Bratislava, 13 June 2023 – September and October in the capital city will belong to journalistic photography. This year, the SLOVAK PRESS PHOTO competition and the subsequent exhibition of photographs will celebrate its 12th edition. This prestigious project annually brings to Bratislava a showcase of the best of journalistic photography in several fields and brings closer the work created in the Central European region.

"Last year, we managed to organize the 11th edition of the project. Again, without the support of the Slovak Arts Council and with a weaker support from the state sector. Significant cutbacks in funding have made it very difficult to run, prepare and secure the individual photographic exhibitions and the activities associated with them. Despite this, I believe that this year, we will be able to secure enough funding to carry out the project because it will be stronger, both in terms of its accompanying programme and attendance", said Jana Garvoldtová, Director of SLOVAK PRESS PHOTO, and added: “We have managed to react very flexibly to the new situation, and we have started to be environmentally friendly. Placing the exhibition of the winning photographs outdoors, in a public space, in Bratislava's Old Town, turned out to be strategically and logistically a very good decision, thanks to which we were able to bring journalistic photography closer to a wide group of the population and visitors of the city. The exhibition was visited by 15,000 visitors without any entrance fee, water and electricity consumption."

This year, we have adjusted the rules and a total of nine national and international competition categories will be opened: News, Reportage, Portrait, Environment and Nature, The World of Art and Culture and 4 international categories - Students and Young Photographers up to 26 Years, Long-Term Document, Everyday Life, and Environment and Nature for the V4 countries and Ukraine. A special category is the Bratislava Grant. Every year the jury also awards the Young Talent of the Year prize. The topic for the Bratislava Grant 2023 is: “Bratislava - Climate Change”.

Photographers can apply with their works from 15.5.2023 till 13.8.2023 on the website:

Submitted photographs will be evaluated between 28. - 30. August 2023 by an international jury consisting of: Espen Rasmussen (NOR) – jury member from Norway, professional photographer, and member of VII photo agency; Maral Deghati (FR) – jury member from France, curator (Getty images); Alexander Chekmenev (UA) – jury member, Ukrainian documentary photographer; Jindřich Štreit (CZ) – photographer and university teacher, and Jana Hojstričová (SK) - photographer, teacher and the guarantor of the project.
This year, a distinguished guest will arrive and bring his visual testimony, which he documented in his native country.

To preserve the principle of transparency and objectivity, we invite foreign photographers to be part of the jury. This way, SLOVAK PRESS PHOTO seeks to strengthen the impartial and equal assessment of the works and thus remove any suspicion of a possible conflict of interest. The presence of experienced, renowned, and internationally awarded photographers guarantees this approach.

This year, the Visualizing the Climate Crisis exhibition is open free of charge to fans of photography with the theme of environmental protection and climate change. The project began last year and continues to educate photographers from the V4 countries. It will culminate in an exhibition that will be installed in a public space on Vajanského nábrežie in Bratislava - Old Town from 15 June to 30 July 2023, with the participation of all the authors and Kadir van Lohuizen, who was one of the mentors. The exhibition is dedicated to the topic of the climate crisis in Central Europe, and it is supported by the Visegrad Fund.

The SLOVAK PRESS PHOTO project is held under the auspices of the President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová, the Mayor of the Capital City of the Slovak Republic Bratislava Matúš Vallo, and the Mayor of the Bratislava - Old Town district Matej Vagač.

SLOVAK PRESS PHOTO is a competition accompanied by an exhibition of photographs that presents independent and authentic visual testimony of life as seen by journalists from Slovakia and Central Europe. The aim of the competition and exhibition is to enable the public to witness the events and phenomena from the previous year. Visual storytellers will bring us the stories of the last year, without embellishment, and bring us closer to reality.

A very significant aspect of the competition is to adequately inform the general public using visual journalism as an important communication medium and visual art. Photographers are the visual storytellers of the stories that have taken place over the past year in all spheres of our lives. Their works carry a personal artistic narrative that captures some of the moments of the main protagonist’s life. Our intention is to convey information and educate at the same time, as photography has a strong emotional content and does not need further commentary. It is not heard as strongly as music, but it has an impact on the opposite end of the world. The war in Ukraine has been going on for two years now, and it is journalistic photographers who have brought us images of what is happening beyond our eastern border. We want to continue to support Slovak authors and authors from neighbouring countries, as well as to support the work of young photographers and students. We all hope that we will receive more support to be able to carry out these activities.

Photos: Karla Šavrtková