Thursday, 6 October 2011

Unicef Photo of the Year

ARCHIVED : Unicef Photo of the Year International Award 2008, 2009

Contest for photojournalists and fine art photographers


Johan Bävman, Sweden, Freelance Photographer / Moment

The UNICEF Photo of the Year 2009 is part Johan Bävman’s series “Albino – In the shadow of the sun”. Ten-year-old Selina is one of about 150,000 albinos in Tanzania. Her body does not produce enough melanin. Her skin, hair and eyes therefore need special protection against the sun. Many people with albinism suffer from skin cancer or severe visual impairment. Their average life expectancy in countries such as Tanzania is 30 years. Due to the light color of their skin, they are stared at, ridiculed and ostracized. They are called “zeru zeru” – the children of the devil. The boarding school in Mwanza, Northern Tanzania, where the UNICEF Photo of the Year was taken, is surrounded by a 2m fence. Originally built for visually impaired children, the school has become a sanctuary for more than 100 albino children. Here they are protected by the police who patrol the area also at night. This became necessary since albinos in the region near Lake Victoria became target of unprecedented brutality about three years ago. They are mutilated and killed because their body parts are traditionally regarded and sold as talismans. Superstitious locals think they will help them to catch more fish in Lake Victoria or find gold and diamonds. According to official sources, more than 40 albinos have been murdered in Tanzania; the real numbers are likely to be higher, as many cases go unreported. Meanwhile the government started taking stronger action and it now looks as if violence against albinos is declining.  Read more

Alice Smeets : Surviving in Haiti
Her winning picture shows a girl in the largest slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. Although she has to live between dirt and rubbish, the girl is wearing a clean white dress with matching ribbons in her hair whilst walking barefoot through the mud. “The photo shows us the courage and energy of a little girl who is growing up in the face of adversity. Children from the poorest backgrounds often demonstrate great strength” said UNICEF patroness Eva Luise Köhler at the award ceremony on Thursday in Berlin. “The UNICEF-Photo of the Year is a plea to heed and support these children”.
International experts of photography are asked by UNICEF Germany to encourage young photographers to make a submission. The photographers submit five to ten photos that demonstrate a high level of photography and visually interpret living situations of children.
The first prize: a photo assignment from German GEO magazine and Leica camera equipment.
There is no possibility to enter the contest without nomination.

More on the website

See also Spiegel Online International : Walking Barefoot through Misery
"I Couldn't Believe It Was True"."Actually, the picture is a snapshot," Smeets told Spiegel Online. She took the picture of the girl and then told her she could run back to her friends. "That's how the picture came about. As a portrait it wasn't even particularly good."

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