Beni Trutmann photo competition gets younger

RP Susana LabradorThe Formentera Council's office of culture unveiled today the programme for the 14th year of the Beni Trutmann photography competition. Councillor of culture Susana Labrador spoke about the competition's impressive run and growing base of eager participants, “who contribute photos on everything from political issues to landscapes and traditions”.

The competition had its start soliciting photos that celebrated Formentera nature in all its forms—from flora and fauna, to landscapes and human interaction with nature. The idea was to foment a commitment to nature and active concern for the environment. The initiative itself emerged as a way to render homage to Beni Trutmann, a photographer whose importance for the island remains patent today. Councillor Labrador described the photographer's legacy to the island — “an archive of more than thirty thousand photos that demonstrates Trutmann's love for the natural beauty of Formentera”.

New category

Today Labrador announced a change in the 2016 run of the competition: “the smartphone shot category”. According to the councillor, the module was devised for youth aged 12 to 18, who are invited to send a maximum of three phone shots to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Labrador pointed out that the Polaroid company has contributed by donating photo supplies to be included among this year's prizes.

In the Black & White and Colour categories, participants have the possibility of submitting three photos in either digital or analogue. The formats permitted are square, digital, classic and panorama and participants will be considered for first, second and third place for their chosen category, with cash prizes set at 500, 300 and 200 euros respectively. The submission deadline for all the categories is 8 April.

The competition jury will be composed of a representative of the Balearic ornithological association and Defensa de la Naturalesa de Formentera, a representative of Obra Cultural Balear de Formentera, three individuals of recognised experience in visual arts, a president and a secretary.

Winning shots will be entered in the island's image and sound archive (l'Arxiu d'Imatge i So) and remain as property of the Formentera Council, who can use them —without drawing a profit— in any graphical project it deems appropriate: posters, signs, on the internet, etc.

With the annual contest, the Council hopes not only to keep Trutmann's memory alive, but also to create a way for budding photographers to get a taste of the work and example left behind by one of Formentera's most celebrated greats.

Breaking boundaries

Pointing to rocketing participation in recent years, Labrador noted the “the Beni Trutmann photo competition has consolidated its importance on our island”. In almost 15 years, the yearly event has racked up a considerable photo archive for the local administration. A count from just the last five years stands at approximately 1,000 photos and more than 300 participants.

The competition's growth has been laid bare by an eclectic participant base which, far from limited to Spanish cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Lugo and Zaragoza, extends into the rest of Europe.

The competition will culminate Monday 25 April in an exhibition of 50 prints in the municipal gallery (la Sala d'Exposicions) of the old town hall. The opening night of the exhibition will serve to name this year's winners, and the display will remain open to the public through 7 May. Details of the competition were published in the 5 March 2016 issue of the Balearic Islands gazette (BOIB) and can be viewed on the Formentera Council website, www.consellinsulardeformentera.cat.