The first Sony World Photography Awards announcement of the 2024 season is here! And it’s an exciting one - this year’s Student & Youth shortlists offer a captivating glimpse into the unique perspectives of young photographers as they interpret and capture the world around them.
We asked photography students to dive into what ‘Home’ meant to them or to the individuals and communities around them. Entrants could submit five to 10 images that focused on either the literal or the abstract notion of home.
From capturing a place that they (or their subject) hold close, to documenting quotidian life, to what home symbolises to a group or community, students showed through their own visual signature what home can signify.
Makaziwe Radebe’s series is a nostalgic portrait of her hometown Soweto and of the ‘familiar faces and the streets that continue to shape how [she moves] in the world’. Radebe focuses her lens on the tight-knit community she grew up with, honouring their character-building contributions during her coming-of-age.
Gaston Zilberman’s series documents the indigenous Uru community’s grief over their loss of home - as well as their resilience. The once thriving Lake Poopó in Bolivia, where for millennia the Urus lived in floating houses and boats, is now a windswept salt flat due to climate change-induced droughts and industrial contamination. Zilberman’s interpretation of the brief flips the narrative and looks at what the loss of home does to people and their unique cultural identity.
Frederik Rüegger’s project invites us to take a closer look at the English and Irish traveller communities and their rich cultural heritage - including the centuries-old tradition of horsefairs in Ballinasloe and Appleby. In the case of this nomadic community, home as a place is secondary - it is the community itself and their traditions that make it a home.
Open to photographers under 19 years old, the Youth competition’s theme ‘Through Your Eyes’ encouraged young creators to showcase their skills, exercise their creativity and share what pushes them to press that shutter button and capture the world around them.
Shayna Cuenca utilised a mixed media approach to photography by printing her self-portrait, cutting it into tea bag-sized pieces and transferring them onto actual tea bags before photographing her finished piece once again. Shayna’s creativi-tea really seeped through in her entry!
Afiq Sharkawi shot a beautifully composed street portrait of a master craftsman holding a traditional Malaysian dagger called ‘keris’. The lighting in the photograph makes it look like a studio portrait, which is unusual for street photography. The composition gives the illusion of depth - the tool bench leads the viewer’s eyes to the craftsman and the lamp above his head emphasises him being the focal point of the photograph.
Kas Christiaens’ photograph highlights the problem of light pollution by illuminating her portrait with the only available sources on-site - the blue light coming from the city and the red light from a street lantern.
Winners of Student Photographer of the Year and Youth Photographer of the Year will be announced on 18 April at the Awards ceremony in London and will be on view as part of the Sony World Photography Awards 2024 exhibition at Somerset House.
But for now, enjoy the full shortlists below, dive into their stories and stay tuned to our channels for the upcoming announcements - the National & Regional Awards reveal is just around the corner!