Cologne, Germany-- At the end of March 2008, a nine member jury gathered at a lengthy meeting in Cologne to select the colleges and universities that will be taking part in the special exhibition Academy meets photokina. Roughly 50 entries from Germany and abroad were received and then evaluated in depth by the experts on the jury, who come from the field of public relations and from colleges, universities and associations.
The assignment was to present students’ concepts and works that come under the thematic heading “Imaging Solutions”. The work of all applicants must be related to this specified theme, which also must be clearly reflected in the written content and images of the concepts entered. At the end of the day, 23 colleges and universities were chosen, with each securing one of the coveted exhibition spaces.
This year’s Academy participants include 18 colleges and universities from Germany, two institutes from the Czech Republic, and one each from Poland and Turkey. The Academy also will feature a joint “special guest” project by South Africa’s University of Stellenbosch and the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town.
The experts on the jury were particularly impressed by the high quality of the entries submitted. “It was a tough decision. We were really struck by the entrants’ creativity and thorough professionalism,” said one jury member following the decision. To do justice to the presence of so much top quality, all the institutions, including those not participating in an exhibitor presentation, will have the opportunity to present themselves and their students' projects by means of a DVD projected in the “Black Box”, which will be part of an overall program.
The prize-winners will be named on the first day of photokina As has already been announced, this year will mark the first time that three of the exhibiting institutions will be honored with Promotion Prizes of 5,000 euros each. Together with the German Society for Photography (DGPh), the organizers of photokina — Koelnmesse and the Photographic Industry Association — are presenting the prizes to strengthen their commitment to supporting talented young photographers.
At the GfK Imaging Summit in December 2007 in Nuremberg, the 6,000 euros prize sum that had been planned up to that time was increased to 15,000 euros thanks to a spontaneous donation by the GfK, one of the world’s largest market research firms, and the Ringfoto Group, Europe’s biggest photographic trade association. Now the sum will be shared by the three winning institutions.
The final decision regarding which three of the exhibiting colleges or universities will be recognized with a prize will be made on the opening day of photokina. Given the consistently impressive quality of the submitted entries, the jury also wants to take into account the colleges and universities’ presentations at Academy meets photokina when making their decision. The prize ceremony will take place on the evening of the opening day of the trade fair (September 23, 2008) at about 5:00 p.m. on the big stage in Hall 1.