Shortlist, We Worship the Body by Giuliano Berti
"Kushti is a traditional form of wrestling developed in Northern India in the 16th century, and still practiced today. Wrestlers gather in a gym (an akhada) and face each other in a pit filled with clay mixed with salt, lemon and ghee. Before each match, athletes (known as pehlwans) pray to Lord Hanuman, Hindu god of strength and patron of all fighters. The winner is the contestant who puts his opponent’s shoulders to the ground first, using locks, throws, pins and holds. Punches and kicks are not allowed.
The strict practice of kushti is traditionally believed to drive young men towards a more positive and healthy lifestyle. More than just a sport, it’s a cultural heritage which embodies masculinity and represents, for some at least, a pathway out of poverty. Castes and differences are left at the door."