Creating awareness among Malaysians on what is happening around the world is one of the key objectives of the World Press Photo exhibition which will be held from Jan 30 to March 19 next year, said S. C. Chong, managing director of TNT Express Worldwide (M) Sdn Bhd.
“In order to do this, we need to know more about the key issues facing the world today and for that we need to see them,” he told Bernama in an interview after an announcement on the event recently.
As such, he said the photos to be showcased could be the platform for Malaysians to be more knowledgeable about world affairs.
TNT Express Malaysia, a provider of mail and integrated express services and the Netherlands embassy here are responsible for bringing the photo exhibition to Malaysia, which will be held not only in Kuala Lumpur but also Melaka, Kota Kinabalu and Penang.
Chong said TNT Express had been the global partner of World Press Photo since 2003 but it was only last year that it brought the exhibition to Malaysia for the very first time.
When asked about the younger generation’s preference for certain types of cameras only, he said that the exhibition was not all about using well-equipped cameras.
“It is about the message and perspective as well as how they see things and capture it,” Chong said.
“The younger generation today are exposed to the same information about world affairs on the Internet. To me it is easier to reach out to younger people today because it is a borderless world now,” he added.
On another perspective regarding “sensitive” photos, Chong said that the exhibition will be divided into two major compartments or halls where one hall will showcase photographs which are suitable for the general public and the other one would display “sensitive photographs,” just like what was done last year.
He said that it would be up to the audience to choose what they wanted to see.
Chong said that those visiting the exhibition should not merely “view” the photos but should also absorb the messages delivered via the photos about “what is going on in the world.”
“To me, it’s not just a photograph, but a witness of history happening. It could be a story and some also contain very inspiring messages,” Chong said.
This year’s competition attracted 5,691 photographers from 125 countries including Malaysia and, in total, a record number of 108,059 images were entered in the contest.
The photos are categorised into nine themed categories — portrait, people in the news, general news, spot news, contemporary issues, daily life, nature, arts and entertainment, as well as sports.
According to the Netherlands ambassador to Malaysia, Paul Bekkers, the photos are judged by an independent international jury consisting of 19 members from all over the world.