photographers entered the competition submitting 388 portfolios. The
submissions came from the following 32 countries: Argentina, Australia,
Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Lebanon, Malaysia,
Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain,
Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States.
Tim Anderson, Larry Padgett, Julio Hardy and Sucheta Das.
Browse down to see the winning images of the awarded artists. Winner: Alex Masi. Runners Up: Jenn Warren; Ed Kashi; Paul S. Amundsen; Jo Farrell. Honorable Mentions: Anne Berry; Ann George; Ann-Christine Woehrl; Tom Chambers; Mike Frey; Giulio Sarchiola; Nermine Hamamm; Steve Evans; Susan Falzone; Inga Pae.
WINNER OF THE SECOND EDITION OF THE JACOB RIIS
Alex Masi, from UK, for his series Open Wounds: Bhopal Second Disaster
In Bhopal, India, water pollution is
severely affecting the lives of children after 25 years from the infamous Union
Carbide gas tragedy. Bhopal is not
yet at peace. Twenty-five years after the Union Carbide (UC) industrial
disaster, many families are still embarked on a journey of sufferance and
injustice that began on the night of December the 3rd, 1984. Half a million
people were exposed to the 42 tones of methyl isocyanate (MIC) released from
the plant, while all of the safety systems failed to work due to poor
maintenance. Thousands died in its wake. In the consciousness of people the
world over, Bhopal is associated with the haunting images of that night and the
failures of industrialization in the developing world. Left unattended for the
past 25 years, the toxic waste of UC has penetrated the city's underground
water reservoirs. Many children living near the former UC site are now affected
by severe disabilities, poisoned by the very same water they need for survival.
As many as 30.000 people are in danger from this contamination or have to rely
on expensive alternatives.
"I am deeply grateful
to The Gala Awards and the Jury of the 2nd Jacob Riis Award for
having selected my images focusing on what is known as Bhopal’s Second
Disaster. Tragedies are too often forgotten in our collective memory;
emotional, intimate images are a very important and essential tool to help us remember,
to press our conscience in order to avoid further suffering of innocent people
who bear no responsibility over events happening around them. But not only. Photographs play a
fundamental role in sensitizing the public, in making us aware of the unknown
at first glance in a straightforward, sometimes pungent way no other medium is
capable of. With my work in Bhopal I wanted to achieve just that; I wanted to help
as many people as possible to notice the conditions of living of children and
families affected by the legacy of a human-made disaster that happened over 26
years ago. I wanted to make people aware of the health crises Bhopal is still
facing right now, of the alarming condition of innocent children, born with
severe defects as a result of the hazardous waste left behind after 1984, with
the intent of spurring action towards a consistent and final clean-up of the
site matched by further local and international assistance for its victims." ALEX MASI.
Jenn Warren, from USA, for the series Standing Strong
The Physical Rehabilitation Reference Center (PRRC), a joint project
between ICRC and the Government of Southern Sudan, is the first orthopedic and
prosthesis physical therapy center in Southern Sudan, and has been open since
2007. The center serves war-wounded victims of gunshots and land mines,
supplying amputees with prosthetic legs and physiotherapy free of charge. The
more complicated prosthetic elements (feet, ankle and knee joints) are
fabricated in Switzerland, and the full devices are created in Juba to fit
patients individually. Most patients stay for 3-6 weeks during the fitting
process before returning home. Anyone is welcome as an inpatient or outpatient,
depending on their needs. Most of the amputees are gunshot and landmine victims
from the long civil war between North and South Sudan. Because of lack of
health care during the war, many soldiers in the southern rebel army (the SPLA)
were operated on under trees, loosing a leg in order to save their life. The
type 72 small, anti-personnel land mine called a "toe popper", is
very common in Southern Sudan, usually made of plastic and virtually
undetectable. Often children think they are toys. Landmines remain a serious
problem across the country, and many men, women and children become new victims
Ed Kashi, from USA, for his series Agent Orange
Nearly 40 years have passed since the end of “Operation Ranch Hand” and
the use of defoliating chemicals such as Agent Orange. The legacy of dioxin,
the main ingredient in these defoliants, still exists today for the people of
Vietnam. While it is believed that this chemical agent has affected more than
three million Vietnamese, what is certain is that today more than 150,000
Vietnamese are living with the resultant health impact. . The symptoms range from
diabetes and heart disease to offspring born with horrible deformities,
learning disabilities, and physical and psychological problems.
Paul S. Amundsen, from Norway, for his series A Memoir of a Boy
“I was born a boy, but I want to die as a woman”, she says the day
before the operation that will change her life.
Farrell, from Hong Kong for the series Bound
The last remaining women with traditional bound feet; Shangdong Province
MENTIONS: (selected images are shown in each series)
Anne Berry, from USA, for her series
Ann George, from USA, for her series
"Just Trust & other images"
Ann-Christine Woehrl, from Germany, for her series
"The Witches from Gambaga"
Tom Chambers, from USA, for his series
"Ring of Fire & other images"
Mike Frey, from USA, for his series
Giulio Sarchiola, from Italy, for his series
"Operator from GIS Special Forces"
Nermine Hammam, from Egypt, for her series
Steve Evans, from Australia, for his series
"Steer Wrestling & other images"
Susan Falzone, from USA, for her series
Inga Pae, from USA, for her series
"Female Nude. Fog"