You don’t need me to tell you that journalism and its favourite cousin photojournalism have been under the cosh in recent years in Egypt; something that has seemingly come to devalue both professions in a country that has never needed them more than it does now – being a (photo)journalist has become either a danger or a dirty little secret.
Enter the Shakwan Photo Awards; a new “contest that aims to honour and recognise distinguished photojournalism in Egypt,” named after imprisoned Egyptian photojournalist, Mahmoud Abu Zeid, aka Shawkan, whose impressive CV includes names such as Time Magazine, Die Zeit, BILD, Media Group, and online photo agency, Demotix. His detainment – which has reached almost 900 days – has been well-documented and the awards are an off-shoot of a #FreeShawkan campaign that has largely fallen on deaf ears.
Entries in the awards are largely related to the January 25 Revolution and it’s continuing fallout, though many of the photos also cover everything from football, to the floods in Alexandria earlier this year.
The six-person panel judging the awards include Khaled Dessouki, photo director at AFP in Cairo, AP’s award-winning photographer, Mosa’ab Elshamy, and freelance photographer, Eman Helal, with cash prizes going to the first (5000LE), second (3000LE) and third (1000LE) places.
For more information on the Shawkan Photo Awards, click here.
By Lance Uppercut