The Secretariat of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy announced last month the winners of the international photo contest “Hagia Sophia. The churches of the Wisdom of God in history and in the world”.
The Grand Prize for the Ancient Churches category goes to the American Larry Angier, who sent a black-and-white series of photos of an old church in Ohrid, North Macedonia. The Grand Prize for the Modern Churches category has been won by Pole Kamil Cywoniuk.
A total number of 140 amateur and professional photographers from 21 countries participated in the contest. Their applications were evaluated by a jury made of 11 persons: photographers, theologians, and communication experts from the Orthodox world – among them, Aurelian Iftimiu, Director of the Basilica News Agency of the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate.
This year’s contest was announced in January 2021 for two categories of Churches dedicated to the Wisdom of God: a) Ancient Churches, erected until 1907 and b) Modern Churches, erected from 1907 until today.
The contest was organized in partnership with Orthphoto.net, an online global community of amateur and professional photographers interested in Orthodox Christianity.
The results of the Contest will be posted to the website of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy and all eight winners will be awarded cash prizes amounting to 100-500 Euros.
The contest is one of the three initiatives undertaken by the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy to promote the Churches dedicated to the Wisdom of God, in the context of the arbitrary decision of the Turkish government to turn the Hagia Sophia Church of Constantinople and the Monastery of Chora into mosques.
The other two initiatives concern the publication of a special Volume with the same topic, as well as the formation of a relevant cultural route and the submission in the future of a request for its proclamation by the Council of Europe.
The Hagia Sophia Basilica was built by Emperor Justinian in Constantinople in the 6th century. Its building started 40 days after the famous Nika revolt and was completed in only five years.
The style was revolutionary in its age, becoming “the Byzantine architectural style”, which was emulated both in the Western and in the Eastern parts of the world: the Gothic and Islamic styles are both derived from it.
In Hagia Sophia Basilica the Divine Liturgy was officiated without interruption for more than nine centuries, until the fall of Constantinople (1453).