Stefano Stranges' 'The End of the Exodus - Inferno Moria.' Mediadrumimages / Stefano Stranges

By Kate Harrold


DO THE WINNERS of the PX3 State of the World 2020 photo competition prove 2020 has been the most socially divisive year in recent history?

In ‘Hong Kong Protest,’ photographer Wei Fu captured a protestor rallying against the proposed extradition bill as they were taken down by the Chinese riot police.

In ‘Power,’ Demayne Murphy featured Chicago’s masked police as they stood in a line holding their truncheons ready to respond to the US Black Lives Matter protests.

Demayne Murphy’s ‘Power.’ Mediadrumimages / Demayne Murphy

The winning curated selection of the 2020 edition of the PX3 State of the World photo awards has been announced. This brand new competition, run by the PX3 Paris Photography Prize, seeks to uncover the truth of what is going on in the world.

Photographers are challenged to provide ‘uncensored’ insight into narratives which ‘may otherwise fail to reach us.’ With no manipulation from outside sources, these photographs convey stories that are both authentic and important.

“This year, like many previous years, has been an eventful year. Viewing nearly five-hundred submissions – happy, sad, joyful, hopeful – brought tears to my eyes,” Hossein Farmani, State of the World 2020 curator, said.

Ada Trillo’s ‘If Walls Could Speak.’ Mediadrumimages / Ada Trillo

“There were stories of suffering and struggle, whether this was in the lives of powerless people or immigrants looking for a better future, or people standing up to the government and fighting a pandemic that has crippled the world.

“This selection is only a glimpse into the truth of what is really happening around us told through the raw, unadulterated lens of the brave photographers who have shared their stories.”

Photographer Ada Trillo captured her image, ‘If Walls Could Speak,’ on the Mexican-US border. The photo which features a young woman staring towards a tall fence analyses the social impacts of President Trump’s border enforcement.

Basim Ghomorlou’s ‘The Children of Iran’s Gypsies: A Lost Childhood.’ Mediadrumimages / Basim Ghomorlou

“The photo is a glimpse into the besieged hopes, harsh uncertainties, and blunt realities – but also the enduring dignity – of Central American asylum seekers forced into a cruel and dangerous waiting game,” Ada said.

“I hope that people who view my photo can begin to understand the odysseys many have undertaken to provide a brighter future for themselves and their children – only to be mistreated and sent back across the border.”

In ‘Ni Rei Ni Por,’ Gian Marco Benedetto shines a light on the youths that took to Barcelona’s streets urging the government to free political prisoners in response to the failed Catalan separatist movement.

Yusuke Suzuki’s ‘Jin! Jiyan! Azadi!’ Mediadrumimages / Yusuke Suzuki

Photographer Amy Siqveland tackled China’s handling of the country’s Uyghur population in her image, ‘A Cultural Genocide: Persecution of the Largest Minority Group in China.’

“Two million Uyghur people have been sent to concentration camps in Xinjiang,” Amy said.

“I went to visit eight towns in the Xinjiang region and witnessed the cultural liquidation. Houses and businesses that once made up the ancient Silk Road cities had been destroyed and replaced.”

Wei Fu’s ‘Hong Kong Protest.’ Mediadrumimages / Wei Fu

Joseph Patronite’s image ‘My Americana Today,’ features a heavily armed soldier standing next to a poster of George Floyd, and a young African-American man walking past saluting to the sky. Floyd’s death sparked a resurgence in the Black Lives Matter movement earlier this year.

“This image deals with race, political upheaval, social separation, and hopelessness in the USA today,” Joseph said.

Aiming to highlight ongoing conflict in Syria, Yusuke Suzuki’s image ‘Jin! Jiyan! Azadi!’ features the Kurdish Women’s Defence Unit. The image’s title, which reflects their slogan, translates to ‘Women! Life! Freedom!’

Joseph Patronite’s ‘My Americana Today.’ Mediadrumimages / Joseph Patronite

“Amongst the Kurdish fighters in Rojava, there are female warriors full of love and passion for the land that they were raised on,” Yusuke said.

“They fight for their beliefs and ideals with AK47s in their hands. They are dreaming and fighting for the liberation of all oppressed people.”

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