Photo © Audrey Jeane

1st classified

Urban and Wild
by Peter Mather

Red foxes, celebrated for their cunning intelligence, have adapted to the human world with astonishing success and they are supremely designed to inhabit the borderlands of greenspaces and urban living. They are rapidly evolving to live in the new world. This can be seen in the wilderness city of Whitehorse, in northern Canada, where the fox has found the ideal community straddling our new urban, wild world. In the city, fox density is exceptionally high due to an abundance of food, but their lifespans are shortened due to the dangers of living within an urban space dominated by roads and cars.

2nd classified

Uncovering Iraq
by Alessio Mamo

With estimates running from 250,000 to one million people, Iraq is estimated to have the largest number of missing persons in a single country. The Iraqi missing are the victims of more than four decades of human rights violations, dictatorship, wars, genocide, and terrorism. The teams of Mass Graves Department and Legal Medicine have been travelling all over Iraq in the past thirteen years. Their journeys were the most painful and challenging missions ever: guiding their teams in excavating mass graves and exhumation of the remains of dead bodies. The tireless Iraqi teams reunite all the forensic anthropologists, doctors and experts who are uncovering mysteries and crimes against humanity, identifying the bodies to return to the families of the victims. Their campaigns include involving the families of the victims to collect DNA samples and gather other evidence. Collecting Yazidi families’ DNA samples has been the most challenging task, since many members of the same family were killed or left Iraq as refugees. The team’s passionate, humble, and huge effort is making the history of Iraq. They will have to continue working for so many years, but their hope is only one: that the next mass grave will be the last one.

3rd classified

Ultra Orthodox Pandemic
by Dan Balilty

In January 2021, at the height of Israel’s third coronavirus lockdown, vast crowds of ultra-Orthodox worshippers gathered in secret to mourn an esteemed rabbi, brazenly flouting a state ban on communal activity. Scrappy mobile footage of the scene was later leaked to major media outlets, outraging secular Israelis who watched the scene in lockdown from their homes. The story of the pandemic in Israel has in many ways been the story of a clash between the secular state and its semi-autonomous ultra-Orthodox minority. Known in Hebrew as Haredim, the ultra-Orthodox have long led a life at odds with the Israeli mainstream. The pandemic brought this slow- burning tension suddenly into the open. Communal life is central to the Haredi identity: adults study together in cramped seminaries, their huge families live in tiny homes, and they frequently attend mass weddings and funerals.

Honorable mention

Post War Armenia
by Kiran Ridley

The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan has been one of the world’s most intractable territorial disputes. Now Armenians are facing an uncertain future. The devastating war, which killed an estimated 4000 people as the rest of the world was busy managing COVID’s challenges, has brought about a political crisis which sees the country polarised, and which could even endanger the ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan. With continued tensions along the border regions, so much still remains unclear. This story looks at the ongoing issues around democracy and societal change in post- conflict Armenia.

Honorable mention

Omo Change
by Fausto Podavini

Ethiopia is suffering one of the biggest and quickest economical and industrial development of the whole Africa, due also to the foreign investors who are changing the aspect of this country. One of the most impacted area is the Omo Valley, internationally known as a rare dry and semi-dry region with an extraordinary biodiversity. In 2010, the ex-Prime Minister Zenawi, announced the construction of the biggest dam ever made in Africa. The entry into operation of the dam and the cultivation of new plantations have led to a reduction in the extension of the fluvial forest and a loss of biodiversity, confirming the risk of a heavy humanitarian crisis.

Honorable mention

Tushetian Shepherds
by Gela Megrelidze

Tushetian shepherds are the last nomads in Georgia. Since hundreds of years they have kept the same way of life, moving with flocks of sheep between the half desert valley of Shiraqi and the region Tusheti in the high mountains of Caucasus. Twice a year they go through the pass of Abano. Flocks of sheep need around a week to move, starting in the hot, sunny valley, going through crazy weather of Abano and ending up into caucasian snow. Those shepherds have their very own, very specific philosophy of being: their entire life is determined by sheep, mountains and valley.

Honorable mention

The Last Ice Bears
by Peter Mather

In Northern Canada, as the winter settles in and the temperatures drop far below zero, we see one of the most unique natural phenomenons. Grizzly bears become covered in hundreds of icicles that hang from their fur as they wade in and out of freezing creeks chasing salmon. These ‘Ice Bears’ share the landscape, as they have for thousands of years, with the local first nations people who have long depended on the same salmon. Disappearing salmon, hunting pressure and climate changes threaten their existence.

Honorable mention

Muay Thai Kids
by Alain Schroeder

Far from Thailand’s iconic tourist destinations, in the kingdom’s largest region, Isaan, poverty forces many residents to seek work in Bangkok. Fearing the temptations of city life, children are often left behind under the care of grandparents. To keep them out of trouble, and with the prospect of earning money to support the family, kids are enrolled in Muay Thai (the traditional martial art of Thai boxing) as early as 5. Training camps are schools of life filled with deprivation, discipline and respect for fellow combatants. For poor kids with limited options, this is a way to help their families and a chance at a better life.

Honorable mention

India's Second Wave
by Danish Siddiqui

In the spring of 2021, India experienced a second surge of coronavirus infections leaving hospitals overwhelmed, oxygen supplies critically low and crematoriums operating at non stop capacity. At the end of 2021, India reported about 480,000 deaths from COVID, but the latest studies now say India’s death toll may have been six to seven times greater than officially recorded. A dramatic toll for a pandemic that still does not seem to have ended.

Honorable mention

Feeling at Home
by Andrea Borgarello

Feeling at home is an ongoing project that has been entering people’s homes for over 10 years and tries to tell about family intimacy. People photographed in the simplicity of their home show pride and dignity. In these shots, the portraits of families or people belonging to places very distant from each other, but also very similar in their humanity. The images are often taken in rural environments, in more than 30 countries: from the refugee camps of Lebanon to the mountains of Haiti, from the forests of Togo to those of Myanmar, from the desert of Sudan to the semi-arid areas of Niger.

Honorable mention

The Capitol Insurrection
by Adam Gray

On January 6th 2021 supporters of Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol in Washington DC during the Capitol Riot, seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 United States presidential election. Five people died during the attack, including the fatal shooting by U.S. Capitol Police of Ashli Babbitt inside the U.S. Capitol. The events of the day, which escaped the too mild control of the authorities, and perhaps were initially supported by certain political figures, have remained etched in the memory of all Americans.

Honorable mention

Next Stop Great Britain
by Jacob Ehrbahn

Thousands of refugees and migrants have set up camp on the outskirts of the French seaports Dunkerque and Calais. Fueled by the dream of a better life in Great Britain, they’ve struggled along various routes through Europe, and most plan to cross the English Channel in one of the small rubber dinghies supplied by human traffickers. Others will try their luck onboard trucks. The weather is rough, and the crowds of people swell in the camps. The hope and the dream of a better life on the other side of the Channel are such a powerful force that, despite the dangers, the attempt to cross it seems to be worthwhile.

Honorable mention

Immigration Crisis USA Border
by Adrees Latif

Driven by economic downturns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and drawn by the hope of more welcoming immigration policies under U.S. President Joe Biden, U.S. authorities encountered more than 1.6 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border this fiscal year, the highest ever recorded and more than quadruple the number of the prior fiscal year, according to a U.S. government source. The hope and the wish for a better life, in the land of the great democratic dream, pushes entire families to go through all sorts of hardships and dangers.

Remarkable Artwork

Loyal Fans
by Roman Vondrous

The fans of the football club Bohemians Prague 1905 are among the most loyal in the Czech Republic. Thanks to financial collections, they helped in the past in difficult times when the club was struggling to survive. Their loyalty, zeal and devotion to the club did not leave them even when, due to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, the presence of spectators at matches was banned. As they did not want to miss home matches, they started bringing ladders with them, from which they were able to watch individual events over the wall of the football stadium.

Remarkable Artwork

Last Stand Against Taliban
by Danish Siddiqui

This series of images chronicles Afghan Special Forces as they clash with the Taliban weeks ahead of the collapse of the Afghan military in Kandahar province. On August 15, 2021, facing little resistance, the Taliban entered Kabul and almost 20 years after being ousted by a US-led military coalition, regained control of the capital. To date, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The photojournalist who captured these images was killed on July 16, 2021 while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban forces in Spin Boldak, near the Pakistan border.

Remarkable Artwork

Wild Pumas of Patagonia
by Ingo Arndt

The photographer observed his first wild puma almost twenty years ago, while photographing guanacos in Torres del Paine National Park. He fell in love with this wild landscape and with the majestic and elusive pumas. After some years, he came back and spent a total of seven months with the pumas of Patagonia, facing plenty of difficulties and extreme conditions. Only a lot of stamina, an experienced team and the strong belief in being able to realize this unique photo story led to success. He could follow two females raising their cubs and was able to photograph many never-documented behavior, like guanaco hunts and mating pumas.

Remarkable Artwork

Success of a "Maletilla"
by Jordi Cohen

The Spanish bullfighter Francisco Montero manages to triumph as a bullfighter in different bullrings in Spain after his past as "Maletilla". This is the story of a "Maletilla", a young man who, without means and without help, tries to enter the world of bullfighting by participating in "capeas", a popular minor bullfighting festival in which bulls are fought for fans according to customs of each locality. He was an outstanding participant in the capeas of the Carnaval del Toro 2019. In 2020, after a great sacrifice, he has achieved great recognition in Ciudad Rodrigo.

Remarkable Artwork

Afghanistan Health Care Crisis
by Paula Bronstein

Afghanistan's healthcare crisis threatens to dwarf all others with a crumbling healthcare sector, collapsing under the combined strain of winter and hunger. A severe rise in cases came as doctors warned the country's health system is on the verge of collapse because of the end of foreign aid to the Taliban's newly restored Islamic emirate. Malnutrition, pneumonia and anaemia are now a serious problem across the country with children bearing the brunt.

Remarkable Artwork

Unconditional Love
by Matthieu Zellweger

In Switzerland, sexual assistance is legal and regulated. Sexual assistants must undergo a specific training over several months, must have another source of income and must abide by strict guidelines. They get paid for the sessions, which are limited in time and frequency. The topic is still deeply taboo, however, even more so in the case of gay handicapped people. In France, sexual assistance is assimilated to sex work. Beneficiaries are thus at risk of legal proceedings, although most people turn a blind eye to the practice.

Remarkable Artwork

Last Wildest Place
by Jason Houston

The Manu region in southeastern Peru is one of the most inaccessible areas of the Amazon, where still-intact natural ecosystems provide sustenance for settled indigenous communities and home to perhaps the highest concentration of isolated “uncontacted” tribes on Earth. While still largely undeveloped, this last wildest place is increasingly threatened by the usual deforestation drivers: logging, mining, oil and gas development, cattle grazing, coca cultivation, agricultural expansion, and road construction projects. The impact on the ecosystems and all who depend on this last wildest place is devastating and irrevocable.

Remarkable Artwork

Lost Roots
by Filippo Ferraro

Since 2013, the bacterium "Xylella fastidiosa" has been killing millions of olive trees in Salento, southern Italy. Scientists believe that the bacterium was introduced in Europe by some ornamental plants imported from the Americas. Xylella has caused massive economic and environmental losses, leaving many people without a livelihood and destroying a huge green lung. But another, more intimate loss affects the lives of local people: the loss of their own identity. Olive trees define the landscape of this region, they have always been considered much more than just trees: their loss is felt like the loss of a beloved family member.

Remarkable Artwork

The Emptying of the Andes
by Emiliano Pinnizzotto

There is a very quiet migration taking place in Peru. It has continued incessantly for years, and is emptying the Andes mountains of men and women who are leaving their lands under the illusion of a better future. The population of the Sierra is slowly dividing: the elderly remain in the highlands (last witnesses of a culture that will probably have disappeared in fifteen years from now) while the youth runs away to the coast. Actually, in the cities they are forced to live in small huts, in the most dangerous and criminal areas. They find themselves discriminated against, and in difficulty regarding access to employment and education.

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