Fresh perspective

Fresh perspective

The annual Foreign View photo competition is currently underway in the city.

Published: September 5, 2012 (Issue # 1725)


An entry in last year’s competition. Foreign View aims to impart tolerance and respect of other cultures.

The Presidential Library is currently accepting photographs taken by non-professionals from all over the world for its annual Foreign View competition, which will finish in one month.

Both pictures of Russia taken by foreigners and pictures of other countries taken by Russian photographers can be submitted for the competition, whose aim is to establish a dialogue between cultures and attempt to make people look at their own country from another point of view.

“The ultimate purpose is to impart a sense of tolerance and willingness to respect other cultures and bring this feeling to others,” said Olga Preobrazhenskaya, senior researcher in the educational programs department of the Presidential Library. “We are talking not only about the acceptance of human values, but also about the public, historical and cultural values of each other. We should perceive one another as good neighbors, as we receive something new and develop through global diversity.”

The first Foreign View competition took place in 2010. Nominations change every year. Starting with “landmarks of history,” “debut visit to a country,” “populations and faces” and “world religions” three years ago, they now seem to focus on contemporary problems.

The overall theme of this year is “The state yesterday, today and tomorrow.” Organizers want people to think about the pace of modern life and the continuous flow of information that pours upon the average person, converting phenomena around us into something ordinary, leaving us with nothing to review or challenge.

“Do we think a lot about things we come into contact with in our life? Are we ready to analyze them and, perhaps, change and improve them?” explained Preobrazhenskaya.


‘National Memorials’ was a winner in last year’s ‘Employees’ category.

The winners are selected in eight categories: “Countries and people,” “Populations and traditions,” “The interaction of cultures,” “Modern technology,” “From the depths of history” and “Competition series of photos.” There is also a separate category “Germany through the eyes of Russians, and Russia through the eyes of Germans,” held in honor of the official year of Germany in Russia and the year of Russia in Germany.

“There are no restrictions on age, occupation, place of residence, social or professional status, or denomination,” the organizers say of eligible participants. “We appreciate not only the professional skill of a particular person, but also something special, seen and captured by a participant, that they saw and learned outside of their country.”

Last year, amateur photographers from more than 20 countries participated in the competition. The youngest was eight years old, while the oldest was almost 70.

The deadline for submitting photos to the competition this year is Oct. 9. Potential participants must register on the Presidential Library website,, and upload their photos. They can be individual photos or a series (two to five images) and can be taken using a digital or analog camera. The name of the picture, the category and the country in which it was taken should be included in the description.

The jury consists of members of the Presidential Library and representatives of partner photo competitions. The main evaluation criteria are content, compliance with the competition theme, originality and artistic vision and above all technical execution.

The awards ceremony will take place as usual on Nov. 1 in the Presidential Library. The winning photos will be compiled into an electronic collection of the Presidential Library and published in an album.

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