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Theory & Practice

Magnum Photography Awards 2016

Announcing the winners of this year's inaugural Magnum Photography Awards, presented in partnership with LensCulture

Martin Parr Art of Dining. Kassel, Germany. 2015. © Martin Parr | Magnum Photos

Magnum Photos and Lensculture are delighted to announce the twelve winners of the inaugural Magnum Photography Awards, as chosen by our esteemed international panel of jurors.

The Awards, launched in May 2016, were designed to provide an opportunity for our audience – and the photography community at large – to share in the celebrations of Magnum’s upcoming 70th anniversary, and the launch of this new publishing platform.

Both Magnum Photos and LensCulture are committed to developing visual talent. This partnership recognizes, rewards and supports photographic talent from all over the world. Together, the two organizations will continue their mission of helping photographers move forward in their careers, both creatively and professionally.

Each photographer has won a cash prize, but beyond this, the international exposure provided by Magnum Photos and LensCulture’s combined global audience of over 4 million, a presence at 30 international photography festivals and access to expert guidance.

“We were delighted by the diversity and quality of submissions to the Magnum Photography Awards 2016. It was an incredibly hard competition to judge because of this—but also a pleasure. We came across brilliant storytelling from all corners of the world, powerful documentation of important issues, and memorable single images.” David Kogan, Executive Director, Magnum Photos

See the full selection of images and judge’s comments on the LensCulture website.

The Series Winners

STREET: Dougie Wallace

SERIES WINNER / STREET PHOTOGRAPHY – Dougie Wallace, United Kingdom for “Harrodsburg”

Picturing the consequences of the rising economic and political power of the “one per cent”—and the result is Harrodsburg: an up-close wealth safari exploring the wildlife that inhabits the super-rich residential and retail district of Knightsbridge and Chelsea in London.

See the full series here.


SERIES WINNER / PORTRAIT – Jens Juul, Denmark for “Six Degrees of Copenhagen”

Taking its point of departure from the idea that every person on Earth is connected by, at most, the sixth degree, this series of photos depicts human connections throughout the city of Copenhagen. 

See the full series here.


SERIES WINNER / PHOTOJOURNALISM – Sandra Hoyn, Germany for “The Longing of the Others”

Bangladesh is one of the few Muslim countries where prostitution is legal. The Kandapara brothel in the district of Tangail is the oldest and second-largest in the country. It existed for some 200 years before it was demolished in 2014, and has been re-established with the help of local NGOs and the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association, convincing the High Court that the eviction of the sex workers was an illegal act.

See the full series here.

FINE ART: Aaron Hardin

SERIES WINNER / FINE ART – Aaron Hardin, United States for “The 13th Spring”

“My daughter was born on the thirteenth spring. Her cries were met by the deafening surge of the cicadas’ song. I wondered if my daughter would be marred by the world, like her father and her father’s father. The next time the cicadas spring from the ground to molt, mate, and die, she’ll be a teenager and I a graying father.
Maybe this time will be different. Maybe she’ll make it.”

See the full series here.

DOCUMENTARY: Mauricio Lima

SERIES WINNER / DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY – Mauricio Lima, Brazil for “Refugees”

Considered the biggest human exodus since the end of the World War II, hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan fled their homes under armed conflict and persecution and started to flow in growing numbers to Europe.

See the full series here.

OPEN: Julián Barón García

SERIES WINNER / OPEN – Julián Barón García, Spain for “C.E.N.S.U.R.A.”

In the big circus that is politics today, photography and censorship have become allied to each other. They are used in concert in order to manipulate people, putting forward the image as a document, and relying on mass media to subtly but constantly mask those aspects that do not correspond to the claims of the parties. The final effect is a blurring and distorting of reality.

See the full series here.

The Single Image Winners

PORTRAIT: Hannah Modigh, Sweden — “Hillbilly heroin, honey” This photo was shot in a dying coal-mining town, St Charles, which is situated in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains behind the fog.
DOCUMENTARY: Cris Toala Olivares, The Netherlands — “Ni’lin” Israeli soldiers shoot tear gas during a demonstration against Israel's controversial separation barrier in the West Bank village of Nilin.
FINE ART: Kyle Weeks, South Africa — “Palm Wine Collector, Kunene Region, Namibia. 2015” Palm Wine Collector, Kunene Region, Namibia. 2015.
STREET: Ofir Barak, Israel — “Mea Sharim” Passover preparations, Mea Shearim. Passover is a holiday in which the Jewish people commemorate their liberation, by God, from slavery in Egypt as well as their freedom as a nation under the leade (...)
OPEN: Asger Ladefoged, Denmark — “Daesh” Ahmad, a young man in his early twenties, is a member of ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). In February 2015, Kurdish YPG militia arrested him after he was seen and revealed in their terri (...)
PHOTOJOURNALISM: Valery Melnikov, Russian Federation — “At the Last Second” Civilians escape from a fire at a house destroyed by an air attack in Donbass, a village in Luhanskaya, eastern Ukraine, on July 2, 2014.

Jurors Picks

Laurence Rasti, Switzerland — “There are no homosexuals in Iran” Selected by Amy Pereira, Director of Photography, MSNBC, New York, USA - "Laurence Rasti documents a marginalized community forced into exile because of their sexuality and counters that ugly perse (...)
Tommaso Protti, Brazil — “Ta Cheio” Selected by David Kogan, CEO, Magnum Photos, London, UK - "The work is a powerful depiction of an important human rights issue: the overcrowding of Brazilian prisons. The photographer, Tommaso Prot (...)
Mario Cruz, Portugal — “Talibes: Modern-Day Slaves” Selected by Newsha Tavakolian, Photographer, Member of Magnum Photos, Tehran, Iran - "The work by Mario Cruz hits you like a brick in the face. He uncovers the unimaginable nightmare of slavery, so (...)
Dimitri Mellos, USA — “I speak of the city” Selected by Jim Casper, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher, LensCulture, Amsterdam, The Netherlands - "Dimitri Mellos makes remarkable photographs that capture moments of transcendence, delight, confusion (...)
Paul D’Haese, Belgium — “Belgopolis” Selected by Stacey Baker, Photo Editor, New York Times Magazine, New York, USA - "If we were to look really carefully at the everyday world around us, we might see what Paul D'Haese sees: sculpture (...)
Alejandro Chaskielberg, Argentina — “Otsuchi Future Memories” Selected by Martin Parr, Photographer, President of Magnum Photos, London, UK - "Tomoko Hida is seen here with his family in the ruins of their house destroyed by the tsunami. What an extraordinary (...)
Marta Berens, Poland — “Suiti” Selected by David Alan Harvey, Photographer, Founder of Burn Magazine and Member of Magnum Photos, New York, USA - "While there are many, many great pictures, few photographers really "get" authors (...)

Student Spotlight

Emile Ducke, Germany — “Transnistria” Located in eastern Moldova along the border with Ukraine lies Transnistria: a narrow strip of land, at times only several kilometers wide. Legally, Transnistria is part of the Republic of Moldova. (...)
Kari Wehrs, USA — “Shot” In an attempt to explore one aspect of gun culture, I set up my darkroom tent and tintype gear at known target shooting locations in the Arizona desert. I create participants' tintype portraits and (...)
Matt Eich, USA — “This Is Not Your Family” Through a series of photographs of my family, I attempt to give form to the tumult of love, fear, forgiveness and acceptance that goes into making a life together.
Jessica Kelly, UK — “Boys” Over the past six months, I have been photographing male escorts who work in London's sex industry. This series of images is part of my final major project at university which I intend to carry on (...)
Michael Vince Kim, UK — “The Koreans of Kazakhstan” In 1937, 180,000 Koreans who had settled in the Russian Far East to escape famine, poverty, and Japanese colonial oppression were then forcefully deported to Central Asia under Stalin’s ethnic clea (...)

"I felt the overall quality of the entrants was quite astounding. I was very impressed with this terrific cross-section of where photography is today. Lots of talent out there. "

- David Alan Harvey, Magnum Photographer