Awards Jacob Riss II Print E-mail

305 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.

Juried by 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.



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 every day.



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.

Jo Farrell, from Hong Kong for the series Bound Feet
The last remaining women with traditional bound feet; Shangdong Province in China.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: (selected images are shown in each series)

Anne Berry
, from USA, for her series "Monkeys"

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 "Panama Rocks"

Giulio Sarchiola, from Italy, for his series "Operator from GIS Special Forces"

Nermine Hammam, from Egypt, for her series "ANA/Chrony"

Steve Evans, from Australia, for his series "Steer Wrestling & other images"

Susan Falzone, from USA, for her series "Grace"

Inga Pae, from USA, for her series "Female Nude. Fog"


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