Mstyslav Chernov and Evgeny Maloletka receive the 2022 Georgy Gongadze Prize
On the 21st of May, the fourth Georgy Gongadze Prize for Ukrainian journalists was awarded live on UA: Culture TV. This year the award was given to photojournalists Mstyslav Chernov and Evgeny Maloletka.
Mstyslav Chernov is a journalist accredited to the Associated Press, a videographer, photographer and war correspondent. Mstyslav is the president of the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers. Together with Evgeny Maloletka, they were the only international media journalists reporting on Mariupol’s siege by the Russian military.
Evgeny Maloletka is a photo correspondent. He began his photography career in 2009. As a freelancer, Evgeny has collaborated with the Associated Press, Al Jazeera and Der Spiegel. Prior to the Russians’ full-scale invasion he came to Mariupol. Alongside Mstyslav Chernov, he was documenting the city under the shelling for over two weeks.
One of the judges, the dean of the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School Oleksandr Savruk, concluded this year’s decision: "Their visual testimony makes us, and the whole world, stunned eyewitnesses to the events of the ongoing war, its horrors and feats. You cannot remain aloof, or forget those scenes, the eyes, the people. These materials constitute evidence of the aggressor’s baseness and treachery, while also being evidence of the tragedy of humankind as a whole at war."
Upon receiving the award, Mstyslav Chernov underlined why the work of Ukrainian photographers and journalists today is especially important: "The Ukrainian army has impressed the world this year, much like Ukrainian journalism. The whole world looks at Ukrainian journalists to find out their perspective and their take on the war. And it’s very important that we tell the world the history of Ukraine which is being created at this very moment."
In his speech, Evgeny Maloletka honoured the people whose grief he witnessed in bomb shelters, hospitals and the streets of Mariupol, and noted: "We have seen so much over these years of war, but no one in the world had seen such pain and so many children’s deaths."
Apart from Evgeny and Mstyslav, the 2022 finalists of the Prize are the editor of Evropeiska Pravda (European Truth) Serhiy Sydorenko and the chief editor of Hromadske Radio Tetyana Troshchynska.
In addition, this year for the first time in the history of the Georgy Gongadze Prize, a special award was bestowed. The jury decided to posthumously honour photojournalist Maks Levin for his "noteworthy contribution to the development of Ukrainian photography, devotion to the profession and personal bravery." Maks’s mother and his colleague and friend, Markiyan Lyseiko, received the award.
A member of the Jury Andriy Kurkov acknowledged Levin’s professionalism: "He participated in the most tragic history of the war in eastern Ukraine — the withdrawal from the Ilovaisk cauldron along with hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers. What he left behind will be the evidence of our dramatic history of the past eight years. The name of Maks Levin will forever remain the history of Ukrainian journalism and photojournalism. The photographs he took will be examined not only by the connoisseurs of history but also by judges. He was collecting the evidence of the Russians’ crimes."
Starting from 2014, Maks Levin was documenting the war Russia waged against Ukraine in the East. He was one of the Ukrainian journalists who witnessed the tragic events in Ilovaisk and managed to survive the Ilovaisk cauldron. Afterwards, together with his colleague Markiyan Lyseiko, he launched the After Ilovaisk documentary project.
The laureate of the Gongadze Prize in 2021 and TV presenter Myroslava Barchuk also participated in the awards ceremony, as well as journalist and human rights activist Larysa Denysenko, a member of the jury Ihor Kozlovskyi, executive director of PEN Ukraine Tetyana Teren, and patrons of the Gongadze Prize Mykola Demchenko and Anton Artemenko.
The event was traditionally hosted by Yuri Makarov and Olha Snitsarchuk.
The Georgy Gongadze Prize is an award for independent journalists established in 2019 by PEN Ukraine in partnership with the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School Alumni Association, Kyiv-Mohyla Business School and the Ukrainska Pravda (Ukrainian Truth) publication.
The prize is awarded annually on the 21st of May, the birthday of journalist Georgy Gongadze.
The laureate of the Georgy Gongadze Prize is selected by a jury consisting of 9 judges. Only members of the jury may nominate candidates for the prize.
The members of the jury for the prize this year are: Georgy’s widow, journalist and chief editor of the Voice of America Ukrainian Service Myroslava Gongadze; president of PEN Ukraine and writer Andriy Kurkov; journalist, co-founder and owner of the Ukrainska Pravda publication Olena Prytula; dean of the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School Oleksandr Savruk; co-owner of a group of agro companies, alumnus of the Presidents’ MBA at KMBS and patron of the Gongadze Prize Anton Artemenko; the 2021 laureate of the Georgy Gongadze Prize, journalist, TV presenter of Zvorotniy Vidlik (Countdown) program on UA: PERSHYI and PEN Ukraine member Myroslava Barchuk; religious scholar, writer and PEN Ukraine member Ihor Kozlovskyi; director of Radio Liberty’s Kyiv bureau Inna Kuznetsova; journalist and media manager Zurab Alasania.
The laureate of the prize receives a memorable award, the statuette embodying the idea of the prize, as well as a prize of 100,000 UAH.
Exclusively, alumni of Kyiv-Mohyla Business School can become patrons of the prize. Since the establishment of the prize, it has been supported by 21 patrons, namely Oleksandr Adamiuk, Anton Artemenko, the Brunners, Oleh Brusylovskyi, the Viknianskys, Yaroslav Volkovetskyi, Mykola Demchenko and Olha Myshurovska, Maryna Derepa, Serhiy Duliepov, Maksym Diadyk, Andriy Isak, Roman Kvashenko, the Mishchenkos, Dmytro Novytskyi, Liudmyla Perebyinos, Oksana Prosolenka, Andriy Selelepey, Vitaliy Smirnov, Mykola Sushko, Oleksandr Tkachuk, Dmytro Chernov.
General media partner: UA:PBC | Suspilne
Watch the awards ceremony here
Information partners: Radio Liberty, Detector Media, Internews-Ukraine, Institute of Mass Information, Reporters.
Photographs: Oleksandr Kulykov
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