Autumn 2001 (9.3)
Years of Reflecting "Azerbaijan Today"
Left: "Don't Spit" by Kirman Abdin
slogans seemed like they belonged to a rally, but there were
no confrontations between opposing parties. It was simply the
eighth year of Unocal Khazar's Annual Poster Contest, entitled
"Azerbaijan Today" and held in conjunction with the
Baku Art Center.
The theme of this year's contest was ecology, specifically to
call the public's attention to ecological problems around Baku.
But, as the President of Unocal Khazar, Mike Barnes, noted, he
would like ecology to cease to be termed a problem. "With
the help of this contest, we want to rename these ecological
problems 'opportunities' in order to find the solutions instead
of simply calling attention to them."
A jury consisting of five men, led by the rector of the Academy
of Arts of Azerbaijan, Omar Eldarov, judged the poster entries
and picked the top three prizes plus the honorable mentions.
The jury took into account not only the subject matter and the
poster slogan, but also the composition of the work and its use
of color and contrast to reinforce the message.
Two works by artist Mirazer Abdullayev took first place. On one
of them, the author himself is standing next to a garbage container,
but throwing an empty cigarette box into the street, indicating
a lack of awareness of the connection between the beauty of the
city and the disposal of waste items. His second poster depicts
"the Caspian refugees", native species of Caspian seals.
They sit on a buoy in the Sea, indicating their vulnerability
to pollution. Gashim Elchiyev, whose poster shows a toilet hovering
over the Caspian with the slogan "This is our sewage system,"
received second place.
Below: "SOS" (Protecting
the Environment) by Irada Gurbanova.
Third place went to
Tofig Gazanfar, who used a traffic light on a minaret in Ichari
Shahar to indicate how industry and progress are threatening
the heritage of the city. The top three winners received cash
prizes, as in previous years. Seven honorable mention cash prizes
were also given, including one to Orkhan Mamadov, who announced
he was donating it to a children's fund because he created his
poster for the good of Azerbaijan, not for his own gain.
The cash prizes also included a special award to Gulnara Safarova,
a young girl who was allowed entrance to the contest based on
the quality of her work. On her poster [featured in Unocal's
ad], she showed half of an apple with many children's handprints,
indicating that the education and cooperation of children is
necessary to save the world's natural resources.
Like last year, children from Galina Churilova's Studio of Ecological
Posters at the Tofig Ismayilov Palace for Children and Youth
were featured during the awards celebration, showing off their
ecologically themed art works. This year, the children also modeled
the clothes that they had designed and painted with motifs of
butterflies and other insects in nature. Although not included
in the contest, the children's art was certainly in concert with
this year's theme.
In each of the past eight years, the posters have revealed the
evolution of Azerbaijanis' attitudes. This year's awareness of
ecological "opportunities for change" demonstrated
the growing acceptance of Azerbaijan as a member of the world
community and the expectations placed on any city to maintain
its own beauty and heritage. Unocal Khazar is proud to continue
the tradition, in conjunction with Baku Art Center, of the poster
art form as an expression of the people of Azerbaijan.
(9.3) Autumn 2001.
© Azerbaijan International 2001. All rights reserved.
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AI 9.3 (Autumn 2001)
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