Award of Excellence

Lauren DeCicca

A Thai protester is helped by medics after being injured during an anti-government rally at the Din Daeng Intersection on September 12, 2021 in Bangkok, Thailand. Anti-government protesters held rallies for months in mid 2021, often clashing with police, despite Covid-19 remaining a persistent problem for the country.
Lauren DeCicca, b. 1989, is a documentary photographer from New York who is now based in Bangkok, Thailand. Prior to moving to Thailand, Lauren spent three years (2013 – 2016) based in Yangon, Myanmar documenting the country at the beginning of its transition to democracy. She’s met people dealing with PTSD, drug addiction, displacement and disease, and is struck by the similarity in spirit between these people, despite the obvious divides. It has been a goal of hers to realize and mend this schism through photography, be it mental, physical or geographical in nature. Documenting the lives of people around the world will help those who have no access to such situations understand that the subjects of her photographs could easily be their parent, sibling or partner. Despite differences in language, skin color, religion or way of life, everyone has the same basic needs for empathy, understanding and acceptance. Her work has been published by Getty Images, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, The Washington Post, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Guardian, CNN, USA Today, amongst others. Lauren was member of the Getty Reportage 2015-2016 Emerging Talent roster and selected as one of Photo Boite’s 30 Under 30 Women Photographers of 2017. She has received hostile environment and emergency first aid training through IWMF.

[ SPOT NEWS ] This is a category for non-COVID-19 single photographs of breaking news or events in which no planning was possible. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 10 images. The images must be taken in 2021.

Judges for Spot News
Ikuru Kuwajima
Tanvi Mishra
Sanjit Das
Maika Elan
Oded Wagenstein