The General Foundation of the University of Salamanca, through the International Centre on Ageing (CENIE), organised the photography competition "Longevity: the positive sum of life" within the framework of the Programme for a Long-lived Society, in the month of June 2020, hoping for the participation of all those who, through their views, captured in their photographs, could contribute to defining longevity as a healthy and rewarding life stage, both for people and for the society to which they belong.
A total of 572 photographers from 65 countries took part in the photography competition, submitting a total of 2,472 entries.
The evaluation and selection of the works submitted was carried out by an exceptional jury made up of Luis Malibrán, Laura San Segundo, Jorge Salgado, María Santoyo, Álvaro Ibarra and José Luis Amores, who, in accordance with the competition rules, chose the 60 finalists who now compete for the "People's Choice" award.
This is how they have seen the competition and the images:
"I found it very interesting how many interpretations the photographers have made about ageing. There has been irony, admiration, respect, empathy... many ways of expressing differently, but always intensely, what we all feel about the fact of ageing. What seems to me to be a great achievement is that through images it is possible to express and fix such intense and ambiguous emotions that would be impossible to put into words.
My first impulse was to browse through the images without stopping too long before diving into them. And in that first glance I was surprised by the great variety of visual codes that made up the selection: from a more classical type of photography to images with an absolutely contemporary language. Then, stopping to look at each one of them allowed me not only to understand or discover the stories they contained, but to understand the importance of representing these stories without a compassionate or paternalistic gaze; speaking from strength, affirmation and identification. My final, profoundly positive impression is that I was able to feel that I was not observing those who decline, but those who continue.
LAURA SAN SEGUNDO
"I have been pleasantly surprised by the high level of the images submitted to this year's competition, not only for their technical quality but also for the affection and closeness shown by the photographers through their images to our elderly people".
"The broad participation in this competition indicates a greater awareness of the indispensable pillar of our society that is the elderly, a group that has unfortunately been hit so hard by the pandemic. The elderly are our memory, a link between past and present, between the origin of life and the approach of death. Their care is necessary and gives us the same humanity as the protection and consideration of those who have come into the world recently. But beyond that, it is necessary to grant them a legitimate, experienced and useful space in all circumstances that could make us progress in a more meaningful way.
The photographers presented here demonstrate an attentive, respectful and empathetic gaze towards the people who are the protagonists of the images, and who give us back the image of a possible dignity, which resides in life itself and all that is worthwhile in it: bonds, enjoyment, discovery, nature, doing and continuing to do.”
"It is worth highlighting the high participation in the competition, especially the high quality of the images and the fantastic ability to reflect the relationship of older people with their different cultures and traditions, in different, sincere and creative ways".
JOSE LUIS AMORES
Online voting now open
The winner of the "People's Choice" award will be the photograph that receives the most votes from the public and will receive a prize of €2,000.
The public will be able to choose, if they wish, a favourite photograph in each category through the online voting system available on our website. To do so, the user must first register via the icon placed at the top right of the page, next to the magnifying glass. Only one vote per user and category is allowed.
The voting period will end on 28 June 2021 at 24:00h (UTC+01:00- Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris).
The winner will be announced on the website of the International Centre on Ageing (CENIE) in June, together with the other prize winners in all categories.
This activity is part of the INTERREG V-A Programme, Spain-Portugal, POCTEP, 2014-2020, of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).