see the incredible photographs from the inaugural magnum photography awards
The photo agency and LensCulture team up to celebrate the best in photojournalism from across the world.
Street Single Image Winner - Ofir Barak
Magnum is the most famous, respected and artistically ambitious photo agency in the world. Following on from its launch of the Graduate Photographer's Award last year (and one year away from celebrating its 70th birthday) now, along with LensCulture, its launched the Magnum Photography Awards, a celebration of the best, most beautiful and affecting photographs to be captured around the world. Prizes are awarded in the categories of Documentary, Street, Photojournalism, Portrait, Fine Art and Open. The selection comes from as close to home as the US, and as far afield as Israel, Brazil and Russia. Taken as a whole, they paint a vivid, moving portrait of the reality of life around the world today.
Harrodsburg, a series shot by Dougie Wallace, captures the disparity of wealth distribution in modern Britain by focusing on the global elite and its spending habits in a country where many can't afford housing or rely on food banks to survive. At the other end of the spectrum, Mauricio Lima charts a different tale of global mobility — following and documenting the journey of refugees escaping war torn Syria for a better life in Sweden.
Ofir Barak's photography captures the insular neighborhoods of Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem — another world apart, distinctly different from mainstream, modern Israeli society. Asger Ladefoged's image of a blindfolded man — an ISIS fighter captured by the Kurdish militia in north eastern Syria — shows the human reality of war, often reduced to simplistic terms of good and evil. Cris Toala Olivares' photograph of Israeli soldiers shooting tear gas at demonstrators at the West Bank separation barrier in Nilin.
Away from war and conflict, Sandra Hoyn's images uncover the reality of child prostitution in Bangladesh, one of the few Muslim countries where prostitution is legal. In the country's oldest red light district, which has existed for 200 years, she captures with beautiful honesty the women who were born and grew up in the brothels. Her photography grants us access to this closed world, as all the best photography does, opening our eyes to worlds we didn't know existed, or allowing us to see those we do in a new light.
Text Felix Petty