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Sony Photography Awards 2023: Tribute to slain photojournalist wins first prize

Sony Photography Awards 2023: Tribute to slain photojournalist wins first prize

‘Powerful and personal’ tribute to slain journalist wins first prize in photography


Posted April 13, 2023

written by Oscar Holland, CNN

Organizers announced on Thursday that a poignant photographer of a friend who was killed in the 2011 Libyan Civil War won first prize at the Sony World Photography Awards.

Edgar Martins was named Photographer of the Year 2023 for his series Our War, a collection of images that depict Libyans who look like (or resemble) the late Anton Hammerl, a photojournalist while covering the conflict.

Receiving the $25,000 award was “very humbling,” Martinez said in a statement. He described it as “a very emotional experience as I will be honoring my friend on the world stage and drawing attention to the family’s plight to find his remains”.

“Our War” came about after a Portuguese photographer’s attempts to retrieve his friend’s body led him to Libya with the help of a smuggler. The instability in the country made his research unfeasible, so Martins decided instead to take pictures of people who had taken part in the war.

Photo from “Our War” series by Edgar Martins. credit: Edgar Martins

His subjects were chosen either because they physically looked like Hammerl, who was killed by forces loyal to former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, or because they had similar ideas and beliefs, or because they reminded the Martins of him at various stages of their friendship, according to a press release from the award organizers, the World Organization. for photography.

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The resulting images include former combatants and civilians from both sides of the eight-month conflict that saw Gaddafi’s overthrow by anti-government rebels.

In a statement, award chair Mike True described the project as “a powerful portrait collection,” adding: “(Martins’) work highlights the lengths to which photographers will go to tell a story and create meaning; each image gives a sense of the journey Anton undertook without showing how His life is over.”

Martins was selected among the winners of the annual Ten Professional Categories, which include topics from sports and landscapes to the environment. Now in its 16th year, the Awards attracted more than 415,000 entries in 2023, more than 180,000 of whom qualified for the professional categories. The organizers said that this year’s competition saw the largest number of entries in its history.

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Chinese photographer Fan Li won the Architecture and Design category for his image of an abandoned cement factory. Scroll through the gallery to see a selection of images from this year’s Sony World Photography Awards winners. credit: Van Lee

Other professional category winners include Chinese photographer Fan Li, who was honored for his photograph of an abandoned cement factory; Hugh Kinsella Cunningham of the United Kingdom, who has documented the work of women’s rights activists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and American photographer Al Bello, for his series on the first female baseball player to play in the all-male professional league.

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The organizers also announced the winners of several other awards Thursday, among the photographers in the student and youth competitions. Meanwhile, the inaugural Sustainability Award honored the work of environmental photographer Alessandro Cinque.

Scroll through the gallery above to see a selection of photos from the winners of the 2023 Sony World Photography Awards. accompanying exhibition On view at Somerset House, London until 1 May 2023.

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