2017 NY Encounter Photo Challenge


The New York Encounter invites you to submit photographs depicting the theme, “Reality Has Never Betrayed Me”. One photograph will be chosen to illustrate the theme of the 2017 Encounter, found below.

Taking into account the provocation and depth of the title, the image should be unambiguously beautiful and attractive. The image should convey the “overflowing” of reality and its fundamental positivity. It should not be an abstract work, but it should immediately represent a graspable moment of reality as it emerges in your experience, with force, clearness, and simplicity.

Before submitting your work, we encourage you to read and reflect on the description of the 2017 theme included below.

Contest rules:
Submission deadline: August 15, 2016.
Up to 2 photographs per person.
We will accept any photographic media in final high-resolution digital output.
Please provide the title, media, and the year the photo was taken.
Photographs should be emailed to nyephotochallenge@gmail.com along with your name and contact information.
Each file should not exceed 10 MB. If you have more than 2 files, please email them individually.
By sending us your photographic work you acknowledge that the New York Encounter has permission to reproduce the image in digital and printed promotional materials.

“Reality as it emerges in experience is so positive that it presents itself as inexorably appealing. Instead of appealing we might use another word … promising.”  (Luigi Giussani)

We all have the intuition that life, even with all its hardships, is fundamentally good. Its original appeal is continuously being reawakened by things and people – an appeal we can resist, but never eliminate.
And yet, we have a hard time relating to many aspects of life: family, work, politics, society, even our own bodies and the very food we eat. We should be the masters of our destiny, but often don’t know what to do with ourselves, and rely on experts to face all kinds of problems. We want to be independent in our decisions, and yet we live in fear of missing out and afraid of really committing ourselves to anything. We claim to be in control of our time, but are constantly anxious about the future. We think we know how to love, but repeatedly feel tossed around by our emotions. We look for “beautiful experiences,” trying to capture the moment, but are left wondering if we are truly experiencing life.
In the end, since life does not bend to our desires and its meaning remains elusive, we use our ingenuity to construct our own reality and give sense to life. We believe this is the pinnacle of human dignity and freedom. But the reality we try to create, when put to the test of experience, does not deliver on its promises, and too frequently the ensuing frustration turns into anger and violence.
What are we missing? Why do we often perceive reality as disappointing? What can help us reconcile with reality and engage life as it is?


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