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Ezra Acayan wins the 2018 Ian Parry Scholarship

Bodies of two men dumped in an isolated stretch of road are seen in Quezon city, Metro Manila, Philippines, June 22, 2017. Signs placed over their bodies both read "I am a thief, do not tolerate me." From Duterte's War on Drugs is Not Over © Ezra Acayan

The photojournalist won with hard-hitting images of the fall-out from President Rodrigo Duterte's War on Drugs, in which an estimated 20,000 people have died

Born in 1993 in the Philippines, Ezra Acayan has won the 2018 Ian Parry Scholarship Award for Achievement for his series Duterte’s War On Drugs Is Not Over, which records the fall out from the war on drugs which President Rodrigo Duterte announced in 2016.

Threatening those connected to drug consumption and sales with the death penalty, Duterte urged members of the public to kill suspected criminals and drug addicts, and allowed the police to act with brutality. In the two years since, an estimated 20,000 people have been murdered and a state of emergency has been declared. The United Nations has appealed to the Philippine government to investigate extrajudicial killings and to prosecute the perpetrators, while the International Criminal Court has announced preliminary examinations into killings linked to the campaign.

Tough and hard-hitting, Acayan’s images aim to “illuminate the violent acts carried out in the Philippines as well as the questionable methods of Duterte and the police”. A former wire photographer from Reuters, Acayan began shooting professionally at the age of 17 and has published work in titles such as Time, the New York Times, Le Monde, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. 

The body of a man and victim of a vigilante-style execution with his head wrapped in tape lies on a street in Manila, Philippines, July 28, 2016. A sign placed on next to the body reads “I am a Chinese drug lord.” From Duterte’s War on Drugs is Not Over © Ezra Acayan

Mushfiqul Alam was Highly Commended in this year’s Ian Parry Scholarship, and Salahuddin Ahmed won the Award for Potential, both submitting series on Burma’s Rohingya Muslim population. The Rohingya have faced persecution and forced migration into neighbouring Bangladesh for decades, but their plight reached crisis point in August 2017, after Burma’s military carried out a violent purge. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya fled – most of them women and children – facing long and dangerous journeys, and squalid conditions when they reached the relatively safety of makeshift camps in Bangladesh. 

Born in 1996, Alam is based in Dhaka, and has previously been awarded and shortlisted in the Sony World Photography Awards, the Prix de la Photographie and the Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards. His work has been published in titles such as the New York Times, The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, and the Huffington Post.

A child is carried in a sling while entering into Bangladesh. From The Great Exodus: People With No Land © Mushfiqul Alam

Born in 1984 in Bangladesh, Ahmed currently works for UNB, and is also studying at the prestigious Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. His work has been published in the New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal, and more, and has been exhibited at Visa Pour L’Image and in the 2015 Ian Parry Scholarship Exhibition.

All three photographers’ work is currently on show in a free exhibition on London’s Southbank titled World as Image, along with work by previous Ian Parry Scholarship winners – Adriana Loureiro Fernandez, Ivor Prickett, Andrew Renneisen, Liz Hingley, Sharafat Ali, Ed Ou, Kitra Cahana, Marcus Bleasdale, Simon Roberts, Matt Eich, Tafadzwa Ufumeli, Heba Khamis, and Yuyang Liu.

The two winners, Ezra Acayan and Salahuddin Ahmed, have also had their work published in The Sunday Times Magazine, and get $3500 towards their chosen projects, equipment from Canon, and places on the shortlist for this year’s Joop Swart Masterclass (run by World Press Photo in Amsterdam). In addition one of the winners will have a year-long mentorship with Marcus Bleasdale.

Rohingya ethnic minority people fleeing to a temporary makeshift camp, and trying to settle temporarily there, after crossing over from Burma into the Bangladesh side of the border, near Cox’s Bazar’s Palangkhali area, September 13, 2017. From Rohingya Crisis: Through Despair there is Hope © Salahuddin Ahmed

Ian Parry was a photojournalist who died on assignment for The Sunday Times during the Romanian revolution in 1989. He was just 24 years old. Aidan Sullivan, then-picture editor, and Parry’s friends and family created the award in an effort to build something positive from this tragedy; the award is open to people either attending a full-time photographic course or under 24 years of age, and has been running since 1991.

World as Image is on show at More London Riverside, outside City Hall, London, SE1 until 29 October www.ianparry.org 

++ This article was updated on 06 October to correct details of the winners’ prizes, BJP apologises for any confusion caused ++

The body of a suspected drug pusher lies dead next to railroad tracks following what police say was a drug buy-bust operation in Manila, Philippines, July 18, 2016. The man had allegedly fought back against undercover cops who came to buy drugs from him. From Duterte’s War on Drugs is Not Over © Ezra Acayan

Ginnalyn Soriano weeps over the body of her elder brother Julius, who allegedly fought back and was killed by police during what they said was a drug sting operation, at a morgue in Malabon, Metro Manila, Philippines, June 22, 2017. At the morgue, the family noticed Julius’ wrists had cuff marks. The arm had a bullet wound too, and the slug was still embedded in his arm right where the cuff mark was, suggesting that the cuffs had stopped the bullet. From Duterte’s War on Drugs is Not Over © Ezra Acayan

A resident lights candles next to a pool of blood belonging to a suspected drug user who was shot dead by unknown assailants in Navotas, Metro Manila, Philippines, June 20, 2017. From Duterte’s War on Drugs is Not Over © Ezra Acayan

Luzviminda Siapo upon arriving home from Kuwait, weeps over the coffin of her son Raymart Siapo who was kidnapped and killed by armed men a day after a neighbor had reported him for selling drugs, in Navotas, Metro Manila, Philippines, April 3, 2017. From Duterte’s War on Drugs is Not Over © Ezra Acayan

Bea, sister of 17-year-old Harold Bulan, holds a toy gun next to his coffin during his funeral wake in Quezon city, Metro Manila, Philippines, December 7, 2017. Harold was last seen with his cousin Jerico Garcia and their friend Jomari Siñerez around midnight of November 22, 2017. Hours later, their bodies were dumped in different parts of town. Their throats had been sliced. A cardboard attached next to one of them listed the names of their friends. “You are next!” the writing on the sign read. From Duterte’s War on Drugs is Not Over © Ezra Acayan

Rohingya people cross the Bangladesh-Burma border fence as they try to enter Bangladesh in Bandarban, an area under Cox’s Bazar authority, Bangladesh. From The Great Exodus: People With No Land © Mushfiqul Alam

Rohingya woman carries her child and walks through a rice field after crossing the border into Bangladesh. From The Great Exodus: People With No Land © Mushfiqul Alam

Rohingya people walk through water after crossing the border into Bangladesh by boat across the Naf River at Lomba bill, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. From The Great Exodus: People With No Land © Mushfiqul Alam

Rohingya people entering into Bangladesh after crossing hilly area with their cattle. From The Great Exodus: People With No Land © Mushfiqul Alam

Hares is a one-year-old boy, his family suddenly found their house is burning which they say was set by the Burmese army. From The Great Exodus: People With No Land © Mushfiqul Alam

A Rohingya family waits near the Burmese border fence to cross the Naf River for entering into Bangladesh. From The Great Exodus: People With No Land © Mushfiqul Alam

Rohingya people build temporary houses in makeshift camp in Cox’s Bazar. From The Great Exodus: People With No Land © Mushfiqul Alam

A Rohingya refugee has started a barbershop in a refugee camp to sustain himself in the long run. From The Great Exodus: People With No Land © Mushfiqul Alam

A Rohingya ethnic minority is going to aid centre on a heavy rain with a new born baby on October 07, 2017. From Rohingya Crisis: Through Despair there is Hope © Salahuddin Ahmed

Rohingya Muslim refugee elderly is taking shower at a temporary makeshift shelters after crossing over from Burma into the Bangladesh side of the border, near Cox’s Bazar’s Naikongchori area, September 11, 2017. From Rohingya Crisis: Through Despair there is Hope © Salahuddin Ahmed

Rohingya Muslim people, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, waiting inside a giant tube in the rain at a makeshift after crossing over from Burma into the Bangladesh side of the border, near Cox’s Bazar’s Balukhali area, September 21, 2017. From Rohingya Crisis: Through Despair there is Hope © Salahuddin Ahmed

Rohingya refugees fleeing Burma arrive by wooden boats under the cover of darkness on the beach of Shah Porir Dwip, near Cox’s Bazar, on October 03, 2017. From Rohingya Crisis: Through Despair there is Hope © Salahuddin Ahmed

The bodies of Rohingya refugees are laid out after the boat in which they were attempting to flee Myanmar capsized about eight kilometers off Inani Beach, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh on September 28, 2017. Around 100 people were on the boat before it capsized and only 17 survivors. From Rohingya Crisis: Through Despair there is Hope © Salahuddin Ahmed