Announcing the Winners of the 2012 Make a Better World Photo Contest
IREX is pleased to announce the winners of its Make a Better World Photo Contest. The contest received 2,400 submissions from over 120 countries in an effort to best capture IREX’s tagline, “Make a Better World.” A panel of expert judges selected winning photos based on both artistic merit and their demonstration of one or more of IREX’s seven focus areas; IREX’s friends and followers on social media also helped select the “People’s Choice” winner.
The Grand Prize goes to Arup Haldar’s photo, entitled “Sustainable Development.” It depicts a rural Indian woman’s struggle to get by. Judge Jeanie Adams-Smith noted the photo’s “graphic quality, classic rule of thirds and color use.” It was the story behind the photo, though, that really caught her attention. “The picture is a slice of life of a woman who is truly an unsung hero,” she said. “It is not a portrait that tries to make her look heroic or glamorous; in fact, it shows that she is working hard to be the provider for her family.” The photo “balances beauty and the difficulty of her daily life.”
The judges awarded the “Best in Focus Area” prize to David Mor for his piece, “Manifestation of Respect,” a depiction of a friendship between two very different men. Judge Allison Shelley says it “is the perfect embodiment of the theme of conflict resolution—gorgeously and creatively executed.” What sealed the deal for Shelley, though, is that it depicts “a natural moment, captured by someone who spends enough time in the setting to know about the habits and backgrounds of these particular men and to recognize the value of their daily walk. True documentary photography.”
IREX President Bob Pearson selected the photo “Polling Station” by Nicolas Tanner for the “President’s Choice” award. “This photo, an image of a woman voting in Kyrgyzstan one year after ethnic conflict, embodies IREX’s work in conflict resolution and civil society strengthening.” In fact, Pearson was so impressed with the photo submissions that he also named six honorable mentions to reflect IREX’s other focus areas.
Finally, over 1,000 of IREX’s friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter made their voices heard by voting for their favorite photos. The “People’s Choice” award goes to Diana Alhindawi for her photo of the ethnic Karan people in Thailand, entitled “The Knot."