In 2014, a new award called " My Life with a Handicap" was initiated within the prestigious photographic competition Czech Press Photo under the auspices of the Committee of Good Will - Olga Havel Foundation.
The award is presented to an author of a photograph or series of photographs from the Czech Republic capturing specific moments in life of people with sensory, motor or mental handicap. The awardee receives CZK 20,000.
The prize went to Anna Šolcová for a series of photos titled Energy Poverty.
„I have never been competitive, but this year I first decided to send some photos just to Czech Press Photo competetion. It seemed to me that if it is meant to happen, it might take me somewhere further. I entered photos in 4 categories, but honestly, photos with energy poverty were the most heartfelt thing for me. Not only did they perfectly fulfill my interest in social photography, but I also managed to capture the last days of my grandfather, who died three months later and who was very important to me. And so obviously succeeded. So if you ask what the price means to me, it's mainly a feeling of tremendous fulfillment and a sign, that the thorny path that led to it was worth it.“ Anna Šolcová
Formal ceremony will took place at the Old Town Hall on November the 22nd.
The prize went to Petr (Zevlakk) Vrabec from A2larm.cz for a set of photos Eviction of families with children from hostels in Ústi nad Labem.
„The photos were taken in the period before the eviction of about 200 people from two hostels in Ústi, when most of them did not know where to go. We arrived there with squatters and others from Prague and tried to show that we are not indifferent to them. Some helped to mediate with authorities, others did a program for children. What was going through my head? I did not understand how could anyone want more money for renting moldy small rooms than for a large apartment in a city. I did not understand how anyone could trade with poverty. I did not understand how could the municipality not care. I didn't understand how the kids can be homeless in a few days. And during all this we saw the children laugh and be happy for a while.“ Petr (Zevlakk) Vrabec
The 2017 award was presented to Michal Babinčák for his photo called Life, which he made in the excluded Roma locality in Slovakia.
"The photo was captured in April 2017 near Vranov nad Topľou in eastern Slovakia in a Roma settlement. In a small room there were two opposites, a healthy newborn and a little girl suffering from celebral palsy. That's life...
... I really appreciate that I have received this Olga Havel Foundation award. Thank you."
The "My Life with a Handicap" award by the Committee of Good Will - Olga Havel Foundation was presented to a Slovak freelance photographer Matúš Zajac for his photo series Canistherapy: From a Personal Tragedy Towards Helping Others.
"It is a great honour to me to get the award by the Committee of Good Will – Olga Havel Foundation at the Czech Press Photo competition as it just touches upon the themes entrapping specific life conditions of people with sensory, motoric or mental disabilities. As I said at the award ceremony, I valued this award most of all the ones I have ever received because it was not based on a subjective assessment evaluation of the jurors - photographers but on an objective appraisal by people who operate in the area in question and understand both its content and form. Once again, great thanks.” Matúš Zajac, Award-Winning Photographer
"My Life with a Handicap" award given by the Committee of Good Will - Olga Havel Foundation at the Czech Press Photo competition was presented to Milan Jaroš from the Respect magazine for his series of photographs "In the Right Corner of Heaven - Palliative Childcare, 2014 -2015. This series of photographs was also awarded with Honorable Mention in the Everyday Life category at Czech Press Photo.
"Dying of children is still associated with certain taboos in the Czech Republic. In case of a cancer, doctors care so a child stays in hospital. His/her life ends behind the walls of a hospital room. The Committee of Good Will - Olga Havel Foundation supports hospice movement, with its idea to die among our beloved, for years. The Foundation appreciates the work of mobile hospices that care about seriously ill children in their homes. What's still missing is a "stone hospice" where a child could share a room together with the people who are close to him/her," said Milena Černá, director of the Committee of Good Will - Olga Havel Foundation.
The “My life with a handicap” award for the year 2014 was given to Štěpán Hon for his series of photographs called “The Engagement of Jindřiška and Hynek in the Garden of the Week-Care Center Hvozdy.”
“From the vast selection of photographs we were most captivated by ‘Engagement’ from the week-care center Hvozdy. It is a topic which is not discussed enough, which is why we were happy that we can introduce it to the public,” said Milena Černá, the director of the OHF.
In addition, the series of photographs “The Engagement of Jindřiška and Hynek in the Garden of the Week-Care Center Hvozdy” got the third place prize in the Reportage category.