VOA PRESS RELEASE
Washington, D.C., March 12, 2009 - Nine winners of a special photography contest examining Iranian Women in Society were shown today on the Voice of America's (VOA) Persian News Network (PNN).
Nearly 400 people inside Iran submitted entries during the two-month-long contest which was judged by renowned photographer Reza Deghati. Winning pictures, including one of a ballerina and another of a cigarette butt with lipstick, were displayed during the Today's Woman show aired in Iran.
Winners in four categories - still photos, mixed photos, series and creative photos - requested that their full names not be used for fear of possible reprisals inside Iran. One winner, who identified himself as Hooman, said he was delighted that "as an amateur Reza Deghati liked and selected my work."
"The photographs help tell the story of Iranian women in today's society," said VOA Director Danforth Austin. "They are poignant and, in some cases, even touching portrayals of women in Iran. We are grateful to the participants for their enthusiastic response and willingness to share their talent with our audience."
The Iranian-born Deghati, now a French citizen, is a well-known international freelance photographer whose work appears in the National Geographic. The winner of many international awards, Deghati was presented in November 2005 with the "Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mérite," the French award for distinguished service in a public or private capacity.
Last Sunday, the winning photographs were part of a one-day exhibition at the University of Maryland's Howard Frank Auditorium.
Today's Woman is a daily discussion show featuring influential women from around the world as well as news and information on a full range of topics. VOA has the largest combined radio and television audience of all international broadcasters in Iran, with one in four adult Iranians tuning into a VOA show at least once a week. Programs are also streamed on www.VOAPNN.com.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S.Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 134 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.
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