HIPA Awards: Portfolio (Story-telling) Category Winners
A showcase of the winning entries of the Portfolio (Story-telling) category in the Hamdan International Photography Awards.
“Five years ago, all we would do is debate whether climate change is real or not. And I think that 90 percent of the people got it, but we’re not having that debate any more, and then there’s the 10% percent who still don’t get it. I don’t waste time on that. I keep moving forward and try to work with the people who get it. My job as a journalist is to say—if we lose ice, we lose an entire ecosystem. Ice in the Arctic and Antarctica is very much like the soil in a garden. You can’t grow a garden without soil.”
Earth’s polar regions contain some of the harshest and yet most fragile ecosystems on earth. Whether it’s hunters with their huskies, polar bears, melting glaciers, narwhals or emperor penguins, these species and others are more vulnerable today than ever with global warming, and the decline of sea ice in full force.
“I chose to make portraits so as to capture the juxtaposition of their exhausted faces, as well as the look of relief on their faces, after safely crossing the border.”
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee from their homes in Myanmar to Bangladesh. The journey to Bangladesh was hard, especially because there were many children and elderly people. They were destitute, hungry, traumatised, and often hopeless. I have never seen anything like this before. The strongest carried the weakest through damp paddy fields and a continuous waterfall. The monsoon rains were heavy and frequent, and made the ground incredibly wet and muddy. As the sun set, giving way to darkened skies, the most treacherous part of their journey began. They had to cross a land mine infested border between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Some people took the risk of traveling in an unstable fishing boat. Some spent days hiding in the forest before reaching the boarder, while the others waited at the boarder for several days until they felt safe to cross. I will continue my documentation of the Rohingyas who live in the several refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. The aim of my endeavour is to use my photography skills to convey a unique narrative of individual survivors. I want to bring awareness to these refugees who have been suffering quietly.
“As a photojournalist, it is my responsibility to ensure that no issues, however big or insignificant, go unheard.”
Serbia has witnessed an influx of over a 1000 migrants in its capital, Bulgaria. The migrants, mainly from Afghanistan and Pakistan, live in appalling conditions, devoid of proper hygiene, food, as well as shelter from the severe Balkan winters. They’ve all taken refuge in a dilapidated warehouse that barely manages to hold all of them. A large percentage of these migrants happen to be unaccompanied minors, who come either along with smugglers or venture out on their own risk.
“Wintertime is a transformative period in the Italian countryside. The trees almost appear like lonely sentries against the bare, unadorned landscape.”
Every year, the northern part of Italy witnesses a thick fog during the winter season, rendering a peaceful and mute look to the surrounding landscape. I decided to photograph the entire series in black and white to further accentuate the calm and serene mood that I was going for.
“Initially, I had planned to photograph only the desert landscape. But after I had spotted the locals of the area, I decided to incorporate them in my pictures.”
I shot the photographs at Socotra, an archipelago of four islands located in the Arabian Sea, and is a part of Yemen’s territory. The desert sand here is a pristine white, and I liked the contrast of the locals with the camels against the sand. Hence, I decided to photograph entirely in black and white.