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Creation of a prize for peace photography (Ecuador)
an article by El Universo, Guayaquil, Ecuador

The collective of photographers Paradocs and the family of Ecuadorian photojournalist Juan Antonio Serrano, killed last year in his native Cuenca, have opened a competition to encourage the construction of a culture of peace, through the ethical practice of print and photo journalism.

Juan Antonio Serrano with his book Alguien. Copyright El Tiempo

click on photo to enlarge

Jorge Luis Serrano, Juan Antonio's brother, told a press conference that photojournalism has "a very strong capacity to influence society to generate the necessary climate of opinion on this delicate topic," referring to violence and the need to support a culture of peace.

In the contest, Juan Antonio Serrano Photojournalism Award for Peace, Ecuadorians photojournalists can participate if they have at least three years of experience in the field. Foreign journalists with three years of residence in Ecuador are also eligible if they have ongoing projects that promote, encourage or promote the culture of peace in the country.

Although the subject is free, it is based on three fundamental ideas: the ethical practice of photojournalism, respect for the subject being photographed and promotion of a culture of peace in Ecuador, said Jorge Luis Serrano. He noted that participation can be individual or collective.

He said the award is worth 5,000 dollars raised from the private sector. The award, which was announced at a reception last Thursday, will be held annually in honor of Juan Antonio Serrano, brother of the Ecuadorian Minister of the Interior, Josť Serrano. Juan Antonio was 34 when he was killed outside a house where a party was taking place.

Serrano, whose murderers have been convicted, was known for his documentaries, like the one on the streets of Beijing, made in 2010, while serving there on a scholarship. He was a stringer for the Spanish News Agency, EFE.

(Click here for a Spanish version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?, What is, or should be, their role in our movement?

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Latest reader comment:

Yes, the arts do create a basis for a culture of peace.
The question I would raise is where are the visual artists who have produced a Guernica like painting of Felluja? Paintings last longer than photographs which are too often fleeting.
Do the poets against the war meet annually?
I caught a bit of an interesting tv show which featured world class artists such as Wole Soyinka speaking in Israel/Palestine about ways to further the peace movement there. Did anyone else see the entire show?
I hope a local Peace Day could emulate the UN opening ceremony .

This report was posted on March 14, 2013.