Stunning images of Azerbaijan in the European Parliament attract the attention of EU Policy-makers

Press Release: On 24 June 2013, the soul of Azerbaijan was taken to the heart of Europe in Brussels when around 200 guests attended the opening of the Azerbaijan Through the Lens exhibition in the European Parliament, organised by The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS). The event, hosted by Slovakian MEP Katarína Neveďalová, attracted the attention of many Members of the European Parliament, senior politicians, EU officials and diplomats.

Slovakian MEP Katarína Neveďalová alongside Lionel Zetter, Director, TEAS, at the Azerbaijan Through the Lens photography exhibition

Slovakian MEP Katarína Neveďalová alongside Lionel Zetter, Director, TEAS, at the Azerbaijan Through the Lens photography exhibition

The exhibition showcased photographs of contemporary Azerbaijani people, culture, landscapes and architecture in the magnificent Yehudi Menuhin space. Previously presented in London, Paris and Berlin, these photographs were selected from around 750 submissions received from photographers based in Azerbaijan and across the world for a competition run by TEAS.

Katarína Neveďalová MEP remarked: “This is a wonderful exhibition about a beautiful country. I recently visited Azerbaijan and, when I saw the photos, asked why the exhibition has not been called The Colours of Azerbaijan. Just by walking in the streets, I immediately saw the colours of the country and people. Organisation of this exhibition is an event of friendship and solidarity.

“Whilst I was in Baku, I spoke to Asim Talib, who photographed Old Men, the winning image, and he expressed pride that his picture would be shown in the European Parliament premises. Azerbaijan is a magnificent country. Although it is possibly insufficiently known across Europe, it is a modern and open nation. Azerbaijan Through The Lens will definitely attract the attention of European policy-makers. One can say that this exhibition is now in its right place, in the very heart of Europe, building the necessary bridges between European and Azerbaijani culture.“

H.E. Fuad Isgandarov, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Belgium and Head of the Azerbaijani delegation to the European Union, said: “This cultural event demonstrates our common values. I am pleased to represent a country of many different colours, ethnicities and religions. I am proud of my country and the bridges that it creates between cultures. Enjoy the beautiful colours of Azerbaijan with us.”

Lionel Zetter, Director, TEAS, said: “Azerbaijan Through the Lens is a unique project, not only with its ambition, but definitely with its result. This exhibition certainly captures Azerbaijan at its best, and presents this beautiful country on the Caspian shores to the public. These pictures show the sheer breadth of the culture and climate of Azerbaijan. However, the winning picture, Old Men, is most nostalgic. It was taken in Kelbajar in 1985, and could not be taken today, as this area is now under Armenian occupation.

“With this type of cultural initiative, TEAS aims to raise awareness of Azerbaijan and to foster closer economic, political and cultural links between the country and the nations of Europe.”

Roman Huna, Head, TEAS Brussels, added: “Azerbaijan is a country that is worth placing in the spotlight. The open and tolerant character of Azerbaijani society, the beauty of its nature and the hospitality of its people make this country a perfect partner for the European Union. I’m proud that this prestigious photography exhibition will be showcased for a week in the European Parliament, and will attract a large number of admirers, thanks to the quality of the competition submissions.”

After the exhibition in the European Parliament, Azerbaijan Through the Lens will be exhibited in the Tour & Taxis Business Centre, Brussels.

To see a selection of the photos, please visit

24–28 June 2013
Azerbaijan Through the Lens
European Parliament, Rue Wiertz 60, B–1047 Brussels
Mezzanine Yehudi Menuhin (2nd floor), Paul Henry Spaak Building
09.00–18.00hrs. Admission free.

1–14 July 2013
Azerbaijan Through the Lens
Tour & Taxis Business Centre,
Avenue du Port/Havenlaan 86c, B–1000, Brussels
Admission free.