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#SWPA showcase: celebrating photographers worldwide

4 years ago

Photographers from more than 203 territories submitted work across this year's Sony World Photography Awards, helping to reinforce the competitions as a global platform for the medium. Every Wednesday we'll spotlight images or series that have been recognised in the Professional, Open, Student or Youth 2020 competitions from one particular region.

In the forthcoming weeks, see if you notice particular trends in genre, style or point of view from certain parts of the world – is there a particular aesthetic frequently seen in work by Latin American photographers, for example? Or is the landscape a common subject in imagery by Chinese photographers? We hope these blog posts will not only expand your understanding and appreciation of the variations of photography but also how wonderfully diverse creativity can be. 

First up we look at images submitted by photographers based in USA. 

Liam Moynihan's high contrast black & white photograph features the dark outlines of three boys playing ‘roofball’ at a summer camp in Worton, Maryland. His image won the December monthly Youth competition, meaning his image – along with six other winners – goes through to the second round of the Youth competition. Winner announced 9 June. 

In Absentia is about a young woman’s inner search for identity.  Mela Sharahim is a stateless teenager who found asylum in Denmark in 2015. She is of Palestinian descent, but was born in Syria, and has never been recognised as a citizin to any country. More than 10 million people around the world are in the same position as Mela. She described to Adrian, the photographer behind this series, her longing for the feeling of Palestine – the sights, sounds, and smells of her homeland. Adrian's goal was to show, through a collection of images, how it feels to be displaced and long for something you've never experienced, yet nonetheless feel connected to. While still taking a documentary approach, he used abstract, blurry and dreamy visuals to convey a sense of emotional and physical detachment.

Jason Chen's image features a majestic scene of the river and waterfall known as the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone; Chen is shortlisted in this year's Youth competition. 

Bigorexia (also known as muscle dysmorphia) is a new phenomenon in the sports and fashion industries. This anxiety disorder causes individuals to believe that their bodies are small and lacking in muscle, despite the fact that many sufferers could be described as big and muscular. Bigorexia can affect both men and women, but often goes undiagnosed. People choose different approaches to build up muscles, from compulsively working out in the gym to injecting themselves with enhancing substances. Anton tells us the competitors' stories. 

Kolton Almany, shortlisted in the Youth competition, decided to photograph their model in a library setting to represent the various chapters and stories in people’s lives.