The winners of the Azerbaijan Sport in Foccus photography competition have been announced! Judges Ed Kashi (VII), Philipp Rathmer, and Agdes Baghirzade deliberated to choose the winners of this photo competition organizaed by The European Azerbaijan Society in collaboration with the Baku European Games 2015.
The first place prize was awarded to Azerbaijani professional photographer Dilaver Najafov for his iconic image Gymnast with Pink Ribbon. “Dilaver is one of the few Azerbaijani photographers to have devoted his entire career to the art of photography. He initially became interested in the art form during his childhood, following the purchase of a camera and other photographic equipment by his father. He is renowned for capturing the essence of sporting achievement, and has worked as staff photographer for the Azerbaijani Ministry of Youth and Sport for nearly 20 years. His work is frequently included in the official periodical of the Ministry.”
The topic of the competition reflected Azerbaijan’s forthcoming hosting of the inaugural European Games, which will take place across the country from 12–28 June 2015. The photographers were invited to capture such themes as Azerbaijan, sport, universality of sports and the meaning of the European Games.
The second prizewinner was Ipanema – Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) by Paris-based French photographer and videographer Paul Robion, a former journalist, for his evocative, sepia-toned image that encapsulates the enormous popularity of football amongst the Brazilian population. The third prize was won by Azerbaijani photographer Rufat Abas, who specialises in street photography, for his photo Final Instructions, which captures a tense moment at the start of a Formula 1 race.
The exhibition of 70 images, including the three winning images and 10 runners-up, will now be published in a book, and an exhibition will tour Europe, beginning at London’s OXO Tower Gallery on 27 February, and then travel to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey.