It was December 1989 and the streets of Bucharest echoed to the sounds of gunfire. The Romanian people had finally tired of their cruel and corrupt Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena.
The revolution was bloody, and dangerous for photographers who were covering it. At 24 Ian Parry was one of the youngest photographers documenting the protests but he was also one of the most talented and filled with determination to get the best images for the Sunday Times.
On 27th December after an eventful day myself, Ian and several other British colleagues met for dinner, drinks and to share information. A few hours later Ian died when the Antonov aircraft that he was leaving Bucharest on crashed.
The Scholarship that bears Ian’s name has inspired dozens of young photojournalists to achieve success. The trustees have always impressed on successful entrants that they have not only won an award but become part of a family that will help and support them whenever possible. What a family of famous photojournalism names it has become! Marcus Bleasdale, Simon Roberts, Leonie Hampton, Jonas Bendiksen, Maisie Crow, Sebastian Liste, Amelia Troubridge, to name just a few.
This year, 2016, changes have been made to the Scholarship Awards and I’m very proud and excited to take on for a year the role of Mentor to whoever wins the Award for Potential. Being a professional photographer can be lonely and frustrating, especially at a time when the publishing industry is going through rapid and massive change. It’s always good to have someone to talk to and I’m really looking forward to providing help, experience and encouragement to a young photographer as they endeavour to progress in this most difficult and wonderful profession.