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Expatriates tell the story of Shenzhen through their lens
From: Shenzhen Daily
Updated: 2019-06-21

Li Xiaogan (L), a member of the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC and head of the Publicity Department of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC, shakes hands with Jesus Alberto Salazar Cabrera from Venezuela after presenting a certificate to the first-prize winner of the “Expats Eye Shenzhen” Photo Contest on Thursday, against the backdrop of the first-prize winning photo, “A Resting Bird.” Photos by Sun Yuchen

When Jesus Alberto Salazar Cabrera from Venezuela arrived in Shenzhen three years ago, some people told him that as a photographer, it would be better for him to go live in Hong Kong or Shanghai, “because they think Shenzhen is a ‘cultural desert,’” said Salazar at the awards ceremony for the “Expats Eye Shenzhen” Photo Contest held at Wongtee V Hotel Shenzhen on Thursday.

“People usually consider culture as having old buildings or important history, which is a close and ancient vision. In my point of view, culture is made by its people and constantly moving. Shenzhen is a city with people from all over the world, especially China, which makes it a place with a very specific and dynamic culture,” said Salazar, adding he is happy that he made the right decision to stay in this beautiful city.

Salazar fetched the first and second prizes and a merit award for his three photos — “A Resting Bird,” “Colorful Shuiwei” and “A Fisherman.”

Li Xiaogan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC and head of the Publicity Department of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC, granted him a first-prize certificate.

His three award-winning photos tell stories about three different aspects of the city.

Jesus Albeto Salazar Cabrera from Venezuela talks about the story behind his first-prize photo at the ceremony Thursday.

“A Resting Bird” portrays Shenzhen as a modern city with beautiful and peaceful spaces for contemplation. “I have been taking photos of the same tree in Shenzhen Bay Park since I came to Shenzhen. But last year, the tree was felled by a strong typhoon. I was sad, but later a bird came to rest on top of the tree and I suddenly realized how we can find beauty even from the broken,” Salazar told the Shenzhen Daily.

“Colorful Shuiwei” is intended to embody the renovation spirit of Shenzhen, an ever-changing city, where the old and the new mix in colorful and fun ways.

“Regarding ‘A Fisherman,’ we all have heard the story of how Shenzhen changed from a small fishing village into a modern city, well-known in the world today. In this modern city, we can still find fishing ports like this, which is part of the roots of Shenzhen. We should adopt the new and be proud of the present and future of Shenzhen, but never forget where we come from,” said Salazar.

James Dumbrill from the U.K. fetched the second prize with his photo “Talent Park.” “When I first went to Talent Park in Nanshan, I was immediately inspired by its beautiful cityscape of rising buildings right on the seaside. I wanted to capture its beauty from a unique perspective, the sky, so I used a DJI drone,” introduced Dumbrill during his speech.

“At the same time, to me it seemed fitting to submit a photo for a Shenzhen photo contest taken with a drone that was designed and made in Shenzhen,” said Dumbrill.

By the end of April, the contest had gathered about 1,000 photos submitted by photographers from over 20 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada, Russia, Japan, India, Germany and Venezuela. After careful consideration, the judges of the contest awarded 29 of the photos.

“The entries are abundant in imagination and creativity, which perfectly portray our city’s landscape, culture and art, international community and natural scenery, as well as the photographers’ deep love for the city,” said Dong Haitao, editor-in-chief of the Shenzhen Daily, adding that the organizing committee hopes to hold the contest on a yearly basis in the future.

Shenzhen is a vibrant city, with over 95 percent of its population being migrants, thus it boasts an abundance of creativity and inclusiveness. “Expats working and living in Shenzhen have also contributed to the city’s great achievements,” said Wang Chuhong, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC.

“We greatly appreciated your efforts in photographing Shenzhen from your unique perspectives, in unfolding the city’s vitality and humanistic charms to the world, in telling your own story about the city’s essence, spirit and characteristics, and in recording the city’s creations, growth and prosperity,” said Wang.

The contest was hosted by the Information Office of the Shenzhen Municipal Government and organized by EYESHENZHEN.com and the Shenzhen Daily.

Li Xiaogan (C), member of the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC and head of the Publicity Department of the committee, and the winners of the “Expats Eye Shenzhen” photo contest pose for a photo at the awards ceremony at Wongtee V Hotel Shenzhen in Futian District on Thursday morning.

The audience at the awards ceremony.

Martin Haffner (C), a third-prize winner, explains his photo to other expats after the ceremony.