Image © Rasel Chowdhury, winner of the Ian Parry Scholarship 2011.
Rasel Chowdhury, from Bangladesh, has won the Ian Parry Scholarship, which comes with a £3000 grant, for his series of landscape images Desperate Urbanization. "The images are concerned with the pollution of the Burigongga River in Dhaka," say the award's organisers. "There are 700 brickfields and dockyards functioning on its riverbanks and tannery chemicals, human waste and industrial chemicals flow directly into the river. This constant source of pollution has created a breeding ground for diseases such as Malaria, Filariasis and Dengu Hemoragi fever causing serious health problems along the banks of the river."
Speaking about his work, Chowdhury says: "I have an intrinsic relationship with this
city and river as I spent most of my life in and around them."
It's the first time that a series of landscape images has won the Ian Parry Scholarship, an award launched in 1993 by Aidan Sullivan of Getty Images in memory of photojournalist Ian Parry, who died in 1989 aged 24 when covering the Romanian revolution for the Sunday Times.
This year's winner was selected by a panel that included Don McCullin, Tom Stoddart and Noor photographer Alixandra Fazzina. Kate Edwards of Guardian Weekend, Jon Jones and Stephen Reid of the Sunday Times magazine, in which Chowdhury's work will be published, and Charles Parry, Ian Parry's brother, made up the rest of the panel of judges.
In a prepared statement, Edwards says that "Rasel's conceptual approach and the desaturation of his images works well to produce a very different view of Dhaka, which is intriguing and interesting."
She adds: "What really comes across is his knowledge of the area and his subject. There is a consistent distance in the images and yet every now and again you see figures interacting with the landscape, it moves from pollution to shipbuilding."
Chowdhury will now be added to the final list of nominees for the Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam.
Photographer Alejandro Kirchuk was also highly commended by the panel of jurors, while Jashim Salam and Valentina Quintano were commended. Daria Tuminas received a honourable mention. One of the finalists will receive an all-expenses paid assignment from Save The Children.
For more information, visit www.ianparry.org.
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