Photography in focus this August at Holyrood


Photography is firmly in focus at Holyrood this August as the Scottish Parliament becomes the first UK venue – and the only Parliament worldwide – to host the renowned World Press Photo Exhibition from tomorrow (Tuesday 30 July 2013).



The World Press Photo Exhibition is free to visit and showcases some of the most moving and thought provoking images taken during the course of 2012. Photographs include the winning image by Paul Hansen, a haunting image of a group of men in Gaza City carrying bodies to a mosque for burial.

The Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP said:

“Photo journalism helps us see the diversity of our world. While some of these images show human conflict and pain, others capture moments of great triumph and wonder in nature and sport. Whatever the subject, the quality and power of the images on display are second to none.

“It is this quality and the thought provoking nature of the images which attracts tens of thousands of visitors to come and see it here at Holyrood each year. We are proud to be the only Parliament worldwide to host the exhibition and to offer those in the UK their first chance to see these images.”

The exhibition runs from Tuesday 30 July to Sunday 25 August, with the Parliament open Monday – Saturday from 10am until 8pm (and Sunday 25 August), allowing visitors more time to come and see the exhibition. More than 34,000 visitors came to Holyrood in 2012.

It coincides with the Festival of Politics (Friday 23 – Sunday 25 August) which features a photography event: The Last Icon: The Impact of Imagery on the 20th and 21st Centuries. Panellists include Stephen Mayes, the former Secretary to the jury for WPP, Dr Martijn Kleppe, a former project worker at WPP and Olivier Laurent from the British Journal of Photography.
Maarten Koets, Deputy Managing Director of World Press Photo said:
“We are delighted that the Scottish Parliament will once again act as the premiere UK venue and give the opportunity for all those living, working or visiting in Edinburgh this August to see these wonderful photographs. With this powerful set of award-winning images we aim to inspire understanding of the world we all live in and the Festival of Politics session will help explore the important role of photography in all our lives. ” 

World Press Photo Lecture: The Last Icon - The Impact of Imagery on the 20th & 21st Centuries


Sunday 25 August 10.30 – 12.00. £5.00/£3.50

Dr Martijn Kleppe of Erasmus University, Rotterdam and one time project worker at World Press Photo will present a lecture about how our history and contemporary life is portrayed in photographic images. Joining Martijn will be Stephen Mayes, former Managing Director of VII Photo Agency and Secretary to the jury for World Press Photo, as well as Olivier Laurent, Acting Deputy Editor of British Journal of Photography.


Now in its 56th year, the annual World Press Photo Contest is the world’s leading international contest for photojournalists, setting the standard for the profession. The judging is conducted at the World Press Photo office, in The Netherlands.

The contest draws entries by professional press photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers from across the world, with 5,666 photographers from 124 countries participating this year with 103,481 pictures submitted by the mid-January deadline.

The jury gave prizes in the nine themed categories to 54 photographers of 33 nationalities from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Palestinian Territories, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA, and Vietnam.

With around 100 local exhibitions produced every year, the World Press Photo exhibition tour of the prize winning photographs is the most popular travelling photography event in the world.

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