Statistics of the ŽENA / WOMAN STRAKONICE Challenge 1970 - 2013



Statistics of the ŽENA / WOMAN STRAKONICE Challenge of the years 1970 to 2013 – Historical Perspectives of the Challenge in Numbers.

      Cornerstone of the International Photographic Biennial Event ŽENA / WOMAN STRAKONICE was laid already in the year 1970. Success had arrived immediately during the first two years in 1970 and 1971, as the Challenge ranked among significant Czechoslovakian photographic events. The event was arranged by photographers of the Photo Association belonging to the Factory Association ČZ Strakonice.

      The first year in 1970, in total 84 photographers sent their pictures, the second year in 1971, the number slightly dropped to 80 photographers of the then Czechoslovakia. Afterwards, the Challenge was held on an international level and so 328 photographers from eight countries participated. Organizers successfully developed the event further, and the fourth year of the international photographic exhibition in 1975 had become so far the most popular from the point of view of the total number of exhibiting authors and the amount of pictures sent to be judged. Record-breaking number of 3126 photos was sent by 1061 photographers from 31 countries back then. Only in 1975 slides were accepted to the Challenge (total of 647 slides was sent in).

      The following volumes (5th to 10th) in the years 1977 to 1988 were successful and stable with respect to participation of photographers from the whole world. Around 2000 photographies (to be more precise 1934 - 2328 photos) taken by 581 to 706 photographers of 19 to 27 countries worldwide were sent on average during the next five volumes of the Challenge. Percentage of Czechoslovakian authors ranged around 30% (27 - 37%).


      With the advent of the nineties, extensive political and economical changes took place in the former Czechoslovakia and the whole Europe. The 11th and 12th volume of the Challenge of 1990 and 1992 was overshadowed and the interest in the International Photographic Event dropped. In total 607 photographies from 143 authors of 21 countries were sent to the 12th year of the Challenge in 1992. Based on the historical and financial reasons, the International Photographic Event ŽENA WOMAN was terminated in 1992.

      With the year of 2011, i.e. after nineteen years, several people came with the idea to restore the International Photographic Biennial Event ŽENA WOMAN STRAKONICE, and so with the support of the city of Strakonice and the City Cultural Centre the Challenge was reopened. The 13th volume of the Challenge encompassed 1534 photos made by 308 authors from 52 countries. The number of countries from where the photographies were sent is the largest so far. The number of international participants was crucially affected due to the auspices of the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP).


      Only digital photographies can be sent to the following 14th year of the Challenge, which is already accepting photos and will be held in 2013. In total 342 photographers from 46 countries participated and sent 2578 competition photographies, which is the second biggest number since 1975. Number of foreign photographers interested in participating in the Challenge exceeds the number of domestic participants. In 2011, the percentage of Czech and Slovakian authors amounted to 23% (71 authors) and in 2013 30% (104 authors).