NEW DELHI: Jamia Millia Islamia here has done the country proud on foreign shores.
Farhat Basir Khan, Professor of Media and Communication at Jamia’s AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, and his two students, Neal Kartik and Pranab Kumar Aich, have beaten 60 countries of the world to win the coveted World Photography Award at Cannes, France.
The three-member team received the top honours in the presence of the world’s leading photography and visual communication professionals.
The coveted prize includes high-end professional photography equipment worth over 50,000 Euros and an opportunity to showcase the team’s work at the world’s biggest and most prestigious galleries in a travelling exhibition.
From 60 educational institutions selected initially, the Jamia team had to first beat the top nine universities (from as many countries) from Asia. Having scored this win, the trio earned the right to represent Asia at the grand finale.
Six teams comprising as many tutors and 12 students were short-listed for the final competition. These selected teams were from Belgium, South Africa, India, Australia, the US and Mexico. They were all flown to Cannes on an all-expenses-paid trip for a week in April to attend the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards ceremony.
The teams also attended work reviews and workshops under some legendary photographers like Tom Ang and Mary Ellen Mark.
In the final leg of the contest, the organisers held an on-the-spot photography competition called “Waste and Want of Cannes”, where the teams were asked to portray the opposing aspects of the city through two images: representing the glamour and wealth as well the darker side that wealth can bring.
Using a variety of photographic techniques in both staged and natural environments, the Jamia team used its style of photography, imagination and ideas to come up with two photographs called “The Cry of the Big Cat” and “Midas Touch”.
The winning images were selected by a panel of highly respected personalities from the photography world. “This was indeed a proud moment for India and especially Jamia Millia Islamia. Photography has really come a long way today and so have we. This award is dedicated to the entire Indian photography community, who have tirelessly strove to put us on the world map, and our university and students who have been unwavering in their support and dedication towards producing quality photography,” said Prof. Basir Khan at the distinguished gathering.