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Photo Contest Insider Blog

Syngenta Photography Award finalists announced

March 27, 2013

The finalists of the Syngenta Photography Award, a new international competition aiming to stimulate dialogue around key global challenges, were announced today.

The three finalists for the Professional Commission are:
Jan Brykczynski (Poland), Pablo Lopez Luz (Mexico) and Mimi Mollica (Italy).

The three finalists in the Open Competition are:
André François (Brazil), Holly Lynton (USA), Vitaliy Popkov (Ukraine).

A distinguished international panel, chaired by the author and curator William A. Ewing, selected the six finalists for their artistic quality and interpretation of this year’s rural/urban theme. The winners of both categories will be announced on May 15, 2013, followed by an exhibition at Somerset House, London from May 17-21.

William A. Ewing said: “It was moving to see the deep emotion underpinning so much of the work, read in the text and felt in the images. These photographers have come up with unique and surprising perspectives on the theme.”

In its inaugural year, the award attracted over 450 submissions to the Professional Commission, which invited professional photographers to compete for a commission by submitting a series of photographs and an original proposal related to the rural/urban theme. For the Open Competition, which welcomed photographers of all levels, more than 2,500 entrants submitted their photographs.

Details of the Professional finalists:

Warsaw-based documentary photographer Jan Brykczynski documents in his series “Árnes” an isolated region in the Icelandic Western Fjords. Here he spent several months studying the relationship between the natural surroundings and the village’s small community, whose population of 38 is responsible for the year-round farming of more than 2,700 sheep. His proposed Commission “Farming Tribes” explores the relationship between human beings and nature in four of the World’s major urban spaces – New York, Yerevan, Warsaw and Nairobi.


Árnes – © Jan Brykczynski, The Syngenta Photography Award 2013

In his series, “Terrazo”, Pablo Lopez Luz’s intention was to re-interpret the classical notion of the Mexican landscape. Looking at the relationship between humans and their surroundings, he highlights the effect that overpopulation and the lack of structure or guidelines in the development of a city has on its terrain, land and population. His proposed Commission “Lost Utopia” is a project that explores the failed dream of the modern Latin American City and a lost bond to nature.


Terrazo – © Pablo Lopez Luz, The Syngenta Photography Award 2013

Documentary photographer Mimi Mollica highlights socio-economic and political issues through his work. His series, titled “En Route to Dakar”, portrays the changing landscape of Dakar, documenting the degree to which urban development advances on to the rural Senegalese landscape. His proposed Commission is a project that tells the story of the physical, economic and social impact of construction in his native Sicily.


En Route to Dakar – © Mimi Mollica, The Syngenta Photography Award 2013

Details about the finalists in the Open Competition:

  • André François (Brazil): for “Being Productive is being Independent”, in which a community in the Mukuru slum of Nairobi/Kenya learns simple agricultural techniques to produce their own food.

Being productive is being independent – © André François, The Syngenta Photography Award 2013

  • Holly Lynton (USA): for “Turkey Madonna”, depicting a farm worker cradling four turkeys that are about to be slaughtered for Thanksgiving on a doomed independent farm in the small town of Shutesbury, Massachusetts.

Turkey Madonna – © Holly Lynton, The Syngenta Photography Award 2013

  • Vitaliy Popkov (Ukraine): for “Energy Carriers”, a haunting image of a woman carrying a bundle of sticks in the bleak snow beneath imposing power lines.

Energy Carriers – © Vitaliy Popkov, The Syngenta Photography Award 2013

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