“I became exposed to this completely different environment,” says Yagazie Emezi, speaking of her experience moving from Nigeria to the US. Having spent her whole life in Nigeria the photographer relocated to the US when she was 16 years old to study. The experience proved formative and has since become the focus of many of her photographic projects. “My work always stems from something personal,” says Emezi. This rings particularly true in the series Process of Re-learning Bodies, an ongoing project in which she explores the process by which people reclaim their bodies after becoming physically scarred. Looking at the fragility and endurance of the human form, and the acceptance of self within African communities, the project seeks to understand the emotional implications of being scarred, and how factors such as community, environment, and socioeconomic class can influence an individual’s psychological adjustment to their new, scarred bodies. “I have a very visible scar on my leg,” says Emezi. “Growing up in my hometown in Nigeria, I wasn’t self-conscious about the scar, because I was in …
Federico Borella has been named Photographer of the Year at the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards, winning the $25,000 prize for his series Five Degrees – a look at male suicide in the farming community of Tamil Nadu, Southern India, which is facing its worst drought in 140 years. The Italian photographer’s work takes its lead from a Berkeley University study, which found a correlation between climate change and increased suicide rates among Indian farmers, and explores the impact of both via images of the farming landscape, mementoes of the farmers, and portraits of their survivors.
“As global warming changes the face of life ever more rapidly – particularly in developing and underdeveloped nations – the work of artists such as Borella becomes ever more needed,” commented Mike Trow, chair of the professional jury. He added that this year’s submissions “provoked a lot of debate and interest amongst the jury” with works “pushing the boundaries of photography and challenging the perceptions and expectations the audience”.
Maria Meco Sanchez originally photographed London’s Kings of Colour drag troupe as part of a commission. The aim of the images was to highlight the role of black drag kings and other performers in the London drag scene, which is a predominantly white space. “The photograph I entered into Portrait of Britain was of a gender-fluid performer named Coco,” Meco Sanchez explains of her subject. “They were very confident in front of the camera, which made the process easy and fun.” Meco Sanchez cites her photographic style as intuitive; she works without following specific rules, leaning towards spontaneity, although she admits that this can sometimes feel slightly chaotic.“I’m really bad at directing people,” she says, “so I try not to take too much control – I don’t want to strip away their persona”. Hailing from Spain, Meco Sanchez is now based in Bristol, where she is studying photography at the University of West England. Her work shifts between documentary, fine art and portrait photography, and her interests lie in people and emotion. “My work has …
After winning Portrait of Britain in 2018, Lang got back in contact with Roxy – the subject of his winning portrait – and created a new series
“Throughout my decade of coverage, the goal has always been to humanise this complex issue of immigration,” says John Moore, who’s nominated image from June 2018, Crying Girl on the Border, became a symbol of the families pulled apart by Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
It was while exploring his new neighbourhood on-foot that Miechowski happened upon Musah – the subject of his winning portrait
Born in Parma, Italy, in 1976, Marco Gualazzini began his career as a photographer in 2004, at the age of 28, for his towns local paper La Gazzetta di Parma. Since then he has covered topics such as microfinance in India, freedom of expression in Myanmar, and the discriminations of Christians in Pakistan, which have published in The New York Times, Al-jazeera, The Sunday Times, among many others.
Over the last few years he has been working extensively in Africa, documenting the desertification of what was once one of Africa’s largest lakes, and a lifeline to 40 million people on the continent. Gualazzini’s work has been double nominated for both World Press Photo of the Year and World Press Story of the Year.
Petronella Chigumbura is a member of Akashinga, an all female anti-poaching unit that operates in Zimbabwe’s Lower Zambezi ecosystem. In Shona – the native language of Zimbabwe – Akashinga means the brave ones. Many of the members are victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse, recruited by the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), and trained rigorously to serve on Africa’s frontline against poaching.
In Catalina Martin-Chico’s World Press Photo of the Year-nominated image, former guerilla fighter Yolanda is photographed with her husband Michael in their home in the Colombian jungle. It is their sixth pregnancy, but for the first time, Yolanda will be delivering a baby.
Until three years ago, when a peace deal was signed with the Colombian government, Yolanda was a member of the country’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc). Pregnancy was forbidden, so many female members underwent abortions. Yolanda has had five abortions – her last pregnancy terminated at six months. “She feels that now, she deserves this baby,” says Martin-Chico.
There are many recurring Latin American stereotypes in the mainstream media: from fiery Latinas, sexy senoritas, and coercive lotharios, to violent depictions of the region itself. These two-dimensional portrayals often come from a homogenous Western perspective, and we see far fewer images taken by those who inhabit the continent themselves. Daiana Valencia and Celeste Alonso came together in 2015 to change this. Combining their dual expertise, the pair created Rueda Photos – a collective focusing on “themes with social context, referring to the territory, the gender issues and the current affairs that are specific to it”. Since its inception, the collective has completed a number of immensely successful projects. Their first collaborative work was shot in Haiti, where they covered the presidential campaign of Maryse Narcisse in the 2015 elections. The series, Candidate, follows the Fanmi Lavalas party nominee during a period which saw attitudes towards female politicians change in South America. Since then, three of South America’s biggest powers – Chile, Argentina and Brazil – have been governed by women. The collective’s most recent …