“It was a really tough story to cover, because the subject wasn’t there,” says Chris McGrath. “There was so much press there, and everyone was having the same problem – I was talking with other photographers and the Getty Images office about how to tell the story. It became every day going to the same place, standing, trying to get a picture that said something.”
The story was the disappearance of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi and the problem was exactly that – a Saudi Arabian journalist, author, and editor, who wrote for The Washington Post, Khashoggi had gone to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on 02 October 2018 and vanished. Lurid reports that he’d been killed and dismembered soon circulated, but his body has still not been found and initially, the Saudi Arabian government denied his death. There was, as McGrath says, very little to photograph.
Then on 15 October, Saudi and Turkish officials were allowed in to inspect the building, and McGrath, along with many other journalists and photographers, went along to photograph the development. “We didn’t know when the inspectors would arrive, but everyone was there,” says McGrath. “All the press was trying to get something, and this guy was holding us back.”
Back in 2011, Mohammed Badra was studying architecture at Damascus University, a 20-minute drive from his native Douma. Then war broke out in Syria and he was forced to abandon his studies, initially becoming a first-responder for the Syrian Red Crescent, and then starting to take photographs of the conflict. “Taking a picture is documenting history,” he says simply. “I am an architecture student, I was pushed into photography.”
In 2015 Badra joined EPA [European Pressphoto Agency], working under Oliver Weiken and starting to focus in on images of children. Children are “the biggest losers in this war” he says, and there are many caught up in the crossfire, with the UN estimating that some 500,000 are currently living in 16 besieged areas in Syria.
And it’s the child that’s the really shocking factor in Badra’s photograph from Eastern Ghouta, which has been nominated for the World Press Photo of the Year. Showing victims of a suspected gas attack in hospital on 25 February 2018, the image includes a small boy hooked up to breathing apparatus.
“The photographers we have selected who are part of the exhibition are the vanguard – they are the next generation,” says Brendan Embser, managing editor of Aperture. He’s talking about the professional finalists in this year’s Sony World Photography Awards, which he helped judge alongside three other photography experts: Emma Lewis, assistant curator, Tate; Liu Heung Shing, founder of the Shanghai Center of Photography; and Isabella van Marle, head of artist & gallery relations at Unseen Amsterdam.
The Sony World Photography Awards are divided into four categories – professional, student, youth, and open – which this year received over 326,000 submissions from 195 countries and territories. The shortlisted work will go on show at the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London, before going on tour around the world; this exhibition will also include a section dedicated to work by Nadav Kander, who has been awarded a prize for his Outstanding Contribution to Photography.
Established in 1986 as a festival for young fashion designers, and adding a prize for emerging photographers in 1997, the International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion accessories, Hyères has established itself as a small but beautiful festival with a cutting-edge handle on photography in fashion and beyond.
The artistic director for photography is Raphaëlle Stopin, and this year she’s presenting exhibitions such as a solo show by Craig McDean plus a 25-year retrospective of Self-Service magazine. As usual, the festival also features work by 10 up-and-coming photographers, plus exhibitions by the two prize winners from 2018 – Eva O’Leary (who won the Grand Prix for photography last year) and Sarah Mei Herman (who won the American Vintage-sponsored prize).
The finalists for the 2019 competition are: Federico Berardi (Switzerland – Italy); Hubert Crabieres (France); Kerry J Dean (United Kingdom); Tommy Kha (China – USA); Hilla Kurki (Finland); Vincent Levrat (Switzerland); Alice Mann (South Africa); Andrew Nuding (Ireland); Jean-Vincent Simonet (France); and Elsa & Johanna (France). Their work will be on show until 28 May, and as well as competing for main prize, they will be commissioned to shoot new images for a Still Life Prize, and for the American Vintage Photography Prize.
Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama has won the 2019 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, which is worth SEK1,000,000 (approximately £80,700). Moriyama will now have a show at the Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg this autumn, and a new book of his work will be published by Walther König. Born in Osaka in 1938, Moriyama studied photography under Takeji Iwamiya before moving to Tokyo in 1961 to work as an assistant to Eikoh Hosoe. Producing a series of images titled Nippon gekijō shashinchō [published in English as Japan: A Photo Theater], Moriyama created an impressionistic take on the dark side of urban life that soon became synonymous with Provoke magazine, a publication he helped produce in 1969. Celebrating images that were “are, bure, bokeh” [“grainy/rough, blurry, and out-of-focus’], and giving a critical view of post-war Japan, Provoke was short-lived but profoundly influential both at home and abroad. Moriyama is still creating new work, however, recently telling that Hasselblad Foundation that “It’s fun!”. “I just take photos, or want to take photos, so to do that, because my photos are snapshots …
Now in its 22nd year, the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize is awarded each year to image-makers who’ve made the biggest contribution to the medium in the previous 12 months in Europe. This year the shortlisted artists are: Laia Abril, for her publication On Abortion; Susan Meiselas, for the retrospective exhibition Mediations; Arwed Messmer, for his exhibition RAF – No Evidence / Kein Beweis; and Mark Ruwedel, for the exhibition Artist and Society: Mark Ruwedel. The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced at The Photographers’ Gallery on 16 May 2019.
Ghanaian photographer Eric Gyamfi has won the 13th Foam Paul Huf Award, which is given annually to a photographer under the age of 35.
Gyamfi won the award for his most recent project, Fixing Shadows; Julius and I. “Photographs die and are reincarnated,” stated the photographer, who wins £20,000, a solo show at Foam in Amsterdam, and a spot in Foam Magazine’s Talent Issue and travelling exhibition. “I am interested in what happens to the life of the photograph as it gets sited through time, through death. Fixing shadows; Julius and I, works on the space/life between two photographs, mapped/permutated through different times, encounters and potentialities, as they move through a certain death.”
“A lot of my work has undertones of female sexuality and ritual, because photography was a place where it was okay to explore those things,” says Tabitha Barnard, the oldest of four sisters raised in a close-knit, religious community in rural Maine. “In photographing my sisters, and in trying to find a private place to do that, we kind of found this escape. I could always just tell my parents it was make-believe.”
Barnard has just won the 2018 Gomma Grant with this work, which she’s titled the Cult of Womanhood. Second prize went to Vladimir Vasilev with Nocte Intempesta, which was shot at night in a small city in Normandy, France. Fatima Abreu Ferreira took Third prize with How to disappear completely, “a work of struggle, obsession and complete hallucination” shot over two years in the photographer’s home town. Yorgos Yatromanolakis, meanwhile, won an Honourable mention for The Splitting of the Chrysalis & the Slow Unfolding of the Wings, which was also shot back home in the Greek island of Crete.
A shortlist of six images have been announced for this year’s World Press Photo of the Year, and three photographers shortlisted for a new award that celebrates visual storytelling – the World Press Story of the Year.
The six images shortlisted for World Press Photo of the Year are: Victims of an Alleged Gas Attack Receive Treatment in Eastern Ghouta by Mohammed Badra (Syria); Almajiri Boy by Marco Gualazzini (Italy); Being Pregnant After FARC Child-Bearing Ban by Catalina Martin-Chico (France/Spain); Covering the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi by Chris McGrath (Australia); Crying Girl on the Border by John Moore (United States); and Akashinga – the Brave Ones by Brent Stirton (South Africa).
The three nominees for the World Press Story of the Year are Marco Gualazzini (Italy), Pieter Ten Hoopen (Netherlands/Sweden), and Lorenzo Tugnoli (Italy) – making Gualazzini the first photographer to have been nominated for both the World Press Photo of the Year and the World Press Story of the Year.
“These magnificent photographs capture at once the great diversity and the inescapable identity of the British people,” writes Will Self, in his introduction to the Portrait of Britain 2018 book, “Gay, straight, bisexual and non-normative; male, female and non-binary; old, young and in between – how can it be that these – every one a compelling identity in its own right — are nonetheless trumped by a Britishness as heavy and irresistible as a Dundee fruit cake?” Portrait of Britain – the biggest, most inclusive photography event in the country – is back. Now in its fourth edition, the award will again culminate in a nationwide exhibition, with the winning images displayed on JCDecaux screens in public spaces across the country. Following the success of the Portrait of Britain book, which we created for the first time last year, we will compile 200 shortlisted images into a book, to be published by Hoxton Mini Press and distributed across the globe. Since its inception in 2016, Portrait of Britain’s profile has grown exponentially. Last year it …