Indian Photo Festival Unveils the Winners of the Portrait Prize 2020
The Indian Photo Festival has revealed the winners of the fourth edition of the Portrait Prize 2020 contest. The grand title winner is Vipin Singh, and he will be awarded various accessories worth Rs. 90,000. Joydeep Mukherjee and Vikesh Kapoor won the second and the third prize respectively. They will also be awarded accessories worth Rs 60,000 and Rs. 35,000. The jury comprised of the esteemed photographer and visual artist Manoj Jadhav. Speaking about the contest, Jadhav said, “Your experiences are your greatest stories. A photographer or a visual artist must be constantly awake and aware to experience this life as it happens, and to tell its stories.” This year, the contest received 1450 entries from across 85 cities across the country.
Grand Title Winner | Vipin Singh
Devoted in her prayer, she was not distracted by her surroundings which were full of foam. The industrial waste of Delhi enters Yamuna River, making it toxic. At some spots, these big chunks of foam were formed and would float around. During festivals, people pray in the river water, but sometimes, all of them don’t get water.
Second Prize | Joydeep Mukherjee
The brave girl.
Third Prize | Vikesh Kapoor
Our Childhood Swimming Pool, 2016: My father had just finished raking the leaves out when I made this portrait of him in the childhood swimming pool. He still tends to it even though it’s no longer used. Here it lives in a continuous state of decay. This pool is where he taught me how to swim when I was one and a half years old. This is the pool where so many home videos were made—him chasing me around the pool with the hose, eating lunch with aunties that were visiting from India, and from times even before I was born. This is the state of the pool now and has been for years. I made this portrait after being not able to see him for 8 months. I try to visit as often as I can.
A B M Nayeem Siddiquee
Every window has some story.
A Portrait of Climate Change: The entire world is facing the problem of climate change. It was the heaviest monsoon in the last twenty-five years in 2019. More than 1600 people died and a million people were displaced between June to October 2019. Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, western states of India was one of the worst affected. A home from Holondi village, Hatkanagale taluka, Kolhapur District village lost everything, devastating home with hanging portraits of their beloved family members.
It happens when you least expect it. You look into the mirror just as you’ve done every other day. My Mother in the mirror. She must love herself. Her face glows when she thought about loving herself. She’s about to always give the best to herself. Good outfit, decent manner, positive thoughts, the good taste of music, appropriate footwear, and proper skincare. She looks beautiful. She smiles.
The world within you.
A father with his months’ old child after taking a holy dip in River Ganges. It is believed that mother Ganges showers her blessings if one takes a dip in the holy river. She blesses one with a healthy life and washes away all sins. Ironically, the water is extremely polluted and can cause life-threatening diseases like hepatitis, typhoid, cholera etc. People have blind faith in this tradition and ritual.
Mystic Trans World: A Transwoman admires an aquarium at a lodge in Villupuram, a small town in Tamilnadu. She was on her way to a fashion pageant, a significant part of the annual Transgender festivity that takes place in Villupuram, and the adjoining sleepy town Koovagam during summer. Almost 50,000 Transgenders and Transvestites gather during the mid-summer at Koovagam for this transgender marriage festivity. First, transwomen assemble for a beauty pageant where Miss Koovagam is crowned. The second phase involves the ceremonious marriage lasting all through the night inside the Koothandavar Temple where the temple priests marry the visiting transwomen by tying a mangalsutra around their neck. The last and final phase is observing widowhood. Transgender women from across the country gather for this festival which gives them a platform to be a part of an event of mythic proportions and to express their sexual identities publicly.
Annakut is celebrated on the fourth day of Diwali. The fourth day of Diwali is also the first day of the new year in the Vikram Samvat calendar. Therefore, the rituals surrounding Annakut are closely linked with the rituals of the five days of Diwali. While the first three days of Diwali are days of prayer to sanctify wealth and invite greater wealth into the devotee’s life, the annakut day is a day of offering gratitude for Krishna beneficence.
Ramakant Pandey, aged 84 years old is a migrant from U.P works as a watchman in the central suburbs of Mumbai. During the nationwide lockdown, I started documenting portraits of migrant workers. An insensitive decision towards the marginalised community, health crisis got escalated into a humanitarian crisis. Millions like Pandeyji, had no choice but to get out and work every day during the lockdown or head back to their village; either smuggled in trucks or by walking. He said “Fearing my family might die of hunger, I come to work every day. I have to, I have no choice.”
This image is from my long time project, “In search of a better life”, which is revolving around brick factories in India. Women and children are trapped there by the socio-economic system of the unorganised working sector, exploited and abused by the social structure or the higher authorities. Heavy work can easily be dispensed on women in return of low wages as they are unskilled and considered to have lesser stamina. They are petrified, dominated under virile power. Children are not only deprived of love and care but also have to lend their hand in field or housework as merely small help is necessary. This is Amrita, who lost her father at a very early age. Her mother started to work in brick factories for their living where she started to help her mother in fieldwork as well as in household. Recalling her past, Amrita shares her dream of becoming an officer in a big company, which remained unfulfilled. Nevertheless, she is not ready to give up on her dream and wants her sister to live up to on her behalf.
7-month-old Fatima who has Pneumonia in her mother’s lap. Five patients were tested positive in this District, one on Tuesday and four on Wednesday
Man and Nature: Finding the way back to our roots.
Venkata Sunder Rao Pampana
A portrait of Urmila Devi, leader of the Benares sector of The Green Gang. The Green Gang is a group of vigilante women, who fight against alcoholism, gambling, and domestic violence in rural areas of India. Their relentless raids over the past few years have created positive change in the socio-cultural landscape of villages in UP. Men are now slower to raise their hands against women, and to squander the family earnings on liquor and card games.
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