A visual artist who focuses on socio-political and cultural issues, Yaghmaian was born in Iran and now lives in New York City. His winning image, Landfill Ballerina, was made in Guwahati, India, and captures a young girl from the larger Guwahati community searching for recyclable items in a mountain of trash. “The garbage is stacked very high and is very unpredictable—the ground beneath their feet can collapse suddenly. The stench and the fumes from the garbage are strong and heavy, and there are animal feces everywhere and worms swimming throughout this ocean of trash,” Yaghmaian says. “The dwellers’ homes [in the Guwahati community] have no electricity and no running water, and they live in an extremely unhealthy environment, with very little chance of finding a way out.”
When asked what he would do with the prize money, Yaghmaian says he would like to continue focusing on global social issues and to find an agency to help support and drive his work. Additionally, he says, “I would love to go back and help her and contribute something positive to her life. I would just need to find a non-profit organization to help me be able to do that.”
Judges for this year’s competition include Abeed Alani, president of the Union of Arab Photographers; Adrian Sommeling, photographer; Alison Wright, photographer; Bill Marr, creative director of National Geographic; Felix Hernandez Rodriguez, photographer; Kenneth Geiger, photographer and Michael Christopher Brown, photographer and filmmaker.
In addition to Yaghmaian’s prize, Elliott Erwitt was also awarded the $20K Appreciation Award from HIPA.
Belgian photographer Frederik Buyckx has won $25,000 as the prize for the Photographer of the Year nomination in the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards. Buyckx was also the first place winner in the Landscape category, one of the ten professional categories in the competition. According to the World Photography Organization, 127,098 entries were received in the Professional category. Buyckx, a freelance photographer,... More ›
Stephanie Sinclair, a National Geographic photographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, has won the $20,000 2017 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). The prize, made possible by the Howard G. Buffet foundation, will be used to support Sinclair’s ongoing work, which includes projects focused on human rights and gender issues around the... More ›
New York-based photographer Sarah Blesener has won the $20,000 Professional Grant from the Alexia Foundation for her series “Toy Soldiers,“ which documents youth patriotic clubs, education and summer camps in Russia. Blesener, a recent graduate of the International Center of Photography and recipient of the Alexia Student Award in 2016, will use the funds to photograph rising... More ›