Czech Press Photo: An Imaginary Place Where Reality Meets Art

Czech Press Photo is a prestigious Czech-Slovak photography competition inspired by the international World Press Photo photojournalism event. This year’s participants had the chance to experience a completely new format. The highly regarded contest changed its leadership, its visual shape and its categories, with the aim of talented young photographers.

As many as 349 photographers submitted their work to Czech Press Photo 2016. Eight judges, with a wealth of experience in photography, struggled to make their selection from almost six thousand photos. However, in the end they succeeded in picking the very best photograph in this the 22nd year of the competition.

To everyone’s amazement, the piece in question is characterized by a positive atmosphere. The shot captures a moment when a man ends up being wrapped in a falling flag during skirmishes between supporters of the Chinese President and human rights activists. The jury justified its choice with the following words: “The photograph symbolizes the clash of values of the democratic world with Chinese reality, and illustrates the present state of China’s domestic political culture.” The photo reflects not only a current social theme, but also presents a distinctive visual solution. The uniqueness of the image lies in the fact that, while capturing a particular situation, it has symbolic content and even an iconic quality which goes far beyond a mere record of reality.

The author of the winning photograph, Michal Šula, a photojournalist for MF DNES, has won previously in individual categories of Czech Press Photo. However, this year was the first win for him in the overall category.

The other participants and their photos are no less noteworthy. Even though not all of them won a prize in an individual category, there is a breathtaking array of compositions, colour schemes, and themes. Award-winning shots and photo series, complemented by nominated images, will be exhibited in the Cloister of the Old Town Hall in Prague until 30th January 2017.

Text vznikl v rámci kurzu Angličtina pro žurnalisty Kabinetu jazykové přípravy.

Foto: Michal Šula, MF DNES

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