Visual art students win first, second places in Institute of France photo competition

Two students enrolled in Birzeit University’s Contemporary Visual Art Program won first and second places in the Institute of France’s photo contest, held under the theme “Back to Life.”

Shaden Salameh, who got the first place, was chosen for her photography series “Between the Two,” which explores the fine line between life and death through artworks that depict people who died and came back to life. Salameh won an opportunity to travel and train in France and hold her own exhibition at the Institute of France in Jerusalem when she returns.

Bayan Abu Hamed was awarded the second prize for her photo, “A Complete Memory,” which reflects her memory of a traumatic childhood event. As she explains, “I used to feel suffocated and that my freedom is restricted. I got a sudden feeling that inside my capped body there is a revolution that is struggling to break free.” For her submission, Abu Hamed won a  digital camera, the Canon EOS 4000D.

The participants’ submissions were evaluated by an expert jury made up of renowned French and Palestinian photographers, including Rula Halawani, a visual artist and photographer and a faculty member at Birzeit’s Contemporary Visual Art Program.