The Andrei Stenin photo contest exhibition
Ambassador of Russia, Ilya Rogachev addressing guests at the opening of the exhibition (Photo by Dilon Bhana)

28 December 2020

The winning photographs of the Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest are on exhibit at the Apogee Gallery in Waterkloof, Pretoria until 6 January 2021.

This year the opening of the exhibition took place on 22 December 2020, which marked Andrei Stenin’s 40th birthday. Stenin, a famous Russian photographer, was killed on editorial assignment and the contest which was launched in 2014 in his honour, aims to discover young talented photographers from around the world.

Opening the exhibition, Ilya Rogachev, Ambassador of Russia to South Africa said that it is natural that the Republic of South Africa is among the host countries for the Stenin Photo Exhibition, given an impressive participation record of South African photographers at the Andrei Stenin Contest.

“In 2017, Phandilwazi Jikelo claimed 1st place in the Top News nomination, in 2018 Justin Sullivan won South Africa another ‘gold medal’ in the very same category and took 2nd place in the My Planet nomination. A year later, he improved his result to 1st place in ‘My Planet’. Finally, 2020 brought South Africa another accolade, the photo series ‘Ebola: Democratic Republic of the Congo’ by John Wessels earned the ICRC's special prize for Humanitarian Photography in the Top News category. Quite a list of achievements, indeed,” said Rogachev.

In a message read out on behalf of Executive Director of Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest, Rossiya Segodnya Director of Photography Alexander Shtol by the embassy’s press attaché Alexander Arefyev (pictured), he said that in 2020, around 5,000 entries from 75 countries were submitted.

“At the exhibition in Pretoria, you will see photographs by young reporters from Russia, South Africa, Spain, India, Bangladesh, Austria, Hungary and other countries. This display will include more than 40 winning photos by those who, in the jury’s opinion, will set new trends in photography in the 21st century. Photojournalists from African countries are among the most active participants and have become winners in various categories on numerous occasions. This year is no exception,” the message said.

Shtol also expressed his hope that the contest will serve as a springboard for the winners in their careers and their future and will reveal many new names in the world of photography.


In inviting guests to view the photographs Rogachev said, “We regard the Stenin Contest as a prominent platform for young photographers to showcase their skill and talent. In a sense, photographs are mirrors where we can see how versatile our world truly is and the Stenin Contest turns the mirrors into a kaleidoscope.”

Young photographers are encouraged to enter the contest which opened on 22 December 2020.

The winning photographs can also be viewed online at

Photos by Dilon Bhana
Article by Anisha Pemjee