The judges of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards honored on Tuesday the work of two Iranian photographers by shortlisting their work as top ten in the world in the awards’ Professional and Open competitions. Judges were looking for images representing the finest contemporary photography today.
Danial Khodaie from Ahvaz, Iran, was shortlisted in the Contemporary Issues category of the Professional competition, judged upon strong bodies of work between 5-10 images, and Saeid Moridi, from Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan, Iran, was shortlisted for a single image in the Open competition’s Portraits category.
Khodaie’s shortlisted series, ‘dust invasion’ reveals a huge environmental issue that has damaged the region of Khuzestan, Iran, since 2002, posing numerous health hazards for the local citizens and placing Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan province, among the most polluted cities in the world. The increased desertification and the destruction of the Mesopotamian wetlands are some of the main factors causing the phenomenon of dust storms in Khuzestan, resulting to 22,000 people suffering from health problems.
Danial Khodaie, based in Ahvaz, Khuzestan, Iran, obtained his degree in Chemical Engineering from the Islamic Azad University of Mahshahr. In 2014 he joined the ISNA News Agency and in 2015 he started working at the FARS News agency as a photojournalist.
Talking about being shortlisted, Khodaie comments, “I have been witnessing the dust storm for many years now and I have seen people suffering from it. In 2015, I started a long-term project about the climate change and the pollution of the environment. I always wanted to show the whole world the human impact on earth. I’m so grateful to be shortlisted in the Sony World Photography Awards. Thanks for giving me this opportunity.”
Moridi’s shortlisted image ‘Behind the Glass’ is a beautiful portrait taken in a café in New Julfa, the Armenian quarter of Isfahan, Iran.
Born in 1994, Saeid Moridi is a self-taught photographer based in Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan, in Southern Iran. He discovered his passion for photography at a very young age and later on decided to pursue a professional career on photography.
Talking about being shortlisted, Moridi comments, “It is truly an honor to be shortlisted in the Sony World Photography Awards. I am especially grateful to both the World Photography Organisation and Sony for this amazing opportunity. I would also like to extend my deepest gratitude to my family and friends whose continued support is the reason I am where I am today.”
The photographers will now compete to win their categories and the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards’ Photographer of the Year title. The Open category winners will be announced March 28, and the Professional category winners revealed at an awards ceremony in London on April 20. Prizes include the latest Sony digital imagery equipment, a trip to the awards ceremony in London and $30,000 US dollars in cash prizes.
The work of both shortlisted photographers will also be shown alongside the awards’ other shortlisted and winning images at the Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr – 2017 Exhibition in London from April 21-May 7.
The judges of the Sony World Photography Awards also commended six Iranian photographers in the awards’ Open competition. The photographers placed top 50 in the world for their images are: Ahmad Salehi, Culture category; Mehran Cheraghchi Bazar, Culture category; Milad Safabakhsh, Enhanced category; Mina Noei, Street Photography category; Mojtaba Nobakht, Portraits category; Poya Raissi, Still Life category.
Over 227,000 images from 183 countries were submitted to the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards. 49 nationalities are represented on the Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus shortlist, with a further 11 nationalities commended.