The World Photography Organization has revealed the shortlisted and finalist photographers for the Sony World Photography Awards 2021.
Now marking its 14th year, the competition rewards professional photographers for an outstanding body of work that demonstrates “technical excellence and a fresh perspective on contemporary subjects.”
Over 330,000 images from 220 territories were submitted to the competition, with subject matter ranging from still life to wildlife. Of these, more than 145,000 made it to the award’s 10 categories, the highest number of entries to date. This year, a new “Portfolio” category has been introduced to allow photographers to submit individual images from different bodies of work, as long as their style and technical skills remain consistent.
Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic dominates this year’s entries. Some shortlisted images capture the suffocation of life under lockdown, while others celebrate people’s resilience in coping with the devastating disease. The escalating effects of climate change are another principal theme, with images of a heavily polluted river in India and a Brazilian town wrecked by rising sea levels. The entries also capture some of last year’s major events, from the devastating Beirut blast to a locust plague of biblical proportions in Kenya. There are also moments of beauty and levity, and arresting images of wildlife doing its thing.
The winners will be selected from the list of finalists and revealed on April 15 in a live-streamed event hosted by British art historian Jacky Klein and stand-up comedian Nish Kumar.
Until then, enjoy this selection of outstanding finalists:
The close, careful, and subtle observation I found this year is representative of precisely why I continue to gravitate to this fair.
How do we counter stereotypes about Black mothers, while stressing the importance of memory, determination, love, and corporeality?
An expansive exhibition on Adeliza McHugh’s influential Candy Store Gallery celebrates the whimsical, irreverent aesthetic that put California’s Sacramento Valley on the art-historical map.
With two stellar retrospectives, one time-based installation, and several commissions by local artists, the Phillips Collection has dedicated its galleries to highlighting abstract work by Black artists.
As we begin a new year, a small moment on Queer Eye makes me think about the profound effect our stories can have on each other.
Each fellow in this 10-month intensive in New Haven, Connecticut, will receive studio or office space, subsidized housing, and a generous stipend.
Some have criticized the racist monument’s planned relocation to North Dakota, near land seized from Indigenous people.
A group called the Boriken Libertarian Forces toppled the monument hours before King Felipe VI of Spain’s visit.
Graduate students in the University of Denver’s Emergent Digital Practices program work on research with faculty who are engaged directly with their communities, both online and off.
Still resonating with relevance, William Gropper’s incisive cartoons in defense of the WPA go on auction at New York’s Swann Galleries together with other works by celebrated WPA artists.
Archeologists excavating in Nijmegen, the Netherland’s oldest city, found the bowl in pristine condition.
A pioneer of street photography, Levitt worked in the most crowded and poorest neighborhoods of New York searching for the theater of everyday life.