The Sony World Photography Awards prides itself on being a truly global competition, and this year it received almost 320,000 entries from over 200 countries and territories. The awards cover four separate competitions – Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus – which are themselves categorised into areas such as Architecture, Contemporary Issues, Landscape, Portraiture, and Travel. The winners will be revealed on 19 April, and a curated exhibition of the work will take place at Somerset House, London from 20 April-06 May.
“Photography is a universally understood language. No matter where you’re from, anyone can read an image and understand what’s going on,” says French photojournalist Michael Bunel. Bunel has been working as a photojournalist for the last five years and is committed to communicating important stories through images. He’s documented the 2013 unrest in Turkey’s Taksim Square, the crisis in Ukraine, and the Calais Jungle. But now he’s turning the lens on a crisis unfolding right on his doorstep in Paris. “For several months, hundreds of refugees have been roaming the capital for lack of a better reception facility,” explains Bunel. Despite the French President Emmanuel Macron’s purported wish to make France ‘the land of the welcome’, refugees continue to sleep rough in the streets, mostly grouped in makeshift camps like those at the Canal Saint Martin in Jaurès and the Avenue of the Porte des Poissonniers. With snow falling in the French capital at the start of February and now again at the end, they’re facing freezing conditions in tents. When he was just starting …
Bruce Davidson has won a Lifetime Achievement prize in this year’s ICP Infinity Awards, which will be formally presented on 09 April. Best-known for his two-year project on the poverty-stricken residents of East 100th Street, Davidson joined Magnum Photos in 1958 and showed his work at the Museum of Modern Art in 1963. His work often documents social inequality, and includes iconic series such as The Dwarf, Brooklyn Gang, and Freedom Rides.
There is just one week left to submit! Win the chance to travel to Copenhagen on an exclusive group commission. We share some of the best submissions so far.
Rory Lewis is an acclaimed portrait photographer who has worked with a wide range of subjects, from British army generals to famous actors such as Sir Patrick Stewart, William Shatner and Sir Ian McKellan. After embarking on a mammoth project with the British Army in 2016, Lewis entered a photograph from the resulting series, ‘Soldiery’, into Portrait of Britain. The selected portrait of Captain Anani-Isaacs was chosen as a symbol of the modernity and diversity of the new British army. Lewis has since taken the project to new heights, and is now working with Italian army regiments to produce similarly styled photographs that draw inspiration from Napoleonic era artists. While Lewis is still inspired by art rather than photography, his new series ‘Portraitist’ is a sharp turn from the static portraiture of ‘Soldiery’; it dramatically depicts celebrities in the style of Caravaggio. He is hoping to extend ‘Portraitist’ by using groups of actors to create scenes reminiscent of Renaissance art. Lewis believes that the key to good portraiture is being bold and taking risks with …
“Gurgaon is a paradigm for the new Indian city: entirely privatised with no public space, managed by a few companies which cater to the needs of the middle class. It’s an image as much as a place,” explains Arthur Crestani. In his series, Bad City Dreams, image and place are fused to construct a paradoxical and layered portrait of the rapidly expanded city, which lies 30km outside the capital, New Delhi. Borrowing from the Indian tradition of studio photography, Crestani photographed migrant workers, security guards and other Gurgaon locals outdoors against a mobile backdrop decorated with real-estate advertising imagery.
Carolyn Drake first visited Ukraine more than a decade ago, as part of a year-long Fulbright fellowship investigation of changing notions of gender in the former USSR. Coming of age at the end of the Cold War, and with preconceptions about the region, she “saw it as a chance to step out of my present frame of reference, as a way to look at the malleability and impermanence of beliefs,” she recalls. Searching for expressions of female identity in the West of the country, she met the hosts of a church-run orphanage, who directed her to an older institution nearby called Petrykhiv Internat. Tucked away in a forest on the outskirts of Ternopil, it was a state-run boarding house, where around 70 girls marked as ill or disabled had been sent to live. Labelled abnormal, they had been deemed unfit to live beyond the home’s towering walls. That first trip took place in 2006; eight years later, she returned, eager to find out what had become of the girls and their home. “I expected to show up and ask someone on the staff how I could find the girls,” she says. “But when I arrived, I found most of them were still there, now in their twenties.
“Folkestone is a hidden gem – inspiring, by the sea, relatively affordable, and only an hour from London,” says Lee Brodhurst-Hooper. “It is easier for me to be a photographer here. I can afford to be an artist here, and I couldn’t in London. There is a thriving creative community, with lots of active, enthusiastic, friendly people who want to push the agenda for the town forward. “But at the same time it is a town struggling with its identity. As one of the 10% of most deprived areas of the country, it has high rates of deprivation and low scope in terms of jobs and careers. There is dilapidation, it is rough around the edges, there are barren spaces and roads you should avoid.” Originally from the Midlands, Brodhurst-Hooper moved to Folkestone two years ago, after a long stint living and working in London. Studying first at the University of East London and then on the prestigious MA Photography at the London College of Communications, he had built up a successful career in trendspotting, picture …
“The Garden Gate Project has a reputation in my neighbourhood,” says Jason Evans, who has just published a zine with participants from the Margate-based charity. “Established almost 20 years ago for people with learning difficulties and/or mental ill health, the Garden Gate Project is visited by various members of the community for a range of seasonal activities.” He was volunteering there two years ago when the organisers realised he was a photographer, and invited him to come up with ideas for the programme, which centres mainly on Horticultural Therapy. His first project with GGP was Tool Shed Dark Room, which saw Evans improvising with participants “without mains electricity or an enlarger to make photograms using materials from the garden”.
“This trace of communication, this Derridean postcard, started me on a journey to capture the immersive and lyrical potential of London”