Maverick Life

2021 Sony World Photography Professional Competition: Finalists and shortlist (Part Two)

By Sony World Photography Awards 9 March 2021

A bodybuilder gets ready before going on stage during the Iron Fit Bodybuilding competition in Nairobi on December 05, 2020. 130 participants from all across East Africa took part in the second edition of this competition which included categories like Bikini, Figure, Physique and Bodybuilding. In March 2020, Kenya halted all sporting activities to stop the spread of Covid-19, alongside other measures such as closing borders and schools, and imposing a nighttime curfew. Six months later, Sports Minister Amina Mohamed gave the green light for non-contact sports to resume, allowing fitness enthusiasts to participate in the second Iron Fit Bodybuilding competition in Nairobi. One hundred and thirty athletes from all across East Africa took part in this event, which included categories such as Bikini, Figure, Physique and Bodybuilding. © Patrick Meinhardt, Spain, Finalist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

The Sony World Photography Organisation recently announced the finalist and shortlisted photographers in the professional competition for 2021. Here is a selection of the images, in the portraiture and sports categories.

Portraiture category

Carol Imasiku. Bank Top, a collaboration with writer and academic Abdul Aziz Hafiz, examines the representation and misrepresentation of communities in northern England, and focuses on a tight-knit neighbourhood in Blackburn. Craig Easton notes that Blackburn has become synonymous with the use of words such as segregation (BBC Panorama) and integration (The Casey Review) by the media and policymakers – terms which he believes are too simplistic to explain the challenges faced by such neighbourhoods and towns. His aim with Bank Top is to confront what he sees as dominant discourses in the media which fail to acknowledge the historical legacy and social costs of industrial expansion and colonialism. © Craig Easton, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional, Portraiture, Sony World Photography Awards 2021
Mohammed Afzal, the Birdman of Bank Top. This long-form collaboration uses the stories and experiences in Bank Top to address wider issues around social deprivation, housing, unemployment, immigration and representation, as well as the impact of past and present foreign policy. © Craig Easton, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional, Portraiture, Sony World Photography Awards 2021
Jess, Lockdown 3, Tier 3. Time stands still for most of us. It is a sensitive time; we all feel vulnerable and anxious. I felt numb, but I knew I couldn’t stand around and do nothing, so I decided to document today’s existence as lived now by many people. I chose to capture them in their lockdown isolation, effectively imprisoned behind the windows of their homes looking out onto a different desolate world. My 12-year old son helped carry the lighting. © Julia Fullerton-Batten, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Father Kevin, Lockdown Day 70. © Julia Fullerton-Batten, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
These portraits were taken just before the pandemic reached the US in February 2020. Drag Queen Cowboys is a collaboration with the vibrant community of performers based in Las Vegas. Set in Nevada, and inspired by the locations and displacement of characters in John Houston’s film The Misfits (1961), all drag queens chose and painstakingly made their own ‘Western’ outfits; including accessories, wigs and applying their own make-up. After gaining their trust, I steered them away from their nocturnal habitat of bars and clubs. With no artificial lighting or digital technology, I shot these portraits on black-and-white film, using a plate camera, in the natural light of the American West. © Jane Hilton, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
© Jane Hilton, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Demareyo Tittle, 18, foreground, wears part of the outfit he planned on going to prom with along with his homecoming king sash and crown before it was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns on Saturday, May 9, 2020 in Killeen, Tx. “I feel like we wasted our money,” Tittle said. Also pictured (left to right) is his grandmother Erma Allen, 36, brother Omarie Tittle, 16, and mother Juanita Franklin, 36. The pinnacle of the school year for many high school seniors is their prom. Some buy their outfits months in advance, waiting for the opportunity to wear them to the highly anticipated event. Because of Covid-19, proms due to take place in 2020 were cancelled. This project aims to highlight those who missed out. © Christian Lee, United States of America, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Jordan Buie, 18, foreground, wears the dress she planned on going to prom with before it was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns on Monday, May 11, 2020 in Killeen, Tx. “I can’t keep stressing myself about something I can’t control,” Orion said. Also pictured (left to right) is her brother Caleb Buie, 13, father Burnice Buie, 39, and mother Wilzata Buie, 38. © Christian Lee, United States of America, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Taiwo. The Aylesbury Estate in south-east London is in an irreversible state of decline and on a course to its inevitable demolition. These images (created immediately after the lifting of the first lockdown) are an intimate collaboration with the last residents. They offer an alternative narrative to the stereotypes and mythologies associated with the representation of urban decay that have come to define the Aylesbury Estate and overshadow the amazing lives of generations who have made this place their home. It is both a time capsule and an alternative obituary of an estate once labelled as the most notorious in the UK. The project is a gift to the residents, and aims to shine a light on and recognise and celebrate their lives as valuable. The images were projected onto the estate during one special night. © Richard Ansett, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Abimbola & Emanuel. © Richard Ansett, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards.
Sailor Zoom is a remote photography project portraying Sailor Moon cosplayers across the world in their own homes using Zoom video calls. This work was conceived during the first Covid-19 lockdown in response to feelings of boredom and separation that quarantine induced in a highly sociable photographer such as me. Sailor Moon is a character created by Japanese artist Takeuchi Naoko in the 1990s. © Agnese Morganti, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Passionate cosplayers portray their personal interpretation at comic-cons and gatherings; however, in 2020, many such events were called off. How would the cosplay community adapt to this long period without their gatherings of like-minded people? This prompted the idea to connect with Sailor Moons around the world and capture them in their homes via video call, revealing a hidden, personal world caught between reality and dreams. © Agnese Morganti, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Billy. At its heart, Mixed is an exploration of racial and cultural identity. It deals specifically with people who have mixed heritage and captures the essence of what it’s like to be mixed race. It not only explores the experiences of each subject but also echoes my own. Humanity’s tribal nature is such that we constantly look to fit in, and being mixed race often means sacrificing parts of oneself or one’s culture in order to do so. Each shoot started with a face-to-face conversation about what it means to be mixed race and our experience of growing up in two (or more) worlds or cultures, but never fully being part of either. The conversations focus especially on the contradiction of fitting in everywhere but nowhere at the same time, and the resulting shoot is a collaboration that encompasses the themes considered. © Theo Gould, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Beatriz. Mixed race people are living proof that different cultures can live and love together. As the world becomes more globalised and interracial relationships are normalised, it is not just a refreshing realisation that the children of the future will almost certainly be mixed race but in reality, when we look at humanity’s history and our own DNA, we discover that racial purity is not simply undesirable but also a wholly unachievable ideal. © Theo Gould, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Sheenagh & Adrian Dixon. These images are from a series of 125 portraits of National Trust staff, volunteers and supporters, which celebrates the organisation’s 125th anniversary. All were shot on location, against a 3m translucent backdrop, to allow the viewer to concentrate on each subject while hinting at the amazing locations. © John Millar, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Simon Damant. © John Millar, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Daniele and Giabba lived together for eight years, from 2007 to 2015. “I recommend you to write the names correctly or I’ll kill you”. Cucci, an eight-year-old Cyclura Cornuta, was the first. Then came the Salvator Merianae named Altea and Giabba, an eight-year-old Pyxicephalus Adspersus. For everybody they are an iguana, a tegu and a bullfrog.
Daniele has been the president of APAE for ten years, an association that brings together a hundred fans of reptiles and amphibians. For Daniele, keeping the skeleton of his iguana Cucci “was a way to honor her and still have her close to me. I preferred the skeleton to taxidermy because I didn’t want to give her the illusion of life. In that case, it would have given me too much melancholy”. Lares is an ongoing project about our response to the death of our pets. I met several families who decided to keep the body of the animal they loved in their homes, embalmed, in the form of a skeleton, or in formalin. What may appear to be an anomaly is actually more widespread than might be imagined. In Roman civilisation Lares referred to the statues of the spirits of ancestors and protectors of home and family. Like those statues, dead animals are preserved in everyday places. And it’s there that I wanted to set the family portraits. © Luca Rotondo, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

***

Sport category

Inclusive Karate School in Syria. In the Syrian village of Aljiina, near the city of Aleppo, Wasim Satot has opened a karate school for children. What makes it special is that girls and boys with and without disabilities are taught together. They’re aged between six and 15 years old. © Anas Alkharboutli, Syrian Arab Republic, Finalist, Professional, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2021
With his school, Satot wants to create a sense of community and overcome any trauma of war in the minds of the children. © Anas Alkharboutli, Syrian Arab Republic, Finalist, Professional, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2021
Bodybuilders take part in the Iron Fit Bodybuilding competition in Nairobi on December 05, 2020. 130 participants from all across East Africa took part in the second edition of this competition which included categories like Bikini, Figure, Physique and Bodybuilding. © Patrick Meinhardt, Spain, Finalist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Behnia and Hossein. In March 2020, in reaction to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Iranian government announced the immediate closure of all athletic venues, sports clubs and training centres across Iran. Following the implementation of this mandate, athletes in Iran took to training on the rooftops of their homes in order to maintain a degree of their physical and mental fitness and prowess. © Seyed Ali ( Farzam ) Saleh, Iran, Finalist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Sona. © Seyed Ali ( Farzam ) Saleh, Iran, Finalist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
In 2020, the Czech non-profit organisation Cesta Za Snem, which translates as Journey to a Dream, organised the project Lionesses 2020. In it, 10 disabled women left their ordinary lives behind for 10 days, in order to complete an intensive program of extreme sports and situations that pushed them outside of their comfort zones. They had to overcome their fears to engage in sports such as climbing, surfing and parachuting. Not one of them gave up on any of the challenges. Not only did they overcome their disadvantages, but they proved an inspiration to many others – not just those with disabilities. They demonstrated that where there’s a will there’s a way, and that the actual journey to a dream is as important as the goal. © Michael Hanke, Czech Republic, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
© Michael Hanke, Czech Republic, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Alexander Choupenitch. Unbreakable Olympians captures the training and preparation of elite Czech athletes during the Covid-19 pandemic. During this time, all sports grounds were closed. © Barbora Reichova, Czech Republic, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Unbreakable Olympians captures the training and preparation of elite Czech athletes during the Covid-19 pandemic. During this time, all sports grounds were closed. © Barbora Reichova, Czech Republic, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Jean, helped by his buddy Iankondjoa, returns to the center after a day of school while his friends are playing football after class. In Togo, at the Don Orione Centre, children with disabilities are given specialised assistance to improve their quality of life. They all are Messi. Football brings peace for their souls and freedom for their minds. It’s more than just a game. © Antonio Aragon Renuncio, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
At Don Orione Center, Togo, it’s all about football. They all are Messi and CR7. Everything is about Madrid and Barça. Shouting happily, running free… lovely compromise. Football brings the (children) peace for their souls and freedom for their minds… It is the most popular sport on earth. More than a game, it’s a lifestyle. Every kid is dreaming of becoming the new star of the ‘beautiful game’ in search of their next goal… Football is not a privilege, it is a right. According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is a universal language for millions of people around the world, regardless of their nationality, language or religion. © Antonio Aragon Renuncio, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Dakar 2020 – Stage 11 – Shubaytah – Harad. I took this series from a helicopter early in the morning during stage 11 of the 2020 Dakar Rally, which took entrants from Shubaytah to Harad. © Carlos López, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Dakar 2020 – Stage 11 – Shubaytah – Harad – Martin Michek 132. It was just after sunrise, which created this effect of light and shadow over the desert dunes. © Carlos López, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Urban training. These images document professional freediver Arthur Guerin Boeri’s training in the Côte d’Azur. He plans to beat the record for dynamic freediving under ice without a wetsuit in Finland. © Florian Gruet, France, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Nap in the dark. At sea or in the pool, training is difficult, and Arthur gives it everything he has, including wearing a summer swimsuit in winter. © Florian Gruet, France, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards DM/ ML
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