andrei Stenin Competition jury, British photographer James Hill from The New York Times, said: “Well, what I found interesting was that the quality of the work in general was quite high. Of course, in different categories we had different strengths of winners, so in some cases we had a very hard time deciding which entries to give prizes to. And in other ones, there were entries which were obviously much better than the others. But at the same time I think that it was a complicated process for the jurors in that you have editors, you have photographers, you have different people looking at images, and looking at images or any kind of painting or photograph is a very subjective business. So in fact, what I really enjoyed was the discussion that took place as we each put forward the reasons for which we supported one entry or another, and the quality of the work was such that we had plenty to talk about.”

As for the distribution of prizes in each category, and the winner of its main award, the Grand Prix, the intrigue will continue until September, when the Andrei Stenin Contest will announce the winners in a ceremony in Moscow. At the same time, an exhibition of their works will open, starting the traditional tour to different cities around the world.

About the contest:The Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest was launched by Rossiya Segodnya under the aegis of the Russian Commission for UNESCO. Its main goal is to support young photographers and draw public attention to the challenges of modern photojournalism. This contest is a platform for young photographers; talented, empathetic and open-minded, they draw our attention to people and events around us.

In 2019 the general media partners of the contest include the news website Vesti.Ru and the Russian state Rossiya-Kultura TV channel. The international information partners of the contest include SputnikInternational Information Agency and Radio,Askanews Information Agency, Independent Media Holding, Notimex News Agency, ANA News Agency, RT channel and website, Shanghai United Media Group (SUMG), China Daily website, PNA news agency, AlYoum AlSabee newspaper and website, the Paper website, Al Mayadeen media network, Prensa Latina Information Agency, The Nation media group and Renminwang website. The industry partners supporting the contest are the Russian Photo and Photo-study.ru websites, School of Visual Arts, Academy of Photography, the Young Journalists information portal, National Geographic Russia magazine, the Contrastes magazine, the Fotoargenta magazine, the All About Photo website,Cuartoscuro magazine, Delhi Photography Club, EYE Photo magazine and PhotON festival as an international partner. – Stenincontest