Bratislava, 21 September 2023 – 151 photographers from the V4 countries and Ukraine submitted a total of 1 495 photographs to the competition. The award ceremony of the 12th SLOVAK PRESS PHOTO, accompanied by the opening of the exhibition of the winning works at the Hviezdoslav Square, will take place today in the evening at the Primate's Palace.

151 photographers registered for the competition and submitted a total of 1495 photographs from 152 series. There were 11 photographers from Poland, 8 from Hungary, 11 from the Czech Republic and 17 from Ukraine. Among the finalists there are 3 Ukrainian, 4 Hungarian, 3 Polish and 2 Czech photographers. The most important fact is that photographers who work for international agencies and who have won many awards for their works have applied. Everything surprised us this year in a good sense. "We are very happy with the amount and the quality of the registered photographs. It is very important that photographers from the Visegrad Four and Ukraine have also applied, they have sent a lot of photographs and our competition is gradually growing and becoming a quality international project," evaluated the number of photographers and their entries the director of the SLOVAK PRESS PHOTO competition, Jana Garvoldtová. It is a great honour for us that many of them are the winners of similar competitions in their respective countries.

Among the entries, the themes of tragic events that resonated strongly throughout our society last year dominated the competition, becoming a senseless and incomprehensible memento of the hatred of an individual against a group of people. A large number of contestants mapped various social issues, environmental protection, the climate crisis and the war in Ukraine and its consequences in their photographic works. The jury expressed great satisfaction with the international categories Daily Life, Long-term Document, and Environment and Nature whose level far exceeded that of the other categories.

This year's jury consisted of: Maral Deghati (chairwoman of the jury, Getty Images, France), Espen Rasmussen (photographer, VII Photo Agency, Norway), Alexander Chekmenev (photographer, Ukraine), Jindřich Štreit (photographer and teacher, Czech Republic) and Jana Hojstričová (photographer and teacher, Slovakia) who is also the project's guarantor.

Commenting on the winning GRAND PRIX photo, the jury said: "We awarded the prize according to the quality of the photograph in the category Reportage from the series titled Protest for Matúš and Juraj. One photograph titled Shouting and crying activists was selected by the jury as the winning one, also taking into account the impact that this topic has on the social life in Slovakia. Even in Slovakia, there is an obvious global trend of the emergence of a new generation of photographers whose view and perception of the reality of everyday life is very different from what you have been used to so far."

For the first time, the Grand Prix was won by a female photographer Dorota Holubová, who has been working on the topic of the LGBTI+ community for several years. "It is a signal of the objectivity and impartiality of the international jury, as well as an indication that not only established photojournalists from large publishing houses have a chance to succeed and win, but also freelance photographers," added the director of the SLOVAK PRESS PHOTO competition.

A special prize, the Bratislava 2023 Grant, was awarded to the project – Bratislava Lakes by Branislav Račko. The topic of this year's Bratislava Grant is "Bratislava – Climate Crisis".

Author of the project: "Climate change brings more tropical days for Bratislava residents than they were used to in the past. When the temperature rises significantly above 30 degrees, we all wonder where to cool off. Bratislava has a great advantage over other metropolises especially in the number of lakes located nearby. Some are excellent for swimming, others have sports infrastructure and lots of greenery in the surroundings." The winner receives 2 000,- EUR for a year-long project aimed at photographing the changes in Bratislava. The exhibition of photographs by the winner of last year's Bratislava 2022 Grant project, Tomáš Hrivňák, on the topic of Public Space, will be open free of charge from 21 September 2023 to 31 October 2023.

The exhibition of the finalists and winners of the 12th SLOVAK PRESS PHOTO at Hviezdoslav Square will be open 24/7 from 21. 9. to 31. 10. 2023