From Wildlife and Waste Tips to Slums and Stewardship: UNEP’s “Focus on Your World” Photo Competition
Nairobi/Aichi, 18 March 2005 – Images of deer, scavenging on a rubbish tip, the housing of the rich set against the slums of the poor and Buddhist monks solemnly draping cloth round a tree trunk have scooped the top prizes in the latest UNEP International Photographic Competition on the Environment.
The three works have clinched Gold in the General, Youth and Children’s categories of the competition, which has again been sponsored by Canon under the theme “Focus on Your World”.
The winners, along with those taking the silver and bronze awards and those awarded with special prizes, will be honoured at a ceremony taking place at the United Nations Pavilion on 26 March during Expo 2005 in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
Klaus Toepfer, UNEP’s Executive Director, said: “The ability of the human eye and the camera lens to illuminate the beauty and tragedy of the world is again brought into sharp focus by our fourth International Photographic Competition. I know the world-renowned judges had a tough task trying to sift and choose from the truly astonishing range of photos and the high numbers of submissions”.
“Amateurs and professionals alike from nearly 170 countries took part. In total, over 32,000 photographs were submitted which is nearly double the number of the previous competition held five years ago,” he said.
Mr. Toepfer added: “The winning photographs will, I am sure, become famous and popular in their own right touching as they so ably do the human emotions, the human spirit. But I believe they can go even further, triggering real action by changing the hearts and the minds of all those who glimpse them. This will be their lasting legacy and one so important in this, the UN’s sixtieth anniversary year, the year of UN reform and the year when we review the achievements of UN Millennium Development Goals on poverty eradication”.
Fujio Mitarai, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canon, said: “We are delighted at the enthusiastic response to the competition. We are also heartened that so many people share our concern about global degradation and are joining with us to promote environmental responsibility and sustainability”.
The judges, which included such award-winning photographers as Takeyoshi Tanuma, Raghu Rai, Susan Meiselas, and Enny Nuraheni, chose Resmi C. Senan of India for the $20,000 Gold in the General Category for her portraits of deer feeding on refuse and rubbish tips.
Silver was awarded to Brent Stirton, a South African living in America, for his image of a Zambian man sat among the sad stalks of a drought-hit farm. An Australian, a Chinese and an entry from the Dominican Republic shared Bronze.
Monica Alexandra Terrazas Galvan from Mexico secured Gold and $5,000 in the Youth Category for her simple but stark portrayal of the gap between rich and poor through the imagery of posh, up-market housing set above the slums below.
The Silver went to David Collier of America for a photograph showing river and spires of Hunan, China. Bronze was shared by entries from Vietnam, France and Iran.
The $2,000 Gold in the Children’s Category was clinched by Chamaiporn Pongpanich of Thailand for a moving and reverential portrait of monks, draping a brown and gold cloth round the trunk of a huge tropical tree.
Silver went to Thien Anh Huynh of Vietnam for the hope-inspiring image of saplings being watered in a bone dry desert landscape. Bronze was shared by a Briton living in Switzerland and two other entrants from Vietnam.
The UNEP-Executive Director’s Special Prize was awarded to Paulo Cesar Lopes Alvadia, a Brazilian professional photographer and previous winner of Brazil’s Esso Prize.
It shows a stranded whale surrounded by teams of people, courageously battling against the waves to rescue and re-float the beached leviathan.
The Canon Special Prize was awarded to Chidchanok Senanunsakul of Thailand for an enigmatic photo of young boys, sitting in a blue lake, yelling in joy or perhaps frustration, to the sky.
Mr. Tanuma, head of the judging panel, said: “The competition’s global scope and worldwide participation are truly noteworthy, and Web entries contributed to the increase in total entries this year”.
Ms. Nuraheni added: “Overall, the entries were great from children while the Youth and General categories depict most of the typical problems associated with the environment”.
The award winning photographs, including 120 Honorary Mentions, will be on display in the UN Pavilion at Expo 2005 until September.
The new winners, plus those from previous competitions, are to be incorporated into the design of the pavilion’s outer wall. A travelling exhibition, after September, is planned in major cities.
This year’s winning photos will also be shown during UNEP’s World Environment Day on and around 5 June. WED 2005 is being hosted by San Francisco, the city where the UN charter was signed 60 years ago. This year’s theme is Green Cities with the slogan ‘Plan for the Planet’.
Notes to Editors
Full list of winners
Gold, Resmi Chandra Senan, India
Silver, Brent Stirton, South Africa
Bronze, Jian Qiang Chen, China
Bronze, Jesus Rodriguez, Dominican Republic
Bronze, Andrew Merry, Australia
Honorary Mention, 40 recipients
Gold, Monica Alexandra Terrazas Galvan, Mexico
Silver, David Collier, America
Bronze, Faraji Vahid, Iran
Bronze, Matthieu Marquenet, France
Bronze, Thy Phuong Nguyen Hoang, Vietnam
Honorary Mention, 40 recipients
Gold, Chamaiporn Pongpanich, Thailand
Silver, Thien Anh Huynh, Vietnam
Bronze, Joel Rosen, United Kingdom
Bronze, Lam Vu Duc Hanh, Vietnam
Bronze, Dinh Cung Vuong Tran, Vietnam
Honorary Mention, 40 recipients
The UNEP Executive Director’s Special Prize: Paulo Cesar Lopes Alvadia, Brazil
The Canon Special Prize: Chidchanok Senanunsakul, Thailand
Impressions on Gold Prize Works by Head of Judging Panel Takeyoshi Tanuma
General Category Gold Prize: Resmi Chandra Senan – India
“The photo of several deer scavenging through the garbage dump, jostling for the contents of a plastic bag, really forces us to think long and hard about humanity’s impact on the environment.”
Youth Category Gold Prize: Monica Alexandra Terrazas Galvan – Mexico
“The striking contrast between the neighboring slum and upscale housing reflects a message of better living for tomorrow.”
Children’s Category Gold Prize: Chamaiporn Pongpanich – Thailand
“I can see many levels of meaning in this photo. This photo of Buddhist monks draping washed cloth out to dry upon a tree in the jungle symbolizes man’s simple coexistence with nature, yet also underscores the Buddhist reverence for life and the importance nature plays in ascetic training.”
For additional information regarding the award winners and their works, please visit www.unep-photo.com.
For press-related matters, works can be downloaded at www.unep-photo.com/index_fpo.html
About the United Nations Environment Programme
Established in 1972 and based in Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP is the voice for the environment within the United Nations. Its mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
Canon Inc. and the Canon Group develop, produce and market a wide range of products used in the home, offices and industry, including business machines, conventional and digital cameras, lenses, digital video camcorders, semiconductor production equipment, television broadcasting lenses and medical equipment. Established in August 1937 and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the group employs about 100,000 people worldwide.
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