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IP/09/1693

Brussels, 10 November 2009

European Year of Creativity and Innovation (EYCI) 2009 : Award ceremony of the "Imagine a new world" photo competition

Photographers from Hungary, France and United Kingdom have won the EU photo competition organised in the framework of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation with the theme "Imagine a new world". The winning photographers will receive their prizes today in Brussels and their works put on display.

The European Commission received 5,000 photographs from 1500 photographers in response to its June announcement of a photo competition for the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 with the theme "Imagine a New World". Professional and amateur photographers of all ages, from across the EU candidate countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, were eligible. Photographers were encouraged to provide an original work where they express their vision of a "new world" and show what creativity and innovation means to them.

On the eve of the award ceremony, European Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič said: " I am pleased at the high level of interest from across Europe in this photo competition: it shows that it captured the imagination of European citizens. And the many different approaches the entrants took to express their vision of what the future holds for them, Europe or the world, are proud examples of the originality and creative potential that are the central themes of the European Year".

The First prize goes to Daniel Halasz from Hungary, for his portfolio "Imaginary Diary" which, is a complex portfolio of images that uses to great effect the genre of the postcard. It reminds us that our future world is difficult to separate from our past, and that we might want to evaluate what we mean by progress.

Second prize was awarded to James Naylor from the United Kingdom for his portfolio "Class of 2019". H is project is an optimistic view of how a united world could look. "Class of 2109" takes the form of a high school yearbook and focuses on the positive hybridization of cultures in future generations. Styled to reflect the 1960’s - a moment in history that signified hope and great change in the world - his images are subversions of iconic American yearbook imagery through the introduction of a diverse group of subjects.

Third prize goes to Vincent Bitaud from France for his portfolio “Car(e)less City”. Through his project, Bitaud questions the structure of the City as we know it. If in the future we ban motor vehicles, how could we try to hide those hideous and useless concrete scars and let a little bit of nature back inside?

The "Public’s Favourite Award" will be received by the image “Heroes” by Balázs Szabó from Hungary. It was chosen during the month of October by the European public through an online voting process in the website "Imagine a new world" among 30 photos preselected by the jury.

All four winners will receive photographic equipment to a total value of €15,000 as well as an invitation to participate in the closing event of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation in Stockholm in December.

The official award ceremony takes place today at 18.00 in the "Espace Photographique Contretype" - Hotel Hannon. The winners' portfolios, the "Public's Favourite Award" picture, and a further 29 photographs will be presented in an exhibition inaugurated by Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič. The exhibition in the "Espace Photographique Contretype" will run until 22 November; from 1 to 31 December it will be transferred to the Commission's Madou building and then will travel around Europe.

The winning pictures will also be displayed on the esplanade in front of the Berlaymont building and in the elevators inside.

The photo competition is one of several events organised by the European Commission in the framework of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 (EYCI). Under the slogan " Imagine, Create, Innovate", the EYCI 2009 aims to raise awareness of the importance of creativity and innovation as key competences for personal, social and economic development. By emphasizing creativity and innovation, the EU aims at shaping Europe's future in a global competition by fostering the creative and innovative potential in all of us.

Official website of the competition : www.imagine2009.eu

Official website of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation:

http://create2009.europa.eu


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