interviews with the 2010 winners
Four of the winners from the 2010 photo competition talk to us about their lives, their work and the inspiration behind their photographs.
Sreesailam Pasupula, India - 1st prize (acting in solidarity)
Sreesailam started his career as a wedding photographer in 2000 and went onto study photography at Chennai University. He continued to work as a wedding and event photographer up until 2007 when he decided he'd had enough of the routine nature of the work.
He is now studying at India's number one commercial photography school, the "Shari Academy" in Mumbai, where he hopes to learn new skills to enable him to broaden his repertoire.
He is inspired by the photography of Reza, Jamess Nachtwey, Robert Capa, Michel Nikolas, David Ha Lan Haevey, St McCurry and all those who's work appears in the National Geographic magazines.
In 2010 Sreesailam was also awarded the best travel photograph award by the Lonely Planet website for his photograph of Indian women performing at a camel fair in Rajasthan.
Vardit Goldner, Israel - 2nd prize (acting in solidarity)
Vardit took her first photography course more than 20 years ago and began shooting as a hobby. She later decided she wanted to devote more time to photography and so took some intensive courses which resulted in her first solo exhibition in Tel Aviv, Israel.
On her work Vardit says:
"I live in Israel, a place with a lot of human rights violations. I try to use photography in order to put human rights and social issues into the spotlight. I hope to raise the awareness of the public to these issues and to bring a change of attitude towards human rights in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories."
The winning photo was taken in a Bedouin village in southern Israel. The village, and many others, are deemed illegal settlements by Israel - despite being created before the state even existed. The village in the photo had been demolished by the authorities 26 times between May 2006 and the end of 2009. After each demolition the inhabitants returned and built new dwellings on their own land. The photo was taken during a solidarity visit and it shows a local women sitting with a young guest.
"It seemed so human and warm, how they both managed together, talking, laughing and playing without understanding each other’s language. The visit was held a few days after the twelfth demolitions. It was organized by a group of human rights activists, of which I'm a member" says Vardit.
Martha Isabel Calle, Columbia, 5th prize (acting in solidarity)
Martha is a graphic designer from Colombia. She was given her first camera when she was young by her father and has never stopped shooting. She says she has a 'lazy eye' which has forced her other eye, her photographic one, to work twice as hard. She believes that this makes her see photography in a different way.
"Whenever I see a picture, I try to listen it to it. Some are so quiet that they simply whisper to me, others stun me and others simply stay quiet creating a kind of vibration inside me," she says.
What she loves about photography is when someone opens their beauty to her which happens in the portraits that she makes. Portrait photography is what she loves and specialises in.
Martha took her winning photograph at a protest outside the University del Valle in Colombia. More than 30,000 Indians were protesting against being evicted from their lands.
She explains what happened:
"Entire families were taking part, waiting for a solution or at least be heard. Despite the scarcity of food, shoes, beds, and unsolved Colombian conflicts, this community shows organization and the strength to endure entire days of walking. This means that there is something stronger than hunger, the fatigue and the indignation, it is their will."
Kozsák Rudolf Árpád, Hungary - 1st prize (movements for change)
Rudolf from Budapest, Hungary, started photography in 2004 and it soon became his number one hobby. He is self taught and specialises in urban themes and moments of everyday life. In 2008 he started a blog in Hungarian displaying his work. A selection of his photos have been displayed in numerous national exhibitions.
Rudolf says he draws his inspiration from everyday life and also his photography idol André Kertész.
On his winning photo Rudolf says:
"My photo means to me that people are able to co-operate and make a difference and make a change. It was taken during an event called "Critical Mass”. In order to get a great shot I had to climb to the top of a statue. Winning the first prize is an honour and I’m happy that my vision fascinated the jury. I’m also happy to show how Hungarians can work together.