The Board of Trustees of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) has announced the categories for the Award’s forthcoming Sixth Season, which comes under the main theme of “The Challenge”. The announcement came in a press statement by His Excellency Ali Khalifa Bin Thalith, Secretary General of HIPA, where he underlined that the Award is venturing into new visual experiences through a bold approach that pushes the innovation horizons of photographers worldwide.
“Following five years of thoughtful artwork that supports, refines and represents an authentic culture of photography and raises awareness of its role in building civilisations, along with the recognition by the Award of innovative photographers around the world, HIPA continues its journey in its Sixth Season by selecting ‘The Challenge’ as the main category to provoke the creative power, analytical skills, and ability to translate through the lens what challenge means to them from their own experience in life, and how they deal with it in their own peculiar ways,” Bin Thalith said in his statement. He also added, “You may already see that HIPA plans to further evolve and harness a new era of visual art that builds on the knowledge, experience and skill-sets it inspired in its audience in 193 countries."
HIPA Categories: Portfolio/ Digital Manipulation / General Category (black and white)
Commenting on the three new categories, Bin Thalith stated: "Following the emotive and heart-warming theme of Happiness, we now hear a strong call in the ‘The Challenge’ theme, which seeks to mobilise our mental skills, visual memory and creativity to produce powerful and effective visual expressions that go beyond the single photo format and further delving into a sequence of photos that is completely different in nature and requirements from the single photo shot. This ‘Portfolio’ category tests the story telling capabilities of our photographers."
“In recognition of the great technological leaps that aim to liberate photographs from the limitations of physical reality by alterations and manipulation, HIPA now opens the door for the imagination of photographers by offering a ‘Digital Manipulation’ category. However, the ‘General’ category will continue to be a space for pure creative photography that breaks all formats and norms, offering photographers the opportunity to freely sail on their own journey of discovery where no one else has been – whether it be through black and white or colour photography."
Bin Thalith concluded by saying, “Today, we announce the theme of Challenge to be the visual platform for all talented photographers around the world. We offer them the opportunity to outdo themselves in a strong competition.” Bin Thalith stressed the need for participants to start as soon as possible with their entries, saying: “I encourage participants to start early and seriously with their submissions because time in itself will be a ‘challenge’ this year. Unlike previous years, entries for this season are open from 1st May to 31st October, 2016, instead of the usual end-of-year closing date. So, photographer have six months to submit their best artwork. The judging process will commence as of November to ensure we allow the required time to evaluate all the entries in our new and complex categories; especially with the Portfolio and Digital Manipulation categories, which we anticipate will require additional efforts and time from the panel of judges due to nature and complexity of the category.”
HIPA’s Secretary General further shared, “As we launched our fifth season, we felt it was time to expand on our portfolio of photography events to ensure we established a robust platform for photography in the region as we continue to strive towards making Dubai a photography hub. With this in mind we delivered not only another Dubai Photo Forum but developed and established a unique temporary photography museum representing 20th and 21st century photography from around the world. The museum received unprecedented positive feedback showing the continued thirst the region has for photography. With this in mind, we felt it necessary to review our yearly calendar and continue to evolve so that we can introduce even more projects to further nurture and support our photography community. So, keep your expectations high, because what’s coming is even richer and more appealing.”