Aliona Kochetkova
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Aliona Kochetkova documenting her fight with disease wins Andrei Stenin picture contest

The Grand Prize and the first place in the ‘My Planet‘ category, was obtained by the 30-year-old photographer, Aliona Kochetkova, from the Russian city of Kaluga. She was awarded for her series of images “History of my illness” – a documentary report on her dramatic fight against cancer.

All images Aliona Kochetkova, “History of my illness”

“It’s a complicated and very personal story for me that, despite this, I would like to tell as many people as possible,” says Aliona Kochetkova. Compassion raises love for others that is always insufficient. At the same time, support is expressed in this way for those who are sick and possibly feel lonely because they can not tell about their feelings. In addition, the work in this series helped me not give up, accept this test and live doing what I like, “he adds.

Aliona Kochetkova

The Andréi Stenin Contest is one of the most important and pressing competitions for photographers. It was interesting for me to obtain the assessment of the international jury and to compete with the best photographers from around the world. It was an opportunity to prove to myself that I can tell a story in such a way that interests others, “says the winner of the Grand Prize.

In 2018, 25 young photographers from 14 countries, including Russia, Iraq, Iran, Spain, Italy, Belarus, Israel, South Africa, etc., fought for the Grand Prize. Some 200 works of the best graphic reporters that bring together the emblematic images of reality – from the biblical beauty of the limestone mines in Egypt to the news about the events that took place after the elections in Kenya in Fall of 2017; from the ethnic images of the Nenets (the nomadic people of northern Russia) to the fiery tennis tournaments on the Roland Garros of 2017.

Prior to the opening of the exhibition, the photographs were exhibited at the UN headquarters in New York on November 2, on the International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists. The event was attended by the Deputy General Secretary of the UN for World Communications, Alison Smale; the permanent representative of Russia to the UN, Vasili Nebenzia; the deputy chief editor of Rossiya Segodnya, Andréi Blagodirenko. After Moscow, the exhibition of the winning works of the contest will travel through Russia and the world.

Aliona Kochetkova is an example for everybody, and a beautiful work of art.

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