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.”

Marcus Yam is a roving Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent and staff photographer. Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he left a career in aerospace engineering to become a photographer. His goal: to take viewers to the frontlines of conflict, struggle and intimacy. His approach is deeply rooted in curiosity and persistence. In 2019, Yam was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Journalism Award for his unflinching body of work documenting the everyday plight of Gazans during deadly clashes in the Gaza Strip. He was also part of two Pulitzer Prize-winning breaking news teams that covered the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist attacks in 2015 for the Los Angeles Times and the deadly landslide in Oso, Wash. in 2014, for the Seattle Times. His previous work has also earned an Emmy Award for News and Documentary, World Press Photo Award, DART Award for Trauma Coverage, Scripps Howard Visual Journalism Award, Picture of the Year International’s Newspaper Photographer of the Year Award, Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award, National Headliner Award and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.
[ 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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