International Photo Awards: breathtaking pictures from all around the world
By Aldo De Luca | MediaTalks by J&Cia, Londres
For those who like photography, the list of winners of the 2020 edition of the International Photography Awards, one of the main photography awards in the world, is a paradise. The award has been given annually since 2003.
An international jury of renowned photography experts judged a total of 13,000 entries (professional and non-professional/student categories) from 120 countries around the world to select category winners, each of whom are in the running to receive the IPA’s top two prizes—Photographer of the Year for the
professional categories, and Discovery of the Year for the non-professional / student categories.
Among the professionals, the largest number of awards (3) went to the UK from the United Kingdom, followed by Australia, with 2. From South America, the only winner was from Colombia, in the Deeper Perspective category.
Among non-professionals / students, the United States and Spain won two awards each. Argentina represented South America among the winners, in the Books category.
The judges praised this year’s winners for their exceptional work across various genres and styles. Hossein Farmani, IPA’s founder and president, commented:
“In these unprecedented times, this year’s entries reflect some of the biggest challenges facing our generation–not the least of which is dealing with a virus which, for the first time, is an event that has affected every person on earth in some way. We see photography at its best–whether covering the Covid pandemic, or the world’s uprising against injustice–the images captured are breathtaking. I can easily say these are the best images I have seen in the last decades.”
Brazil did not win in any of the main categories, but in Nature/ non-professional underwater subcategory the winner was Brazilian Paula Gomes Vianna, with the incredible Pink on Pink photo, showing a pink anemone fish housed inside a pink anemone.
“There are 12 species of anemone fish in Australia and 30 in the world. Anemone fish have a mutualistic relationship, they cannot survive without an anemone, that provide them with shelter, protection, delimit their territories, ward off potential predators and serve as spawning grounds.
Covid-19, refugees and protests among winners of Editorial category
The photos in the Editorial category focused mainly on Covid-19, racial protests, protests for the autonomy of regions such as Catalonia and Hong Kong and the drama of refugees from around the world.
Among the professionals, the winning photo was Pro Democracy Demonstrations, Hong Kong: The Revolution of Our Time, showing a glimpse of protests against China.
But other impressive photos with the same theme also won in subcategories, such as David and Golia, which shows a pro-autonomous protester from Catalonia being arrested in Barcelona.
Among non-professionals, Covid-19 was the subject of the winning photo. Epicenter of Covid-19 shows a striking scene in a hospital in Turkey.
The portrait of Humanity shows the anguish of a doctor protected by a glass camera to collect blood samples as a portrait of humanity itself.
Photos of the racial protests also yielded striking images, like Unrest in America …
… and Say Their Names, with protesters demanding the names of George Floyd’s killers in the United States.
The refugee drama was depicted in extraordinary photos, such as La Caravana del Diablo, showing migrants from Honduras in their attempt to reach the United States…
or Exodus, focusing on Venezuelan refugees in Colombia.
The Zone shows refugees in the security zone in northeastern Syria…
…and Education Whilst Displaced shows the difficulty of continuing the education of Yazidi children in a school within a refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The photo Srebrenica, the pain has not subsided recalls that the pain has not abated in Srebrenica, Bosnia, where the genocide of 8,300 men and boys occurred 25 years ago. Women, children and the elderly were forced to leave their villages. But every year they promote collective burials of the remains of their relatives that are still found.
In the environmental subcategory, Plastic Crisis: Men On The Front Lines portrays the poor in Accra, Ghana, who take a risk collecting trash in the waters of Korle Lagoon to recover recyclable plastics and sell them for pennies to survive.
The Dukha People, Victmis of Culprits, shows the struggle for survival of the remaining forty Dukha families in Mongolia, involved in reindeer breeding, hampered by climate change.
Hope comes from The Sufi Brotherhoods of Senegal, which shows how the tolerant interpretation of the Koran by the Sufi community has kept the country stable and on the margins of international terrorism …
..and City Soleil: a Melody of Hope, which portrays a music school created by a volunteer that encourages children and teenagers in the midst of a gang war in City Soleil, Haiti.
Art and Expression
In addition to the Editorial category there are works of great beauty and with impactful messages. Some of the ones we selected:
The Silent Menace (1st Place / Special, 1st Place / Special/Digitally Enhanced), by Canadian photographer Sawyer Russel expresses the drama of Covid-19.
“An eerily quiet downtown Calgary during what normally is rush hour. The only inhabitant, a silent menace. Unseen and invisible.”
A poetic approach to football in the series of photos produced in Uganda with a Leica by Australian Brian Hodges, winner in the People / Children category. They show boys and their improvised balls, with studied harmony of colors.
All winners are displayed in IPA’s website