[ PORTRAITS ] A single photograph of a person or group of people that increases the understanding and appreciation of the subject(s). Selfies or self-portraits are acceptable. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 10 images. The images must be taken in 2019 or 2020.

Judges for Portraits
Abir Abdullah
Nariman El Mofty
Bryan van der Beek
Shiho Fukada
Wonsuk Choi

First Place

Supratim Bhattacharjee

August 18, 2020: A girl, standing before the barren structure of her tea shop, which is ruined by seawater in Namkhana Island, Sundarbans, India. India and Bangladesh share the southern part of the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta, the Sundarbans. The main source of income here is valuable forest resources. But global warming is looming large. One major reason for this environmental crisis is deforestation by the poor, illiterate locals for domestic and commercial use. It has made the land weak and susceptible to water attacks in the form of devastating floods, intense storms, and torrential rainfall. Every year there is approx. 3.14 mm rise in sea levels leading to soil erosion, degradation of soil quality, and reduced crop yield, immediately resulting in food and drinking water crisis. Moreover, water has already devoured parts of Mousuni and Ghoramara Island. And in the near future, a large portion of Sundarbans is expected to go underwater.

Second Place

Oded Wagenstein

Mordechai Zilberman (born in 1934) sits for a portrait, dressed in the clothes of his recently deceased partner Aryeh. On the left side of the frame, the hand of Mordechai’s caretaker, Rajoo. March 22 2019. Jerusalem. Israel. Mordechai and Aryeh lived together as a couple for exactly sixty years. When Aryeh’s health deteriorated, and he was hospitalized, they were terrified that they would not be safe at the hospital in Jerusalem because they were in a same-sex relationship. It was on Aryeh’s eighty-eight birthday, exhausted by anxiety and pain, that they decided not to return to the hospital again. Mordechai told Aryeh that he could rest, and, on that night, Aryeh passed away, at their mutual home. Mordechai is often wearing Aryeh’s clothes to feel closer to him. Despite progressive reforms in recent decades, LGBTQ+ members living in Israel, are still subjected to legal discrimination, stigmas, and exclusion, fueled by influential and political groups.

Third Place

Lee Heehoon

South Korea
Kim Sang-min, 50, who grew up in Busan, has lived in a tiny room alone in Goshichon, Daehak-dong for 20 years. Kim graduated from law school and prepared for the the bar examination, but failed several times and sat down. He receives free meals everyday, ate twice by one in a room 2 meters by 3 meters. Kim, who receives basic benefits, pays 230,000 KRW in rent and has no money to spend. He is a middle-aged man who has lost his motivation to work and cannot give up his dream. I’m used to failure. I don’t communicate with people. Kim, who lives in isolation, became a symbol of alienation after being trapped in a room in Gosichon, which became a symbol of poverty. Goshichon is a neighborhood where Korea’s cheapest rental living space is gathered. It is an created by combining the name “Goshi” of an important examination conducted by the state and the words “Chon,” meaning neighborhood. This neighborhood was once a gateway to success, but now rooms are empty due to Covid 19.

Award of Excellence

Sergei Stroitelev

About 55 thousand cases of breast cancer are identified in Russia every year. Behind statistics there are stories of thousands of women who fight the disease. Natalia: “I felt a lump in my chest in 2012. Then the ground disappeared under my feet, I was not ready for this diagnosis. I didn’t even think that at the age of 29 this could happen to me. I was scared of my husband’s reaction to the fact that my breast had to be removed. But he was very supportive. After a while, I found a lump in the second breast. After the operation and complete breast removal, I could not look calmly in the mirror and still do not do it very often. The first time I was able to step over myself in a spa center in Germany, where I had to completely undress, but Russian people are not ready for this. I really want to believe that cancer can be treated, that there will still be some years of remission and I will see how my daughter grows up, how she will get married. I am setting myself up for old age.”

Award of Excellence

Zohre Sabagh Nejad

Middle East Images
Fatemeh and her family are Afghan immigrants who have lived in Iran for many years. He has only seen Afghanistan up close once in his 20 years. His mother is a housewife and his father is a simple construction worker, and they have left Afghanistan for 38 years due to civil war and insecurity. She has only been in school for three years due to financial difficulties and for many years, weaves handicrafts and sells them to help her family. After a 6-year marriage with her cousin, Fatemeh held her simple wedding party with a lot of fear and hope and the least facilities in the sad autumn of this year with coronary conditions. The venue for the celebration was created by connecting metal scaffolding rods and covering them with sacks, carpets and rugs in the courtyards of several Afghan families.