Deadline: August 31, 2019
Entry fee: Free
Prizes: $1,000, Certificates of Achievement
International Photography Grant is open for submissions without any fees (free to enter) to support all photographers from every corner of the world.
We only accept series of photographs which share a common theme and are built as a one consistent project in the following categories: Creative, Documentary, Landscape, Portrait, Travel.
The Grand Prize winner and finalists will be selected by the most respected names in photographic world.
International Photography Grant 2018 Winners
Grand Prize Winner
1st Place Winner Urban Category
Over the last thirty years China’s growth has rocketed. This abrupt change has accelerated both the industrial and urban development of the country supported by the Chinese government. Today these governmental strategies are primarily aimed at developing the western regions of the country, but the emerging areas of activity bring on new challenges: increasing demands on the limited water supply, and urbanisation: the emergence of new cities and the development of those which already existed.
However, over time since Antiquity, observing nature has been elevated to the ranks of an art form. “Shan Shui”, meaning “Mountains – Water”, refers to a particular style of painting which pays tribute to the path of water and mountains while illustrating the opposition between immobility and motion embracing relief.
And Taoist philosophy – one of the two greatest philosophical systems that has emerged and developed in China – recommends that man return to the mountains and the forests, and teaches the idea of “non-intervention” in harmony with the Tao. Going against this means going against the principles of the origin of the world, and this would lead to chaos.
Far from its sacred status in mythology, nature is now tamed and shaped by man.
The regions running from Lanzhou to Shizuishan, where a booming industrialization and urbanization are taking place, are at the heart of the current government agenda. Irrigated by the sole Yellow River and spreading up steep contours, they represent the many challenges which regularly occur. Despite being known since time began as the “Mother River”, many incidents of river pollution have taken place in this part of the region in the past decades. It is also in these regions that the Chinese government has initiated the flattening of numerous mountains in order to encourage urban development and economic activity.
This body of photographic work just released brings together in one series the view of two photographers on the same territory. Sebastien Tixier and Raphael Bourelly team up to offer an overview of these regions and the important challenges they pose. A testimony of this nature sometimes preserved, sometimes being transformed, and the urban network that spreads and never stops evolving.
1st Place Winner Body Category
Beauty has no set limits, there is no prescribed recipe. Today we are lucky to witness these changes towards how beauty is perceived and in the breaking of its stereotypes. Albinism is beautiful and unique, yet still misunderstood. For many reasons albinism can be seen as a very unique condition. Its uniqueness, however, may lead to separateness and isolation for many people. Childhood, teenage years, everyday life, and self-esteem are all deeply influenced by society’s attitude and may be further impacted by a lack of social acceptance and understanding. Social attitudes toward albinism are often similar to those experienced by other disability and minority groups. These may include a lack of understanding, fear of the unknown, and prejudice based on appearance. It is important to share experience and increase awareness to break the prejudicial boundaries.
2nd Place Winner Body Category
In his most dynamic and thought-provoking exhibition to date, Caff Adeus sheds light on his own inner turmoil by warping reality to visually depict the manifestation of stress, doubts, insecurities, depression, trauma, anxiety, and the like, and how all of these things silently push and bend us from within. This collection of photographs explores an altered consciousness in which repetitive, highly destructive, repressed, and unhealthy thoughts physically mutate the human body beyond it’s natural capacity, until the darkness inside is visible to the world. His theory reaches a hauntingly beautiful conclusion through subtle manipulation of the images to expose the wolf beneath the wool.
Although surreal in it’s execution, Woolvs summons a collective reality in which anxiety, trauma, stress, and even death, largely loom. Bridging the gap using professional dancers, Caff Adeus is able to tell a very important story through photographs that is often neglected. The ultimate goal is to use Woolvs’ to bring awareness to the individuals dealing with mental disorders, the courageous LGBTQ community struggling to be themselves, and the brave individuals on the battlefield against PTSD.
3rd Place Winner Body Category
Addiction is the biggest crisis Iran has known since the Iran-Iraq war. This has social, economic and political consequences. 80% of Iranian prisoners are detained for drug consumption and 25 % of murders are caused by drug consumption.
According to the ministry of health there are more than three million seven thousand addicts in Iran. The country would thus be the 4th country in terms of drug users. The situation of Iran, which is part of the Golden Crescent (Iran Afghanistan and Pakistan) facilitates production and distribution of drug and makes access easier for user.
For specialists, unemployment, inflation, poverty, curiosity, search for pleasure, sexual relations and the desire to exist within the society are the main reasons for these individuals to be attracted by drugs.
Every year three thousand individuals lost their life because of excessive use of drugs. In Iran, a large percentage of drug users and death because of drug consumption concern workers socio-professional category.
To prevent and control use and traffic, successive governments in Iran have initiated various policies and measures such as arrests, imprisonment, death penalty of drug dealers.
However, some of these users, decide to get clean and go back to the society.A choice which seems easy but turn to be the most difficult choice of their life. The first days, they face the difficult and painful withdrawal effects. When drug consumption is stopped, body and brain respond and the addicted user suffers. Withdrawal symptoms are cold sweat, tachycardia, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bone ache, insomnia, loss of appetite, stress, confusion… Symptoms depends also on the type of drug used, the time of consumption and physical capacities.
21 days are needed to end the withdrawal painful symptoms. And because of this physical and psychic pain lot of users withdraw the process.
World statistics show that only 2% of individuals wishing to stop drug consumption succeed to be clean until the end of their life. Indeed, when these people come back to the society, they are confronted to many difficulties, as finding a job, society’s judgment and mistrust and access to drug. Thus, many of them relapse. The instable situation as well as their family’s and society’s indifference lead them to repeat taking the drug. To avoid to relapse, they try to change their personality, empty their mind and find peace.
They told that most of the time main reasons to relapse is unemployment, society’s rejection and sexual relations.
I want to keep on working on this project. I plan to follow this individuals when they come back to the society in order to focus and understand the reasons of their relapse.
1st Place Winner Climate Category
Giulio Di Sturco
A symbol of spirituality as old as Jerusalem and Athens, the Ganges River has become the first non-human entity in India to be granted the same legal status as that of human beings.
The river goddess Ganga once flowed wild and free, ripping through the Indian landscape with vigor and might from the roaring icy waters in the Himalayas down its murky end in the Bay of Bengal. The river is now on the brink of a humanitarian crisis due to the devastating effects of climate change, industrialisation and urbanisation.
Among the many forms of resistance thought by local people to preserve and renew ancestral traditions, food, flowers and other religious offerings are set afloat across the waters every day. Sadly, it is a common belief among Hindu pilgrims that these waters are so pure and holy that it is exempt from any harm. Every year roughly 32000 corpses are cremated in Varanasi and around 200 tons of half burned flesh end up in the Ganges contaminating the waters and those who bathe in it. With the addition of rotting animal carcasses, a foaming layer of scum is often seen along some parts of the river.
Complications of proper connections from toilets to drains manifest in the form of huge open sewers along the river as populations of riverside cities continue to boom. Feeble sewage treatment plants simply cannot process the amount of waste coming in causing untreated waste to flow freely adding to the toll of children who suffer and die from diarrhoea, water-borne and enteric diseases everyday across the Ganges basin. Open-air defecation is a common sight. In some parts the water contains faecal coliform bacteria at half-a-million times the Indian recommended bathing limit.
Mammoth hydroelectric projects like the Tehri Dam cause water shortages in surrounding villages. India’s green revolution transformed barren and forested land into heavily irrigated areas increasing the exploitation of water resources, including the vast groundwater aquifers of the Ganges basin. Fertilizers running off from fields seep into the water heavily contaminating it. As leather factories of Kanpur grow in numbers, the city’s water treatment plants are unable to cope with the volume of chemical waste from tanneries, afflicting farmers using the water with rashes, boils and numbness in the limbs.
Water availability in the Ganges basin is highly dependent on the monsoon. Dramatic changes in climate due to global warming alter the timing, intensity and duration of rainfall, significantly affecting the amount of water available. Salinity in the south of the river has led to desertification in many areas in Bangladesh and India. The Ganges is already running dry in many places, and as weather patterns become irregular parts of the river simply cease to exist for periods of time, dramatically affecting the lives of people who depend on the river for their livelihoods and spiritual wellbeing.
For more than ten years I documented the lives of the people who live along the river Ganges, witnessing first-hand the devastating effects of climate change, industrialization and urbanization. It is evident in many ways that an impending ecological disaster waits on the horizon.
In Hindu mythology the Ganges is considered a “Tirtha” which means a crossing point between heaven and earth. My fear is this bridge may crumble in our lifetime. In the face of climate change it appears we are only adding more logs to the incineration of this holy river goddess.
I have traveled the entire length of the Ganges to date. This project aims to add fuel to the current discussion surrounding the fate of the Ganges at this historical junction where we have the power to shape not only physical but also spiritual geography of a nation.
2nd Place Winner Climate Category
Hamoun Wetland To Wasteland
Iran is “water bankrupt,” and mainly suffering from a socio-economic drought, where water demand exceeds the natural water supply. My country is facing a serious and protracted water crisis and desertification as lakes and rivers once-fertile become barren. water shortages sparked protests in the south of Iran in the last few months. On August 7th, 2018 Iran’s Interior Minister warned that the climate and water crisis in Iran is becoming a ” big social crisis ” and climate migration will change Iran’s face by five years.
Sistan-Balouchestan strategic province in the south-eastern part of Iran, which is bordered by Pakistan and Afghanistan, is the largest Iranian province with a population of 2.5 million where the life strongly depends on the water of Hamoun Lake and wetlands fed by the Helmand River that flows from Afghanistan to Iran. In the last three years, about 30% of the people in Sistan-Balouchestan have migrated to the suburbs of other cities due to Drying up of Hamoun Lake and Water crisis. Empty borders will affect the security of the borders between Iran and Afghanistan which will create the possibility for the transit of smugglers, terrorists and drug gangs.
The Hamoun wetlands are located in parts of south-western Afghanistan and south-eastern Iran was one of the world’s important wetlands under the Ramsar Convention in 1975 and the biggest freshwater lake in Iran’s plain which turned to sea of sand in in recent 15 years Due to drought and Iran-Afghan conflicts over Helmand River and the construction of large dams on the River for poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.
My project aims to focus on Water crisis and climate change and drought in the south (The Persian Gulf and all its coastal areas) and south-east of Iran in order to demonstrate environmental, economic, and social impacts of drought that happened in recent years.
In a long-term project that I started in 2014, I traveled all-around the Urmia Lake (was once the sixth largest saline lake in the world) and the port I spent my childhood, to show the effects of shrinking of the lake on the
When I look at my country I see that Urmia Lake is not the only place that has been a victim of the changing climate, overdevelopment of farming and bad water consumption and drought but there are many lakes and wetlands that are affected by the recent drought in Iran.
To feel and believe water crisis, climate change and drought you have to see it. It’s unreasonable to think that humans can destroy nature, animals, and ecosystems and not think that it can happen to them.my project’s audience are people in/out of my country who Some of them have never thought of water crisis before or have experienced water crisis effects but for various reasons resist connecting with it. by Covering and telling stories through photography I want to raise awareness of the subject in order to change public attitudes.
3rd Place Winner Climate Category
The Hungry Tide Project
What would you do if you see all that you had in life, sinking right in front of you?
Ghoramara, an island located 150 km south of Kolkata, India in the sensitive Sunderban delta complex of the Bay of Bengal, has earned the stark sobriquet of “sinking island”.
The island, once spanning across 20 sq. km, has been reduced to an area of 5 sq. Km now.
“Over the last two decades I’ve lost 3 acres of cultivable land to the Muriganga river and had to shift home four times. There has been no resettlement initiative from the government,” says Anwara Bibi, 30, resident of Nimtala village in the island.
Global warming has caused the river to swell, as the river pours down from the mighty Himalayas and empties into the Bay of Bengal. High tides and floods is playing havoc on the fragile embankments, displacing hundreds of islanders every year. “Most men have migrated to work in construction sites in the southern part of India,” says Sanjeev Sagar, Panchayat Pradhan of Ghoramara Island.
More than 600 families have been displaced in the last three decades, leaving behind 5,000 odd residents struggling with harsh monsoons every year.
“A large-scale mangrove plantation could prevent tidal erosion. With every high tide a part of the island is getting washed away,” says Sugata Hazra, professor, school of oceanographic studies, Jadavpur University.
Only those without any means to migrate are left in this island. Recent research conducted independently by School of Oceanographic Studies has estimated that 15 per cent of Sunderbans would sink by 2020, with the possibility of Ghoramara disappearing from the map.
Amidst such existential crisis, it is not surprising that issues such as education is being neglected. “The nearest senior secondary school is across the river at Kakdwip. A more practical way for sustenance is leaving the island in search of work,” says Sourav Dolui, 16, a 9th grade student at the Ghoramara Milan Bidyapeeth.
Other islands in the delta – Mousuni – Sagardeep – Hingalgonj – Kultali are also low lying islands without any sharp elevation. Any rise in sea level directly affects the islanders in terms of life and livelihood resulting in a calamity. Life in Sunderbans is a constant tussle between the human existence and the sea, to stop land from being dragged away. Islands, once home to several thousand people are at brisk of being washed away forever, or have already been submerged.
This is from the body of work, “The Hungry Tide Project- work in progress” which documents the last inhabitants of the sinking islands in the Sunderban Deltaic region.
1st Place Winner Daily Life Category
Cult Of Womanhood
Growing up in a small town in rural Maine, my contact with others was limited. My sisters and I lived in a close-knit religious culture where sexuality was never mentioned. I was raised alongside three sisters. As children we created elaborate fantasy games and tried to find every Bible passage we could about powerful women and witches. The forbidden nature and the ritual of the occult fascinated us. Our household was staunchly Christian, I witnessed the demonization of sexuality and femininity in our church, yet I was surrounded by powerful feminine energy. Though she was Christian, my mother read us books about witches of all kinds. Baba Yaga was always my sister’s favorites. I became obsessed with femininity, ritual, and the history New England had with witchcraft. For the last six years, I have made images that document different interpretations of femininity in my life. As a young woman I watched myself and my sisters go through the different stages of becoming women, in particular how girls changed from children to objects sexualized by older men. I create images about this transition into womanhood, examining strength but also the pressure to exist as a female. My photographs explore religion and the community I created with my sisters through portraiture, all being played out on the stage of a New England landscape. In our religious cult of womanhood there exists a theater of eternal youth and femininity. We are confrontational while on display, finding our escape from this repression in the forests and seascapes of Maine.
2nd Place Winner Daily Life Category
In the mid-to-late 1940’s a new subculture in America emerged and grew during the post war prosperity of the 1950’s. Young Latino youths had been known to place sandbags in their custom vehicles, so that the body of their car would ride close to the road; “slow and low” being their motto. This was aesthetically pleasing for those involved in the scene and would later be technologically advanced, for the same effect to be achieved by hydraulics. Lowriding had begun and the vehicles were decorated to hold political statements and sported images representing Latino culture. As the years passed and the 21st Century began, Lowriding culture became extremely popular. Often seen in popular music videos, the scene was embraced by cultures all around the world and had huge global appeal. For “Ground Clearance”, I returned to America and documented the scene in 2016 – 2017.
3rd Place Winner Daily Life Category
Over the course of a number of months, between the years 2015 and 2017 I gained access to 58 slaughterhouses, located ten different Mexican states. During this time, I documented the killing of cows, goats, chickens and horses, as well as the transport of these animals, from farm to slaughterhouse.
The work presented below, has as its objective to make visible the exploitation and systematic violence inflicted upon animals in slaughterhouses; treatment which is deliberately hidden from the public by the meat industry. With this investigation, I hope to contribute to the current debate, both social and political, surrounding speciesism and the anti-speciesist position promoted by the animal rights movement working towards the abolition of all animal exploitation.
Thanks to images which have been obtained by activists who have infiltrated farms and slaughterhouses, members of the public have been able to see the truth behind the animal agriculture industry; a side of the industry kept deliberately behind closed doors. These types of investigations are damaging the image of the meat production companies, influencing the demand for their products, closing down businesses and threatening the economic future of those companies that continue to exploit animals.
The meat industry is well aware of the social impact generated by the publication of images and footage obtained by activists within their facilities, and for this reason they do all that they can to guard against infiltration. To access a farm or slaughterhouse with a camera, and in particular with a camera which is not hidden or “undercover” is not easy and so many activists carrying out this work are forced to use hidden cameras – either concealed on their own bodies as they enter and move around the farms or slaughterhouses, or static hidden cameras which are fixed in a position by activists where they will not be found by the farm or slaughterhouse workers.
In the United States, decades of investigations and campaigns brought by activists against the industry have resulted in the agriculture lobby influencing politicians in order to protect their financial interest in animal exploitation from criticism. A number of states have now made it illegal to film within farms and slaughterhouses.
Slaughterhouses which permit entry to a photo journalist are exceptional cases and, in the rare case that this happens, it is usually forbidden for those photographers to capture the moment in which the animals are killed, that is to say: access to the kill floor is generally out of bounds. In addition, the industry profiles known individual activists and organisations to ensure that, for those connected with the movement to end animal exploitation, access to their facilities is prohibited or, at best, made as difficult as possible.
Mexico is one world’s largest producers of beef, chicken and pork meat. Despite this, until 2015, no large-scale, undercover of the countries slaughterhouses has ever been carried out.
At the end of 2015, after various failed attempts, I was able to enter two slaughterhouses in the Mexican state of Jalisco, and photograph their practices; from the arrival of the animals in the trucks to the moment of slaughter. This was the beginning of the investigation which has now extended to 58 Mexican slaughterhouses and which now encompasses a comprehensive account of what happens there behind closed doors. The project presented here represents that work, carried out over the course of several trips and several months.
It is important to underline that, although all of the material presented in this project has been collated in Mexico, the purpose of this project is not simply to demonstrate what happens in Mexican slaughterhouses specifically. While there are certain differences in the techniques employed, in the facilities themselves, in the existence of, enforcement of and compliance with any respective country’s laws – some stricter than others, some more lax than others – the fundamental practices and aims of any slaughterhouse, regardless of where it is in the world, is the same: kill as many animals as possible, as quickly as possible.
The cruelty and violence that exists in these places, the terror forced upon the animals in their final, miserable moments, is a common factor in all slaughterhouses and forms an intrinsic part of the industrial animal exploitation system and, as such, as is evidenced throughout the citations and references used throughout this project, this happens in every slaughterhouse in the world. Aside from the size of any individual slaughterhouse, the specific technique used to kill, or the legal framework within which the slaughterhouses operate in any particular country, these places represent one of the largest and most systematic form of violence against animals.
1st Place Winner Experimental Category
Photographer Nathalie Daoust’s newest project, Korean Dreams, is a complex series that probes the unsettling vacuity of North Korea. Piercing its veil with her lens, these images reveal a country that seems to exist outside of time, as a carefully choreographed mirage. Daoust has spent much of her career exploring the chimeric world of fantasy: the hidden desires and urges that compel people to dream, to dress up, to move beyond the bounds of convention and to escape from reality. With Korean Dreams she is exploring this escapist impulse not as an individual choice, but as a way of life forced upon an entire nation.
Daoust deliberately obscures her photographs during the development stage, as the layers of film are peeled off, the images are stifled until the facts becomes ‘lost’ in the process and a sense of detachment from reality is revealed. This darkroom method mimics the way information is transferred in North Korea – the photographs, as the North Korea people, are both manipulated until the underlying truth is all but a blur. The resultant pictures speak to North Korean society, of missing information and truth concealed.
2nd Place Winner Experimental Category
ASYMPTOTE merges past and present into a unified visual form connecting photography, video and sound. The project is composed of scenes set in the period of socialism, yet interpreted in a digital language through the eyes of three young creatives.
ASYMPTOTE uses architectonic sites that are authentic to the era of socialism. At the basis of the project lies a historical foundation that collaborates with a fictional scenario to blur the lines between reality and memory. All body form in the project is folded within the space to shape a coherent geometrical composition, a symbol of the regime itself.
People create a pattern. They become part of the overall composition: the architecture and the society. Each person is stripped off their own individuality to become a unified form, creating an absurd platform where every difference is an anomaly.
Through completing this project we try to come closer to the topic of socialism and lead a dialogue with people who experienced this era of our national history themselves.
ASYMPTOTE portrays a contact between collective feelings and testimonials interpreted by today’s young generation represented by the authors. The goal is not only to reflect on the past, but most importantly to address the current state of society and its values.
3rd Place Winner Experimental Category
Suspended Light: Two Suns
In this project dominates an extended concept of photographic imagery which overlaps the intimate and common problems of political, cultural, and personal identity of contemporary society. The project subtly combines the possibilities of traditional black-and-white photography and new ways of photography, in order to convey the well-thought-out motives of my creative work.
The series Suspended Light: Two Suns is based on the fact that it takes 8 minutes for sunlight to reach the surface of the Earth. In each photograph there is eight minutes gap in between captured Sun light.
2nd Place Winner Urban Category
Mijannur Rahaman Gazi
Extension of a City
Kolkata (Calcutta), the metro city of India, like other big cities, is getting bigger by the day in its physical format. The adjacent suburban areas are also becoming part of the main city. A few years back areas which were just negligible neighboring spaces, have now integrated into the city. East Calcutta Township (22.5132° N, 88.4018° E) happens to be one such place.
Urbanization of this place started over 20 years back with the establishment of the Ruby General Hospital (1995). Subsequently, people started thronging places like Anadapur, Madurdaha, Nonadanga. But most people of the East Calcutta Township are refugees. The reasons behind the increasing population are Aila Storm (2009), eviction of people from railway slums and most importantly the scope of income. For the last few years, skyscrapers are hovering overhead. But still, here village freshness blends with the artificial cityscape. We get to see single storied and multi-storied buildings alongside huts and slums. Along with the geography of this area urbanization also brings some changes in the perspective of residents.
To draw an overall picture of a semi urbanizing area is the main objective of this work. The conflict between mentality and lifestyle of longtime residents of this area, migrated inhabitants and newly added metro people creates a unique jumble in East Calcutta Township. To document this mishmash is also part of this project.
3rd Place Winner Urban Category
Riad Mirage Club
Riad Mirage Club (Morocco, 2017 – 2018) is the last volume of the long-term and ongoing documentary project Future Rust, Future Dust (2016 – ), which aims to analyse the urban and architectural impact of the last world financial crisis and the burst of the real estate bubble.
Through a “concrete tsunami” exploration of ghost cities, aborted tourism projects, unused infrastructures, or roads leading to nowhere, this project plunges us into a post-apocalyptic atmosphere, vestige of this modern age mixing economic failures, corrupt elected officials, megalomaniac investors and dreams of home-ownership.
Witnesses of this big waste of – often public – money, these modern ruins hide human and ecological tragedies: indebted and defrauded people, homes finished but abandoned when so many people can’t find a place to live, and Nature disfigured for nothing, even in areas protected by law.
Throughout a visual approach combining aestheticism and graphism, Riad Mirage Club reports the impact of the 2008 financial crisis which directly affected Morocco, from Marrakech to Tanger. Marrakech and the ocean coast, main touristic destinations, experienced an outbreak of property programs, characterized by a strong demand and soaring prices, in an unregulated area where everyone could become a promoter. Today, these concrete skeletons continue to dot the semi-desert, shoreline and green hills landscapes of Morocco.