The Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) and Orthphoto.net launched last week a photography competition inspired by Constantinople’s Hagia Sophia Basilica (“The Church of the Holy Wisdom of God”). Participants are invited to send images of temples dedicated to the Wisdom of God from all over the world, be they Orthodox or from other Christian denominations.
The contest is entitled “Hagia Sophia. The temples of Wisdom of God in history and in the world.” Participants are required to send images depicting the whole temple, not just details of it.
Participation is tax-free and registration is open until May 31. Each participant can send six photos of the same church at most.
The jury is made of photographers, theologians, and communication experts from the Orthodox world – among them, Aurelian Iftimiu, Director of the Basilica News Agency of the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate.
The awards are worth between 100 and 500 de Euros. More details on the competition rules can be found here.
Purpose of the competition
The purpose is to highlight the concept of “Wisdom of God” in the modern world and to honor the temples dedicated to it throughout the centuries. The contest promotes the primary model of these temples: the Hagia Sophia Basilica built in Constantinople in the 6th century.
Hagia Sophia was the world’s biggest cathedral for almost a millennium and it has remained a paradigmatic building for Christian Orthodox architecture.
The basilica was not dedicated to a saint named Sophia, but to “The Wisdom of God”, which is the Divine Logos made flesh in the person of our Saviour Jesus Christ. In old Greek, sophia means “wisdom”.
Last year, when Turkish authorities repealed the museum status of this historic building and turned it into a mosque, Christians from all over the world felt offended.
About the organizers
The Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy was established 27 years ago at the initiative of the Greek Parliament and it includes delegates from over 30 countries.
Orthphoto.net is an online global community of amateur and professional photographers interested in Orthodox Christianity.