Cape Town - South African Justin Sullivan has won first prize in the Top News category in the Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest.
His photograph 'Stand Off', in which a police officer points his gun at poachers hiding under a table, earned him top spot in the prestigious photo contest.
Last year, this prize was shared by ANA Pictures photographer and former Independent Media photojournalist Phando Jikelo, for his photo series entitled Grabouw Housing Protest, and Alejandro Martinez Velez from Spain who won for his heart-wrenching series “Migrants in Belgrade”.
Sullivan also won the online poll of the Andrei Stenin Photo Contest this year, for his documentary series Walking with Fire: Going Beyond.
"The 'Wild Fire' images have been part of an ongoing project over the past 3 years and it brings me unimaginable joy to see South African firefighters from various agencies featured on an international platform," Sullivan said.
The Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest was launched by Rossiya Segodnya under the aegis of the Russian Commission for UNESCO. Its main goal is to support young photographers and draw public attention to the challenges of modern photojournalism. The contest is a platform for young photographers; talented, empathetic and open-minded, who our attention to people and events around us.
In 2018, a new record was set as nearly 6000 images from 77 countries were submitted, said director of Rossiya Segodnya’s Photo Service Alexander Shtol.
"Young photojournalists have a very acute sense of what matters the most, and what is going on in the lives of people, countries, and the world in general. There were never as many images on social issues as this year. It is also pleasing to note the improving quality of submissions, as well as the fact that the contest has become so prominent within the community of photojournalists,” said Shtol.
“Photography enables us to see and feel the diversity of the world in all its beauty, complexity and tragedy. In the contest submissions, we see the challenges today’s world is facing, as well as its beauty. Most importantly, people are at the centre of almost all images, showing their destinies, how they overcome challenges, and how they try to change life for the better,” said the head of ICRC’s Regional Delegation in Russia, Belarus and Moldova, Magne Barth.
Other 2018 winners were Luis Tato (Spain) who won the Top News photo series category for his work, Kenya's Post-Election Turmoil.
In My Planet category, first place was awarded to Sergei Gapon from Belarus for his image Cranberry Heart shot from a drone, while the winning photo series was Alyona Kochetkova’s How I Fell Ill, in which she chronicles her dramatic struggle against cancer.
In the Sports category, the winners are Taisir Mahdi from Iraq for his photograph The Desire for Life, picturing a young amputee playing football, and Andrea Alai from Italy for his photo series Ultras about the tifosi (fans) of Albenga Calcio club from a small town in Liguria.
In the category Portrait. A Hero of Our Time, Israel’s Oded Wagenstein took first place in singles with his image Rosebud showing a child from a Nenets tribe, while Iran’s Shiva Khademi won with her series Gemini.
The full list of contest winners and runners-up is available at stenincontest.com. The awards ceremony and exhibition of the winning works will take place on November 8.
Independent Media is one of the general media partners of the contest.