Award of Excellence

TB in Prison

Jes Aznar


Tuberculosis, a disease known to be 100 times more prevalent in detention facilities than in the community. TB, a preventable and treatable disease, still ranks as one of the most prevalent and deadly diseases among developing nations. Even before the onset of the Coronavirus that caused a global pandemic, tuberculosis has already been a contagion that has been a major concern for prisons. With cramped living conditions, poor ventilation and infrastructures, deficient health, hygiene and sanitation conditions favour the spread of infectious diseases poor ventilation and infrastructures, deficient health, hygiene and sanitation conditions that favour the spread of infectious diseases, prison is the worst place to be in. The Philippines currently has the world’s most overcrowded prison system, with an occupancy level of 463.6 percent as of 2019. And the Philippines is also among the top 40 countries with a very high mortality rate among TB patients. A single inmate that has not been properly screened can infect sound 10 to 20 more inmates, their families, and prison guards.

Jes Aznar is a full-time photographer, both as a documentary and photojournalist, currently based in Manila, focusing on Asia and the Pacific. He has exhibited in China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and The U.S. and has won numerous awards including the prestigious SOPA award for best in photojournalism in his coverage of the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan for The New York Times. After working for Agence France-Presse, he dedicated years of his life to document Mindanao in the Philippines in which he was nearly killed in the wake of the Ampatuan Massacre where 58 people were assassinated, including 37 journalists, in one single day. Jes is currently contributing primarily to The New York Times and Getty Images. Nearly two years during the onslaught of the Philippine government’s brutal campaign against drugs, he started @everydayimpunity on Instagram as a platform where we can visually see the consequences of impunity in our society.

[ ISSUE REPORTING PICTURE STORY ] A long-term project on a single topic. It could focus on science, news, politics or any number of topics, ranging from coverage of a single person to an entire community. The project must convey a deep understanding of the subject. Each submission consists of 10 to 40 images. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 5 submissions. The images must be taken in 2019 or 2020. Stories on COVID-19 can be entered in this category but if you have already entered something in the COVID PICTURE STORY category, you should avoid submitting the same story to this category.

Judges for Issue Reporting Picture Story
Abir Abdullah
Nariman El Mofty
Bryan van der Beek
Shiho Fukada
Wonsuk Choi