Ukrainian Oleksandr Rupeta announced winner of Independent Freelance Photojournalist Award at Xposure 2024

SHARJAH: This year’s Xposure Independent Freelance Photojournalist Award (IFPA) ceremony once again recognised the exceptional talents who bravely harness the power of photojournalism to shed light on global causes and events, bringing important stories to the attention of the world. During the third edition of the prestigious awards, the event celebrated five outstanding nominees shortlisted from 255 entries submitted by photographers from 61 countries.

In the presence of Tariq Saeed Allay, Director General of Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), and in front of a full-house of industry peers and photography enthusiasts, the overall winner of IFPA 2023/2024 was awarded to Ukrainian documentary photographer Oleksandr Rupeta for his captivating project, ‘The Other Days of Life.’ The jury commended Rupeta’s ability to capture the essence of human resilience and spirit in the face of adversity, highlighting the power of empathy and storytelling in connecting with global audiences.

Russian documentary photog
rapher Valery Melnikov received the runner-up prize for his powerful work, ‘Apocalypse in Mariupol.’ Melnikov’s project captivated the jury with its poignant portrayal of the ongoing conflict’s devastating impact on Mariupol and its parallels to historical tragedies.

The remaining nominees for Xposure’s IFPA 2023-2024 brought forth a diverse range of impactful narratives including Diego Herrera Carcedo’s ‘Bakhmut Fortress’; Alain Schroeder’s ‘Plastic Treasure’ showcased the fight against plastic pollution through grassroots initiatives; and Mehdi Mohebi Pour’s ‘The gradual death of the wetland’ shed light on the challenges faced by the Miankaleh Wetland in Iran.

Organised by SGMB, the prestigious USD $15,000 Award garnered global attention, drawing numerous captivating pictures that represent the journalistic perspectives of some of the bravest and most talented individuals, hailing from every corner of the globe under the categories of Spot News, Environment, and Solutions.

Leading proceedings and announc
ing the finalists during the award ceremony, distinguished jury member Lars Boering, Director of the European Journalism Centre, gave reference to selfless work that photojournalists do, commemorating those who were recently lost in the line of service, saying, ‘As we pay tribute to photojournalists who risk and lose their lives in offering the world a glimpse of truth, we are deeply saddened by the loss of valuable members of the photojournalistic community who have not seen a year as deadly as 2023-24 in a decade. The Israel-Gaza war is a humbling reminder of the senseless destruction caused by war.’

Xposure’s IFPA aims to acknowledge and reward the efforts of independent and freelance photojournalists for their compelling images that not only accompany news stories but also serve as powerful tools to raise awareness about pressing global issues that demand attention.

Source: Emirates News Agency