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 Tweet comparing an ominous screen capture from the Tucker Carlson Show to one of Holzer’s Truisms is being sold as an NFT to benefit crucial organizations in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.
Rapper Maykel “Osorbo” Pérez was sentenced to nine years.
Shows at the Hudson Valley’s Hessel Museum of Art feature artists Dara Birnbaum and Martine Syms, as well as new scholarship on Black melancholia as an artistic and critical practice.
On the day of the Supreme Court’s decision to undo 50 years of constitutional rights to abortion, artist Elana Mann’s “protest rattles” feel especially poignant and urgent.
This week, Title IX celebrates 50 years, the trouble with pronouns, a writer’s hilarious response to plagiarism allegations, and much more.
PLEASE SEND TO REAL LIFE: Ray Johnson Photographs reveals the “career in photography” that occupied the artist in the last three years of his life.
Since antiquity, women’s eyebrows have been sites of intense scrutiny, constantly shifting between trend cycles.
A landmark show of 30 artists at Jeffrey Deitch gallery in New York keeps the category of Asian figuration open-ended.
Contemporary Black-Indigenous women artists Rodslen Brown, Joelle Joyner, Moira Pernambuco, Paige Pettibon, Monica Rickert-Bolter, and Storme Webber are featured in this digital exhibition.
Hall makes no attempt to entice the viewer to begin looking and to look again, letting her methodical craft compel viewers to reflect upon their experience.
In Benglis’s latest works, the forces of gravity that defined her seminal poured latex and polyurethane pieces are traded for luminous bronzes.
A new project by Columbia’s Queer Students of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation explores queer histories that have been suppressed by gentrification and urban development.