The 30th Congress of the International Federation of Photographic Arts (FIAP) is taking place in Ha Noi during the first week in August, but the federation's president, Emile Wanderscheid, spoke to Viet Nam News before the start of the event.
I know a lot about Viet Nam through the media mass and especially through entries in competitions sent by Vietnamese photographers. This is the first time I have come to Viet Nam but I expect it's not the last.
I was so happy and grateful when the Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists registered to host the congress, giving me a chance to come here. Viet Nam is very far from my home, Luxembourg, a small country in Europe with a population of nearly half a million.
We knew of Viet Nam 20 years ago through black-and-white photos which we appreciated for their high quality. Up to now, Viet Nam is among the countries with the best monochrome photos in the world. Vietnamese photos capture panoramas, portraits and landscapes.
Viet Nam has made a great contribution to FIAP. Many of its photographers have received prizes and titles such as "Master of FIAP" and "Honour of FIAP". The achievements of Vietnamese photography should be respected. It's expected that Vietnamese photographers will keep their own styles. They don't copy or aren't influenced by other styles.
Hosting an event like FIAP gives Viet Nam a favourable opportunity to popularise the country. International photographers have a chance to visit destinations and vestiges to take photos which they will bring to their countries. However, the occasions to receive international photographers like the FIAP congress are not many. Vietnamese photographers should be active in sending their photos to international contests. They should try to send in different types of photos.
We intend to grant more individual prizes because all photographers want to show their talents, be recognised and receive a worthy reward.
The board has also taken the initiative to recognise from the salons of 2011 the "best author" per salon number with a special badge offered by FIAP. In addition, it will introduce, starting in 2011, the "Best of the Best" award to honour a person with the highest number of "best author" badges during the year. Through these initiatives, we hopes to promote participation in salons.
However, all FIAP prizes including gold, silver and bronze medals, are aimed at honouring the photographer, not giving a monetary reward. They have spiritual value rather than financial.
FIAP hopes to foster, in the name of photography, fraternal links and friendly relations among all member federations and develop trust among people in order to strengthen peace in the world.
The functioning of FIAP has yet to reach an optimal level. There are still gaps in co-ordination and in efficiency. Therefore, I fervently appeal to the commitment of everyone in meeting certain goals.
This congress is so well attended that it enables people to deepen existing contacts and forge new ones, ensuring by thoughtful decisions the radiation of FIAP and the evolution of photography while improving respect and friendship among peoples. — VNS