Iranian photographer Asghar Khamseh has been named the Photographer of the Year in the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards. Khamseh was also the first place winner in the Contemporary Issues category, which is one of the 14 competition categories in two divisions (art and documentary).  The winners were chosen from a total of 127,098 images from countries all over the world, according to the World Photography Organization.

The violent act of acid throwing is primarily against women and children.  These attacks are committed with the intent to disfigure, maim and destroy the social life and future of the victim.  The motivation to commit this type of violence is cultural destitution, intolerance and happens in situations such as family conflicts, rejected marriage proposal, revenge and divorce requests. In addition physical and psychological damages, victims are faced with the experience of social stigma ,blame and social unpleasant tags.
© Asghar Khamseh, Iran, Winner, Professional, Contemporary Issues, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Acid attack victim Shirin Mohamadi from “Fire of Hatred.” © Asghar Khamseh.

First place winners in the documentary categories were:
Contemporary Issues: Asghar Khamseh for the portrait series “Fire of Hatred,” about acid attacks against women in Iran.
Campaign: Jetmir Idrizi for the black and white project “TransBrasil,” about gender identity issues in Brazil.
Current Affairs: Angelos Tzortzinis for the series about Middle Eastern refugees, “In Search of the European Dream.”
Environment: Kevin Frayer’s project “Eagle Hunters of Western China.”
People: Kevin Fryer’s project “Nomadic Life Threatened on the Tibetan Plateau.”
Daily Life: Espen Rasmussen for the series “The Curse of Coal,” which documents the dwindling coal industry in West Virginia.
Sport: Nikolai Linares’s series “Second Best” about silver-medalist boxers.

Winners in the Art genre include:
Architecture: Amelie Labourdette for documenting the impact of the financial crisis in southern Italy in her series “Empire of the Dust.”
Conceptual:
Julien Mauve for the staged series “Greetings from Mars.”
Landscape:
Maroesjka Lavigne’s project “Land of Nothingness” that captures the barren landscape of Namibia.
Portraiture:
Marcello Bonfanti’s work capturing portraits of Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone.
Staged:
Alberto Alicata’s series “Iconic B,” which re-examines some of photography’s most iconic images using a Barbie doll as the model.    
Still Life:
Franceso Amorosino’s series “Migrant Tomatoes,” which depicts dirt-covered tomatoes from immigrant-crop pickers.
Candid:
Kirstin Schmitt’s “Waiting for Candymen,” a portrait of Cuban idiosyncrasy.

The winning, shortlisted and commended images from this year’s competition will be on display at the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at the Somerset House in London until May 8.

Greetings fro Mars

From Julien Mauve’s series “Greetings from Mars.” © Julien Mauve.

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