JEDDAH: A camera company in Riyadh wants locked-down Saudis to flex their artistic muscle and take part in a curfew-inspired competition.
“Home Challenge with Qomra” aims to fill people’s free time as well as discover and motivate new talent. The competition’s main goal is for budding photographers to make use of their surroundings and for people to find useful ways to turn something bad into something useful, even beautiful. The deadline for submissions is April 20.
Qomra Director Awadh Al-Hamzani said competitions and events have been part of the firm’s ethos since it launched in 2012.
“We interact with clients, friends, and talented people in the field of photography, so the competition’s idea came from the concept that photographers have an elevated ability to see beauty, especially in homes,” he told Arab News.
The competition’s 11 topics will help those who are stuck for ideas, and participants can choose which topic best suits them. It has eight topics for photography and three for video. Each axis includes 3 prizes of SR1,000 ($265) each, amounting to SR33,000 ($8,766.93).
The competition is organized through the store’s Instagram account @qomrapro.
The use of a professional camera is not required so taking pictures with smartphones is an option. “Not having a professional camera is not an excuse not to participate, because to us, they’re all the same,” Al-Hamzani added.
He said one of the positives emerging from the health crisis were community-minded initiatives from civil society that were uniting people during a time of adversity.
The competition was an opportunity for people to discover the beauty inside their homes, said Al-Hamzani. “It will also be a creative platform to encourage creativity, discover talent and launch them in one cultural space that guarantees the continuity of creativity, and the development of talent under all circumstances.”
Al-Hamzani said it was not the right time to offer cash prizes, even though they feature in the competition, because of the struggles facing the private sector. “This competition was launched purely out of social responsibility, as everyone will be able to see the posts through the competition’s hashtags and according to each topic.”
Another initiative from Qomra is a space for workshops and events at its headquarters.
“We are currently holding two to three lectures via YouTube on a daily basis. Each lecture is less than an hour long and tackles various topics,” he added. “We took this step to enrich YouTube’s content and to benefit from our time at home to learn.”
The Ministry of Interior has implemented a curfew in line with the recommendations of the Kingdom’s health authorities, and people are allowed to leave their houses only in cases of “extreme necessity” such as medical emergencies.