[ 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 2021.

Judges for Portraits
Anush Babajanyan
Liang-Pin Tsao
Nyimas Laula
Samuel He
Jean Chung
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First Place

Marcus Yam
Los Angeles Times
USA

Habib Farzad, 34, a scholar, was beaten and tortured in detention by the Taliban, after he was arrested for attending a rally supporting women’s rights in Kabul. Upon his release, Farzad said the Taliban members told him that they were being merciful, despite his injuries. Farzad recalled a Taliban fighter making a cutting gesture to his neck and saying to him, “We can behead you. If you continue. We will kill you for sure.”

Finalist

Jai Thakur
Independent
India

Acid attack survivor Ritu used to hide her left artificial eyes while going out. She received 45% burns on her body and 90% on her face, besides losing the right eye, the sight in her left eye was affected too.

Finalist

Majid Saeedi
Independent
Iran

Azizullah, a 17-year-old Taliban fighter, poses for a portrait on October 9, 2021 in Badghis, Afghanistan. The Taliban have formed a new government in Afghanistan after the United States completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan on 30 August 2021, marking the end of the 20 year War in Afghanistan.

Finalist

Sergei Stroitelev
Independent
Russia

In 2015, young people from Chechnya and Dagestan began to leave for territories controlled by the Islamic State searching for a better life, which recruiters promised them. All these people have finally been imprisoned or went missing. Back at home mothers are ready for anything to return their children home. I project photographs of the missing ones onto the figures of their mothers, showing that the war has no boundaries – it can affect people living miles away the conflict. I am also willing to display the strongest bond between relatives which cannot be destroyed by distance and time. Zara: “My son’s wife, Aishat was very quiet. In fact, she met a man on social networks, a recruiter. One day she left with children saying that she was going to visit her relatives in the village. At that time my son was working in Moscow. Recently we learned she was in Al-Khol (a closed refugee camp on the border of Syria and Iraq). Her youngest boy Ali was killed by a shrapnel during shelling.

Finalist

Santanu Dey
Independent
India

Babita Agarkar is the wife of Lt. Dadarao Agarkar who committed suicide by consuming poison on 5th June 2015. As of today her debt of Rupees 35000 has not been forgiven. She has to repay the principal with high interest. She runs her family with the wages earned by farming.

Award of Excellence

Watsamon Tri-yasakda
Women Photograph
Thailand

“If Today Were Bangkok Pride, …” is my latest conceptual work in response to “United Love: Documenting Pride in Asia”. Thailand is viewed as ‘the paradise’ for the LGBTQ community. But in reality, there is still neither equal marriage nor Bangkok Pride. Since the first time I attended Pride in other cities, I have always wondered what Pride in Bangkok, my own hometown, would be like — all the love, smiles, and tears shared during the event. I have been dreaming of seeing the Pride flag on a Bangkok street. As Pride Month was approaching, I decided to transform my own imaginary Pride of Bangkok into reality. People from different groups who have contributed to the LGBTQ community in many aspects—social movement, human rights, politics, and entertainment— have joined together to express themselves as if today were Bangkok Pride 2021.

Award of Excellence

Aytaç Ünal
Anadolu Agency
Turkey

ANKARA, TURKEY – APRIL 05: Turkey’s first female attack helicopter pilot Ozge Karabulut is seen on April 05, 2021 in Ankara, Turkey. The Turkish Police Department gain more strength in the fight against crime and criminals, especially terrorism, with the Atak helicopter included in its inventory. Police aviation teams had the power to attack directly with helicopters in close combat with terrorists by owning attack class helicopters, which are not found in any police organization in the world. 28-year-old Deputy Pilot Commissioner Karabulut, working under the Police Aviation Department, passed into history as a Turkey’s first female attack helicopter pilot with this success.