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Balkan Service Photographer Wins BETA News Agency Award

RFE/RL’s Midhat Poturovic’s award-winning photo, The Champion.

Midhat Poturovic, a Sarajevo-based photographer for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Balkan Service, has won first place in the 2018 BETA News Agency Photograph of the Year competition for best media photo in South East Europe.

His winning photo, titled The Champion, was chosen from 226 entries from 55 photographers working in Serbia and the region.

The star of the photo is six-year-old Ismail Zulfic, a Bosnian boy who has shown tremendous determination by overcoming the obstacle of being born without arms and with a deformed leg to become a gold medal swimmer in Croatia.

Poturovic said that his goal is to raise awareness of the achievements of disabled people in his region, who he says can accomplish a lot if society gives them the opportunity.

Having followed Zulfic’s journey over the past two years, Poturovic has seen him leap from one success to another. In addition to his swimming skills, Zulfic has mastered skiing and is now learning to ride a bike.

As winner of the fifteenth annual competition, Poturovic’s photo is on show at the art space Dorćol Platz in Belgrade, until June 30.

About RFE/RL’s Balkan Service

Created during the Balkan Wars in 1994, RFE/RL’s Balkan Service has been a courageous and consistent voice promoting tolerance, peace and reconciliation in a region riven by ethnic and sectarian divisions. Reporting in the Albanian, Macedonian, Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian languages, the Balkan Service's regional website and apps attracted 5.6 million visits, 9.8 million page views and 2.9 million unique visitors in FY2017.