The announcement of the Sony World Photography Awards 2021 came on 15th April. Here are the winners of each category.
Winner of the portraiture category and the photographer of the year award, Craig Easton from the United Kingdom presented Bank Top at the Sony Photography Awards this year.
A collaboration with writer Abdul Aziz Hafiz, Bank Top presents the representation and misrepresentation of communities located in northern England, particularly the close communities in Blackburn. The series aims to confront the language used in the media and its dismissal of the historical legacy of the community, the cost of past colonialism and industrial expansion.
ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
First place for the Architecture and Design award went to Eternal Hunting Grounds (Pet Crematorium by architect Petr Hajek) by Tomáš Vocelka.
Two friends, Martin Chlum and Michal Seba purchased the former Drnov military complex, which had been abandoned for 17 years. Their mission was to build a final resting place for pets. One of the owners explains the reasoning behind their project: “When my dog died, I found that there weren’t any places where I could take him for cremation or burial”. Working with Czech architect Petr Hakel, they created the Eternal Hunting Grounds. A pet funeral home with a mourning hall, a crematorium and 40 hectares of land for local wildlife to roam freely.
The Moon Revisited by Mark Hamilton Gruchy won first prize in the Creative category. The series includes a selection of previously unprocessed, copyright-free images from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Using the unprocessed photographs, Gruchy created his own imagery, depicting both contemporary issues and issues relevant at the time of the Apollo mission. The series discusses the consistent and unchanging nature of the moon, juxtaposed with the dynamic and ever-changing Earth.
The Killing Daisy by Vito Fusco examines the history of the pyrethrum or ‘the flower of death’ and its recent revival as a natural insecticide.
This delicate daisy earned its nickname as ‘the flower of death’ because of its deadly powers. Cultivated in the hills of Nakuru in Kenya, the pyrethrum stunns insects into paralysis, leading to death. For centuries the pyrethrum was used as a natural insecticide but it was during the 1980s when chemical synthesis of pyrethroids were favoured over the natural products of the daisy. Soon, the manufacturing of cheaper, non-organic products took hold and the pyrethrum soon became redundant.
However, in more recent years the daisy is once again being grown and cultivated and the Kenyan government has opened up the production of pyrethrum to private companies in an effort to revive the sector and support local farmers meet the growing demand for organic products. The plant can provide a yield every 15 days, all year round.
Simone Tramonte won first place in the Environment category for the series, Net-zero Transition. Although the coronavirus pandemic has caused a severe economic downturn, it has shifted the focus onto the more sustainable living. Net-zero Transition focuses on the relationship Iceland has with renewable energy. During the 2008 financial crisis, the country successfully transformed its economy through renewable energy. In only a short period of time, Iceland has transitioned from relying on fossil fuels to producing 100% of its electricity from renewable energy. Iceland is a global leader in renewable technology and it presents to the world an array of possible solutions to tackle the global climate crisis.
Majid Hojjati won first place for Silent Neighborhoods. “Everything in life is made up of impressions from the past and whatever befalls us today. The fabric which took one form yesterday takes on a new form now. All creatures still fight for their survival. Nature is the battlefield.”
Hojjati’s Silent Neighborhoods is created from abandoned, open spaces. Presenting places free from human presence and noise.
Coming first place for the Portfolio category is Laura Pannack for submitting her Portfolio Overview.
The selection of images are taken from Pannack’s personal projects she’s worked on over the years. The body of work presented is all driven by research and strengthening a connection with her subjects. Vulnerability and candour is essential for Pannack’s process and it’s evident in the experimentation of her work.
First place for the Sports category went to Anas Alkharboutli for Syria: Sport and Fun Instead of War and Fear. Located in the Syrian village of Aljiina near Aleppo, Wasim Satot is a karate school for children. Founded by Wasim Satot, the school is open to girls and boys from the ages of six to 15 with and without disabilities. The aim of the school is to encourage children to take part in an activity that they are all taught together, without discrimination. Satot wants to create a community within the school that can help the children overcome any traumas of war.
Peter Eleveld won first prize for Still Life Composition, Shot on Wet Plate. Using ordinary objects such as fruits, flowers and glassware, Eleveld used the wet plate collodion technique to create something extraordinary from the mundane subjects.
The process requires planning of composition and lighting, not to mention a lot of patience. Eleveld shared his experience of the process, stating that, “The hard work pays off when finally it all comes together in one unique, magical moment as you watch the photograph slowly develop in front of your eyes.” What is left from the process is a one of a kind, unique piece of art.
WILDLIFE AND NATURE
Luis Tato won first place in Wildlife and Nature for Locust Invasion in East Africa. Thriving in moist conditions in arid environments, desert locusts are the most destructive migratory insects in the world. Billions of these locusts have been feasting on crops throughout East Africa, destroying everything in their path. With the plague of locust comes a shortage of food supply and a threat to the livelihoods of millions of people.
Extreme rainfall combined with weather anomalies have created the perfect breeding ground for these desert locusts. The swarms began in early 2020 and have devoured all vegetation in their wake and with the COVID-19 restrictions, efforts to fight the infestation has slowed significantly.