For the 2022 Student competition, we challenged the photographers of tomorrow to respond to the brief Connections. In five to 10 images student photographers needed to show a story that highlights how they, or someone they have documented, interacts with the world.
Recently we’ve had to think differently about how we connect in more ways than we could have imagined. Around the globe we’ve embraced a modern evolution of communication, giving us a fresh perspective on connecting, but how do we make sure we don't lose those existing connections? Be it a group of people, a place, or a cultural tradition, creating links sustain and enrich our lives. With projects relating to spirituality, cultural identity, and the contrast of isolation to physical intimacy so many have experienced since the pandemic, choosing the shortlist was no mean feat.
The judge for the 2022 competition was Colin Czerwinski, Founder of NOICE Magazine. You can read our interview with Colin here. Together with their university, the winner will be awarded Sony digital imaging equipment amounting to a combined total of €30,000. The winner will also have their work included in the annual book and exhibition. Student Photographer of the Year will be announced on 12th April 2022.
To celebrate one of the first announcements of the 2022 awards, we take a look at some of our favourite shortlisted series below. What's yours? Take a look at the full shortlist here.
Becoming South African, Aidan Murgatroyd (Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography)
'As a third culture kid born and raised in various regions of the world and spending more time outside South Africa than in it, I've always desired to explore, understand and connect with what it means to be South African.' With a mixed cultural background (one parent is English, the other Afrikaans) Aidan's series documents his journey to gain a deeper understanding into a country so intrinsically linked to his heritage.
Tiramisu, Alexander Komenda (Aalto University)
'This project is a testament to connecting with those closest to our living space – friends, roommates and neighbours, on a dark winter’s night.' Alekander's quirky images are a wonderful example of collaboration. In lockdown with members of the Chinese student community in Espoo, Finland, the Candian photographer worked with their subjects on where and how to be photographed. The result is somewhere between fact and fiction, making a playful creative commentary on what it means to be together.
The Identity of Holland, Ezra Bohm (Nederlandse Acedemie voor Beeldcreatie)
Celebrating a community living in Urk, a small Dutch village in the Flevoland province, Ezra photographs the last remaining people wearing traditional costumes that celebrate the country’s ancient culture. 'Many city dwellers are disconnected from their cultural roots and feel alienated in a society full of global citizens. By elevating these communities, I hope that people will look for their own cultural roots again.'
Connections, Sachi Deshmukh (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti)
'The old images used are of my parents when they were newly married.' Sachi's creative project is a wonderful exploration into a married couple's enduring bond: the young faces in the photographs juxtaposed with the older hands points to the time the pair have spent together. 'They are celebrating their connection – and strengthening their bond – by looking back to their past.'