An exhibition of artistic talents [Archives:2005/834/Last Page]

April 18 2005
Photo from the contest
Photo from the contest
Photo from archived article: photos/834/lastpage1_2
Photo from archived article: photos/834/lastpage1_2
By Nadia al-Sakkaf
“I never knew this country had so much talent in photography!” Mr. Qaid Radfan, general manager of the Yemen Times exclaimed with delight about the Yemen Times best photo contest. Indeed thousands of photos streamed from around the republic during the last few months participating in the photo contest, all in heart praying that they would be the one landing up with the number1 prize of a brand new car.

Nasri al-Sakkaf is the in-charge of the contest, receiving the photos during the last few months, arranging them according to classifications and giving each a unique number. About the mechanism of selecting the winners he says:

“It's simple, you can say it is from the public, for the public and by the public. We announced the categories of the photos to be one of six; natural scene, funny, children, rare, general and others. A person can have only one picture per category and the coupons are available in the Yemen Times and could be photocopied. The photographs have to be original and the Yemen Times maintains the right to use the photos any time preserving the copyrights of the photo taker among other conditions and requirements. Eventually we narrowed the choice of more than 4000 photos to only two hundred of which only two hundred and thirty four were nominated to win the 25 in-kind prizes including electric goods, home equipments tc and of course the first prize. There were other photos that were good and were displayed but unfortunately we could not display all the 4000 photos because of space problems, so we chose the best. The less professional ones were not displayed. The choice of the winning photos will be completely left to the public during two open days for the voting. These votes cater to 60% of the evaluation and then we have a professional committee who provide the recommendations between these votes which is counted as the 40% of the value of the votes. Adding the two percentages we find our winners. This way if a person has lobbied to get many people to vote for his photo there is still space for professional evaluation. For example if a photo got the number one votes, it's value is sixty percent, and if there is a photo that came fourth in voting it's percentage for example is only 40%, if in case the photo that received the first place in voting was not that much appreciated by the professional committee then it gets of the 40% only 5% or so, and if the one in the fourth position was really good by professional standards 40% or less and so this one wins. This way we cater for those who are from the governorates for example or those who did not get many supporters in the lobbying process.”

More than 1200 visitors came the first day on Thursday the 14th, and more than 2000 on Friday the 15th April. It seems that there is a crowd for photography in this city. We asked some of the visitors about their impressions and what they aspired from the exhibition.

Mr. Mohammed al Nouirah a pilot said that he liked the exhibition and was most impressed with the natural photography in Yemen, while Main Mohammed al Qazali who is an accountant praised the organisation and good order in which the exhibition was conducted and was happy with the variety of photos to enjoy. Abdul Nasir a-Junaid an employee at al-Huda Supermarket has commented by saying:: “I participated with more than 3 photos and I came to see if any of mine were selected. Fortunately one was selected and I hope people vote for it. It's a beautiful exhibition and I am very excited about the number of extraordinary photos. I am beginning to think that there is so much to see in Yemen and that there is so much talent. Thanks to Yemen Times for this event and I wish the newspaper all the success.” A modern arts designer Ms. Lamia Abdullah al-Kibsi was there among the visitors and thought the photos to be expressive. “I found out that there are so many beautiful photos and I enjoyed looking around.” She said.

There were some comments about the display also, as Muna Hamid a government employee talked about her impressions by saying: “I was mostly triggered by curiosity and the reputation of the photos, when I came here I thought I would find supernatural and rare photos but they were good and not supernatural. I would like to comment on the display of the photos, they should have been arranged according to classification but I found some of them were mixed up. I liked especially the natural scenes” Muna brought along with her a relative, a little girl Hanan Khalid who studies at Asma School in the fourth grade. When asked about her impressions she hid behind Muna and with a smiling face said that she especially liked the camels and that next time we should have her photo in the exhibition!

Previously Dr. Ahmed Azzan had won a million Riyals through one of Yemen Times competition and he has faith that this time he would win again. Dr. Azzan is an assistant professor at the linguistic college of Sana'a University and has participated with many photos. “I was interested in seeing the exhibition, mainly because I like arts and photography and also because many of my photos were among the 200 nominated for voting. I think it is a good idea and I hope that there are more of these events. It's well organized; the people in charge wore badges and helped us through the voting process, and were quite polite. It shows the good culture of the Yemen Times. Yemenis are not used to such events and although they might have found it un common to conduct a photography exhibition many participated and many came to see. I have seen many talents among the photos and I believe that this has revived the artistic sense in many people and in my especially.”

The little kids present among visitors seemed delighted with the occasion, it was an opportunity for them to get out and enjoy the photos with their parents, a little girl from the crowd seemed especially delighted watching the photos of the babies.

Mr. Khair aldin alNsour deputy director of the Yemen Times and general manager of the Yemen Times press was present in the opening of the open days, he commented on the event by saying: “Frankly speaking it went well, in fact better than we expected and the number of visitors was encouraging. I must take this opportunity to thank our sponsors al-Harithi Trad company, Yemen for Trade and Construction Company Ltd, CCC, Yemenia Airlines, Artex Trade Company, Canon, MAM International, and Hertz. I am looking forward to the celebration of winners next month.”