A PHOTO exhibition has launched at the International Maritime Organization headquarters in London this week. The images showcase the experiences of seafarers during the COVID pandemic.

The collection features images taken by seafarers and submitted to two competitions run by the International Transport Workers’ Federation Seafarers’ Trust in 2020 and 2021 with the themes of “Still at Sea” and “Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind”.

The exhibition at the IMO headquarters is timed to coincide with the IMO Assembly, when delegations of governments from around the world gather to approve the IMO’s program of work and elect members to its council.

Seafarers’ Trust head Katie Higginbottom said the aim of the exhibition is to remind politicians and policy makers of the real human stories of the maritime industry.

“It provides a timely insight into the experience of seafarers during the Covid-19 pandemic as governments consider their responses to the latest variant of the virus,” she said.

“These striking images remind us of the day-to-day isolation of seafarers, far from family and friends, pursuing their profession with stoicism and pride, as they keep the world’s vital supply chains moving.”

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, “Our seafarers are heroes. We are so pleased to be able to host this exhibition which is truly unique. This amazing workforce and the activities they undertake day after day, often goes unseen. As they remain out of sight we often forget to fully acknowledge the importance of their work – this exhibition helps us to counter that by making their important contribution visible.”

To see the winners of the photo competitions, click here for 2020 and here for 2021.