Photojournalists from Russia and Turkey share the 2021 Andrei Stenin Competition Grand Prize


The Competition International photojournalism Andrei Stenin announced the winner of the Grand prize. In 2021, two works won the main prize of the competition: one series of photos by St. Petersburg photographer Mary Gelman, ‘M + T’, and an Photography individual journalist from Turkey, Sebnem Coskun, ‘New danger to underwater life: COVID-19 residues. The names of the winners of the Grand Prize and other categories of the competition were announced in an online ceremony held at the Multimedia Press Center of the Rossiya Segodnya media group, which hosts the competition.

The two Grand Prix winning works are living and penetrating stories told in photographic language.

Series’M + T‘is a compelling story of’ the love of a mature couple with Down syndrome living in the social village of Svetlana, where people with various mental and physical disorders live freely with their educators and volunteers. In the photo series in which Mary Gelman worked for more than a year in the province of Leningrad (now the city of St. Petersburg), the main idea was that love has no borders. “For me Participating in the Andrei Stenin Competition is the possibility of drawing the public’s attention to the social theme of my research, sharing my vision, the possibility of dialogue. Each year I send my works to this competition with an international jury of professionals, because it is an excellent forum to express oneself, it is a good financial support for young photographers and a good organization of the exhibition of the works. winners ”, underlined the author, speaking of his participation in the contest.

The Grand Prize of the 2021 Competition was also awarded to the individual photography of Turkish photojournalist Sebnem Coskun, in which diver Sahika Ercumen, a participant of the United Nations Development Program for the Protection of Underwater Life, embarks on the Straits of Bosfóro. Talking about his work, Sebnem Coskun stressed that he wanted to take special photos. “My goal was to express my opinion and draw attention to the problem,” he says. “I have worked for many years on the issue of marine pollution by plastic waste and microplastics. Before the pandemic, in our ecosystem there was a large volume of plastic that has only been around for about 60 or 70 years. The photograph was taken in the Straits of Bosfóro. I was going to look for trash diving. But I didn’t have to look for it, it was everywhere ”, added.

During the ceremony it was also announced which positions were held by the winners of the 2021 competition. “The year 2020 has been truly unique in history for many reasons. Most photographers have not been able to travel and therefore complete or even begin their projects and tasks. This is why my hopes were more modest than in the past. During this time, the first photographs filled me with enthusiasm. The narrative will always be current. It can change and grow, but it will not go away. Every generation has something to tell. Photography is a universal language of our time that does not need translationSaid Ruth Eichhorn (Germany), independent jury member, supervisor and graphic editor, former director of photography for the German version of GEO magazine. The selected works represent not only a summary of the events taking place in the world, but are also a photographic journey, a visual puzzle that pays homage to photographers and their point of view.Ruth added.

In the category Main news, the first place was occupied by an exciting visual epitaph to all victims of the coronavirus pandemic from Indonesian photojournalist Joshua Irwandi, ‘Human price of COVID-19‘, and the the story by Indian photographer Chandan Khanna,Disagreement‘, on protest demonstrations in Minneapolis, United States, in the spring and summer of 2020.

a ornament still photo of the ski festival ‘Vasaloppet China 2020‘by photojournalist Chang Xu was the best work among the individual photographs in the category My planet. Among the photo sets in this category won one the Chronicle documentary on a humanitarian disaster unprecedented for 25 years: Locust invasion in East Africa‘by Spanish photographer Luis Tato, winner of numerous awards in the multi-year Andréi Stenin competition, including the 2020 Grand Prix.

In the category sport the best individual photograph was the construction siteRuined parkour‘by Syrian photojournalist Mouneb Taim. Of the photo sets in this category, the best was construction site by Russian photographer Daria Isáieva, ‘Olympic games at home ‘, a remote photoshoot with athletes training non-stop to prepare for the Olympics during home lockdown last summer.

In the category Portrait. Heroes of our time photographers from Russia and India have triumphed. Russian Sergei Bobylyov won the competition with the Photography individual ‘Faces of our time‘, in which he expressed infinite respect for the doctors saving lives during the coronavirus pandemic. Among the reports in this category, the best is the black and white report by Indian freelance photographer Sharafat Ali, “Kashmir: a contested heritage‘.

The full list of 2021 competition winners is posted on the website Several works by the winners of the 2021 competition will be exhibited on Moscow‘s Gogolevsky Boulevard as a street exhibition from early to mid-October.

According to tradition, within the framework of the competition there were special prizes for its participants. In 2021, prizes were awarded to photographs in three categories: Main news, My planet and Portrait. Heroes of our time. Contest partners include major international media including the Shanghai United Media Group (SUMG), Arab conglomerate Al Mayadeen TV, as well as one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations – the International Committee of the Red Cross.

According to the category partners, the best are Photography individual ‘Human price of COVID-19‘by Joshua Irwandi and the series’European bleeding wound‘by Alexandr Yermolchenko, who won the International Committee of the Red Cross Special Prize for Humanitarian Photography in the Top News category.

A series portraits of doctors fighting COVID-19, ‘Glory to prevention‘, from Patrick Junker, won the Al Mayadeen TV Special Prize in the Portrait category. Heroes of our time. The the Chronicle Luis Tato documentary ‘Locust invasion in East Africa‘was highly rated by the Shanghai United Media Group in the My Planet category.

About the competition

The Andréi Stenin International Photojournalism Competition, organized by the Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency under the auspices of the Russian Commission to Unesco, aims to support young photographers and draw public attention to the functions of photojournalism today. This competition is seen as a forum for talented young photographers, sensitive and open to new forms, who focus on people and events in their immediate environment. The main partners of the competition are the Russian public television channel Rossiya-Cultura, the Moskva 24 channel and the news portal.

Among the international media partners of the competition are MRT, the news agency and the radio station Sputnik, the news agency Askanews, the press group Independent media, the press agency Telam, the press agency ANA, Shanghai United Media Group (SUMG), the newspaper portal China daily, the portal of The paper, the media network Al Mayadeen, the press agency Latin press and the portal DBW.

The competition also benefits from the support of its partners in the sector: the Union of Journalists of Russia, the gate YOUNG JOURNALISTS, russian photo,, the Photography academy, magazines Photoargenta, Delhi Photography Club and LF Magazine, the gate Everything about the picture, the specialist magazine EYE, Review Artdoc, the gate IPhoto channel and the international forum and social festival Photon.

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