More than 600 photographers from 82 countries have submitted their entries to the International Women Photographers Award (IWPA), of which 60 photographers were shortlisted. On March 1, 2018 a specially selected international jury comprising of eminent figures from the art and photography community will announce 11 finalists including one laureate.
The IWPA Award is a photography award organized by the International Women Photographers Association and Antidote Art and Design, in collaboration with Alliance Française Dubai and MyArtSpy and Canon Middle East (CME) as the official sponsor. This year IWPA received more submissions from the Middle East North Africa region due to the support from the Canon ME.
“Canon’s sponsorship is an affirmation of our vision and commitment to nurture talent and recognise promising photographers and their art. The IWPA Award is a one-of-a-kind initiative which allows women’s perspectives in the art of photography to shine through and we look forward to the final announcements by the judges. Canon is especially supportive of women photographers and filmmakers in the Middle East and North Africa region. In fact, our brand ambassador in the region is the extremely talented, award winning, first woman film producer in the UAE Nayla Al Khaja. She has been incredibly inspirational to other aspiring female talents in the region, and I believe that the finalists from IWPA will further encourage women, especially youth, to take a serious interest in photography and experiment with all the possibilities it presents,” said Mai Youssef, Corporate Communications & Marketing Services Director, Middle East & Africa- Canon Middle East.
The finalists’ work will be on display at ‘La Galerie’, Alliance Française in Dubai, which will house the opening exhibition showcasing photographs taken by women from across the world with a focus on the Middle East. It is the only exhibition of its kind in the region focusing only on women photographers, both professional and amateur, and providing a platform for them to exhibit their work to a larger audience.
The exhibition will be inaugurated on March 8, to coincide with International Women’s Day, with simultaneous openings in UAE, at the Alliance Française of Dubai, in Lebanon at the French Institut of Beirut, and in Bangladesh at the Alliance Francaise of Chittagong.
This will be followed by an international traveling exhibition for the laureate and finalists in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. In addition, the laureate will also have an official solo exhibition held at “la Galerie” Alliance Française in Dubai and receive a Canon camera. The other finalists will also receive a Canon camera each.
The international force of woman is recognised worldwide and gaining increasing influence in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) countries. To further promote creativity, encourage fresh talent and create awareness in the region, Dubai, Beirut and Chittagong have been chosen to host this photography award, with Dubai being chosen for the second time.