Photographer of the Year
Congratulations to Edgar Martins (Portugal) for being awarded this year’s Photographer of the Year title for his series Our War. As well as winning a $25,000 (USD) cash prize, Martins is given a range of Sony digital imaging equipment plus global online coverage. Martins also wins a solo presentation at Somerset House of his work as part of next year’s Sony World Photography Awards exhibition.
Speaking about his win, Martin says: ‘It is a huge honour to be recognised and although I am philosophical about awards and the subjective nature of someone’s choice, knowing that there were over 180,000 entries to this year’s Professional competition, is very humbling. In this case, it is also quite an emotional experience because I get to honour my friend on a world stage and bring attention to the family’s plight to find his remains. There’s no award that has the reach of the Sony World Photography Awards.’
Our War by Edgar Martins
In 2011, my dear friend and the photojournalist, Anton Hammerl, travelled to Libya to cover the conflict between pro-regime and anti-Gaddafi forces. On 5 April he was forcefully abducted and killed by government militia. Frustrated by the lack of progress in the investigation to find his mortal remains, in 2022 I took matters into my own hands and travelled to Libya.
This previously unseen body of work is structured as a self-portrait of Anton Hammerl through the people he photographed and met, and others involved in the conflict (freedom fighters or their descendants, ex-militia, local residents, Gaddafi loyalists or lookalikes, and so on). They were selected because they resembled him, espoused similar ideas and beliefs, or reminded me of him at different stages of our friendship. This project portrays a complex story, warped by absence, that talks of the difficulty of documenting, testifying, witnessing, remembering, honouring and imagining.
Photographers could submit a series of five to ten images interpreting one of the ten categories. Each submission entered into the Professional competition was rigorously judged by a panel of expert judges. This year’s category winners each receive Sony digital imaging kit, inclusion in the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition and book, plus global online coverage.
Architecture & Design
Wildlife & Nature