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2020 Judges

The prestige of the Sony World Photography Awards is reinforced by our esteemed judging panel and the vigorous judgment process of each competition. We are grateful to this year’s judges, each a leading voice in the photography industry, for their time, expertise and insight. The individuals making up this year's judging panel are international in scope and bring an exciting range of knowledge from wide and varied backgrounds in the medium. 

The jurors will meet in London, January 2020 to debate the work, and the first of the shortlists will be announced on February 4, 2020.  All work is judged anonymously. 

“For this year’s Awards, I want to be excited by work that is dynamic, challenging and brave in its approach. I want to honor photographers fighting for the sophisticated language of imagery, to celebrate those creating work that invites the viewer to stop, engage with and be compelled to discover more about what they are looking at.”

- Mike Trow, Chair, 2020 Professional competition  

2020 Judges: at a glance 

Professional competition 
Chair Mike Trow, editor, photographer, consultant (UK)
Claudi Carreras Guillén, independent curator, editor, and cultural manager (Spain)
Touria El Glaoui, Founding Director, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair (UK)
Katie Hollander, Director, Annenberg Space for Photography (USA)
Gwen Lee, Director, Singapore International Photography Festival (Singapore)
Brent Lewis, Photo Editor, The New York Times & Co-Founder, Diversify Photo (USA)

Open and Youth competitions
Gisela Kayser, 
Managing Director & Artistic Director, Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus (Germany)

Student competition 
Tim Clark,
curator, writer and editor–in–chief, 1000 Words (UK)

Professional competition

Mike Trow, editor, photographer, consultant (UK)

Mike began his career as an editor and reportage agent for the major agency Colorific before working as Picture Editor on magazines including Bizarre and Jack magazine. He was at British Vogue for 13 years, where he led a team that commissioned, produced and art directed all portrait and feature shoots. As a photographer, he shot for Vogue and other titles. He now works as a curator, consultant, freelance editor and photographer. 

Mike’s also chaired the judging panel for the Sony World Photography Awards. Since the 2018 competition, he’s guided the most credible curators, museum directors and picture editors to decide who has created the most exciting work entered into the Professional competition. Mike has curated the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, held annually each Spring at Somerset House before embarking on a worldwide tour.

Claudi Carreras Guillén, independent curator, editor, and cultural manager (Spain)

Claudi Carreras is a photography researcher, graduated and doctoral candidate in Arts from the University of Barcelona. He has curated numerous solo and collective exhibitions which have been shown in more than 50 countries in four continents. 

In 2008 he directed the first meeting of Latin American Photographic Collectives in Sao Paulo, and in 2010 the E·CO (Encounter of Photo Collectives), from The Ministry of Culture of Spain, which was an exhibit project that led to the first encounter of Photo Collectives in Europe and Latin America which traveled across the continents and continued in Brazil in 2015. He advised the Latin American Photography Forum in São Paulo from its origins and curated the last two events in 2013 and 2016; was head curator of the Paraty em Foco Festival in Rio de Janeiro from 2011 to 2015; curated the Latin American Biennial edition of PhotoQuai in 2013 and 2015 (Musée du quai Branly, Paris): and curated and edited the Latin US Project.

He is a founding partner of the publishing house Madalena in Brazil. He collaborates with international publishing houses such as RM or Gustavo Gili, where he has engaged in various projects. In 2015 and 2016 he directed and edited the project FLUZ as the coordinator of the visual activities for the Secretaria de Cultura of Quito- Ecuador. In 2018 he presented Africans at the Image Center of Mexico City, a transmedia and exhibition project on the African heritage in Latin America that began its new tour in 2019. He was the curator of the exhibition "Midnight on the crossroad” by Cristina de Middel and Bruno Morais in Rencontres de Arles 2018. 

He is currently the director of VIST, a new platform for the production and distribution of contemporary visual narratives and also curator for the next edition of the Latin American Forum of Photography in São Paulo, Brazil.

Touria El Glaoui, Founding Director, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair (UK)

Born and raised in Morocco, Touria El Glaoui completed her education in New York before beginning a career in the banking industry as a wealth management consultant. After 10 years in the field, she relocated to London, where she initiated the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in 2013. She has since launched the fair in New York in 2015 and in Marrakech in 2018. 1-54 is now a world-leading platform dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora.

Parallel to her career, Touria has organized and co-curated exhibitions of her father’s work, Moroccan artist Hassan El Glaoui, in London and Morocco. She has spoken widely and chaired numerous discussions on contemporary African art and women in leadership at leading institutions and events globally. Touria is also on the advisory board of Christie’s Education in London.

Touria El Glaoui was listed amongst the 100 most powerful women in Africa by Forbes; amongst the 50 most powerful women in Africa by Jeune Afrique in 2015 and in 2018; and the 100 most influential Africans in business by NewAfrican in 2013.

Katie Hollander, Director, Annenberg Space for Photography (USA)

Katie Hollander is the Director at Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, where she began serving as Interim Director in November 2017. Hollander has extensive management and programming experience working in the field of arts and culture, including Deputy and then Executive Director of the highly-regarded nonprofit public arts organization Creative Time, known for Tribute in Light, the New York City installation commemorating 9/11. While there, she commissioned such ambitious projects as Duke Riley’s Fly By Night and was involved in Kara Walker’s blockbuster, The Marvelous Sugar Baby.

Hollander also served as Executive Director of ArtTable, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women in the visual arts, and worked in various roles for the College Art Association. Hollander received an MA in Art History from the University of Manchester at Sotheby’s and an MA in Arts Administration from New York University.


Gwen Lee, Director at Singapore International Photography Festival (Singapore)

After six years of experience in the museum industry, Gwen Lee pursued her first love for photography as co-founder of Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF), a biennale international photography platform. She was recognized for her contribution to the Singapore arts community in 2010 by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Trade. In 2013 she embarked on curatorial research in Germany supported by Goethe Institut Singapore and National Arts Council.

In 2014, Gwen and the SIPFteam built an independent art space called “DECK” to provide all-year-round platform and residency program for photographers in Singapore. DECK received the Singapore President’s Design Award 2015 and in 2016 received the NAC Major Company Grant.

Gwen has curated and organized over 60 photography international exhibitions including Flux: Contemporary Photography from China at Art Science Museum and solo exhibitions of Daido Moriyama and Araki Nobuyoshi. She has also served as a jury member and portfolio reviewer in various platforms including FORMAT, KL PHOTO Award, KG+,  DIPEChina, Houston Fotofestival, Daegul Photo Biennale, Recontres d’ Arles and Ballarat International Foto Biennale.

Brent Lewis, Photo Editor, The New York Times & Co-Founder, Diversify Photo (USA)

Brent Lewis is a Photo Editor based out of New York City and co-founder of Diversify.Photo, a website and database of 300+ photographers of color from across the globe. On top of everything else, he is from the greatest city on the planet, Chicago. South Side to be exact.

Brent is a photo editor at The New York Times working on the Business Desk, assigning visual coverage of the economy and the auto industry.

Brent was formerly the Senior Photo Editor of ESPN’s The Undefeated, where he created and drove the visual language of the website that is based around the intersection of sports, race, and culture as well as The Washington Post. Before turning his life over to photo editing, he was a staff photojournalist with stints at The Denver Post, The Rockford Register Star and the Chillicothe Gazette. Through the years his photos have been used by the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Forbes, and Yahoo! News.

Open and Youth competitions

Gisela Kayser, Managing Director & Artistic Director, Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus (Germany)

Gisela Kayser has been the Artistic Director of Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus since 1996 and is responsible for the institution's cultural program. In 2011, she was appointed Managing Director of Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus. For 23 years Kayser and her team have put together 10-12 exhibitions each year at the Willy-Brandt-Haus, focusing on photography and socially engaged topics. She has also accompanied and supported several exhibition projects as a curator in various other museums and galleries. Gisela Kayser has also been a jury member at award ceremonies of the University of the Arts Berlin several times, in 2008 nominator at the International Center of Photography/New York and jury member for the Alfred Fried Photography Award in 2019.

Student competition 

Tim Clark, curator, writer & Editor–in–Chief 1000 Words (UK)

Tim Clark is a curator, writer and since 2008 has been Editor in Chief and Director at 1000 Words, nominated for Photography Magazine of the Year at the Lucie Awards 2014 and 2016. He has also served as Associate Curator at Media Space, The Science Museum, London; Artistic Director of Photo Oxford 2017, together with Greg Hobson; Curator of Photo50, London Art Fair 2019; and Guest Curator of FORMAT International Photography Festival 2019.

Clark has curated numerous solo exhibitions of artists such as Alec Soth, Julia Margaret Cameron, Martin Parr, Mariken Wessels, Edgar Martins and Peter Watkins. Group exhibitions have included Mutable: Multiple (2019), co-curated with Louise Fedotov-Clements; Who’s looking at the family, now? (2019); Lexicon of Crime (2017); and Rebecoming (2014).

He writes for FOAM, TIME Lightbox, Photoworks, Objectiv, FT Weekend Magazine and British Journal of Photography, as well as in exhibition catalogues and publications. He is Associate Lecturer on the MA Photography at NABA Milano, and also led the first Photography & Curation course at The Photographers’ Gallery, London in partnership with London College of Communication where he is also Associate Lecturer on the BA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.