Ian Parry Scholarship 2017 winners revealed

Amidst bone-chilling cold, Kashmiri mourners shout pro-freedom, anti-India slogans and wave Pakistani flags while carrying the dead body of Adil Sheikh, a militant belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen. © Sharafat Ali.

The Ian Parry Scholarship has unveiled the 2017 winners of its annual photojournalism competition. And their challenging and thought-provoking work signifies that the future of documentary photography is in safe hands.

Their images conveyed passion, commitment and skill.

The competition, open to students and recent graduates, was first established in 1989 in memory of Ian Parry, a 24-year-old photojournalist killed on assignment for The Sunday Times.

Each year it shines a light on emerging talent in the field and helps to support their futures by giving them a cash prize, equipment, and exposure for their work, including a significant gallery exhibition in London and coverage in The Sunday Times Magazine.

This year’s main winners are Sharafat Ali, who receives the Award for Achievement, and Tafadzwa Ufumeli, the winner of a new award first introduced last year, the Award for Potential. Ufumeli will receive 12 months of mentoring from British documentary photographer, and previous Ian Parry Scholarship recipient, Simon Roberts.

Sharafat Ali is a 22-year-old student at the AKS School of Photography in Kashmir, and his photographs document some of the recent anti-India protests in that region, which have claimed hundreds of lives.

Anti-riot police officers confront a resident during a protest in Epworth, Zimbabwe.
Anti-riot police officers confront a resident during a protest in Epworth, Harare, Zimbabwe. Violent protests rocked Harare’s eastern suburbs where taxi operators' crews and residents fought running battles with police over the increasing number of roadblocks. © Tafadzwa Ufumeli.

Tafadzwa Ufumeli is a 23-year-old photojournalist from Harare in Zimbabwe who studied photojournalism at the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA). His work documents violent demonstrations that rocked Harare’s eastern suburb of Epworth, during which civilians fought running battles with police over an increasing number of roadblocks.

“Congratulations go to Sharafat Ali and Tafadzwa Ufumeli on winning awards,” said Ian Parry Scholarship trustee and one of the world’s most respected photojournalists, Tom Stoddart. “Their images conveyed passion, commitment and skill while documenting difficult and important stories. We are proud to welcome them and add their names to the impressive group of photojournalists who have won the scholarship previously.”

A woman and her child walk past a barricaded road during a demonstration.
A woman and her child walk past a barricaded road during the opposition parties’ mega demonstration on electoral reforms in Harare, Zimbabwe. © Tafadzwa Ufumeli.

Simon Roberts, an alumni of the Ian Parry Scholarship awards, added: “Whilst we can complain about the apathy of the millennial generation, judging the Ian Parry Award we saw work from young photographers, across the globe, who shared our passion.

“They all demonstrated the motivation to tell important stories, political and social, to a wider audience. I’m delighted with our final winners and look forward to the experience of mentoring one of these emerging talents.”

Protest clashes in a gated neighborhood of Caracas, in the rain.
On August 28, 2014, demonstrators gathered in a gated neighborhood of Caracas. Even in the rain, which makes tear gas more effective, the clashes lasted for over four hours. © Adriana Loureiro.

"At Canon, we feel it is vital to support and nurture the next generation of visual storytellers and our support of the Ian Parry Scholarship is part of that,” said Canon Europe's Pro Imaging Marketing Manager Richard Shepherd. “We will follow the careers of this year’s winners Sharafat Ali and Tafadzwa Ufumeli with interest."

A young boy shows his loaded pistol in Caracas.
A young boy shows his loaded pistol on November 24, 2015. He shares the weapon with a couple of other dealers in his neighborhood, located near the center of Caracas. "It's easier to find guns than it is to find bread," he said. © Adriana Loureiro.

Two other young photojournalists were also honoured by the judges in this year’s competition. Adriana Loureiro Fernández, 29, a Venezuelan student at the Columbia School of Journalism, received the Highly Commended award from the judges. Her work tells the story of demonstrations in Caracas following the call for a 48-hour general strike in July 2017 over President Nicolas Maduro's plan to rewrite the constitution.

Kamini Tontines, a 12-year-old in Cameroon, is hiding her breasts after having them ironed by her mother.
Kamini Tontines, a 12-year-old in Cameroon, hides her breasts after having them ironed by her mother. © Heba Khamis.
In Cameroon, Wetshibi poses for the camera after having her breasts massaged with a stone.
In Cameroon, Wetshibi poses for the camera after having her breasts massaged with a stone. It has been three years since her mother started to massage her two to three times a day. © Heba Khamis.

Egyptian documentary photographer Heba Khamis, 28, who studied at Hochschule Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Germany, received the Commended award for her project ‘Banned Beauty’, about breast ironing in Cameroon.

This practice sees young girls’ mothers or grandmothers massaging their breasts with hot stones in a futile attempt to melt the fat and reduce their size, so men will not be enticed by them.

Written by Tom May