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In Focus: Winners of the Latin American Pictures of the Year Contest

By David Schonauer   Saturday June 17, 2017


Photojournalism is thriving in Latin America.

That’s the takeaway from the biannual Latin American Pictures of the Year  competition, which recently announced the winners of its 2017 edition. Portuguese photographer Daniel Rodrigues was named Ibero-American Photographer of the Year for his a series about mistreatment of albinos in Mozambique and other work from Africa. Among the other winners: Federico Rios’s project on FARC guerrillas in Colombia, featured previously at Pro Photo Daily, which took first place for News Series, and Latin American Fotografia winner Peter Bauza’s series on squatters in Rio de Janeiro, which  won first place in the Daily Life Series category. Today we present selection of work from POY Latam 2017.

The contest was started in 2011 by the photographers Loup Langton and Pablo Corral Vega to recognize and promote photography in Latin America. Photographers from Spain and Portugal were allowed to participate starting in 2013. This year’s contest drew more than 1,900 entrants, noted The New York Times  in a recent report.

Although Latin American photographers were long overlooked by historians, curators and photo editors in the United States and Europe, Corral Vega told The Times that they have surged to the forefront of documentary photography over the last decade.

“I believe Latin American photographers are more willing to navigate freely between fine art and documentary photography,” he said. “I’m not talking about manipulation of the images, but about a sensibility that allows a subjective vision. I’m convinced this is the best moment for Latin American photography because photographers are not looking at Europe and the U.S.A. for references. The photographers we want to emulate are in our region.”

Below is a selection of work from POY Latam 2017. Go here  to see all the winners.


Ibero-American Photographer of the Year: Daniel Rodrigues

Only five years ago, Portuguese photographer Daniel Rodrigues was unemployed and had to sell his gear to buy food and pay his rent, noted The New York Times. Rodrigues was named Iberoamerican Photographer Of The Year for a haunting and intimate project about mistreatment of albinos in Mozambique, as well as other reportage from Africa. Albinos are kidnapped and murdered for their body parts, which are believed to bring good luck. The photo at top shows Ricardo Carlitos of Nampula, a teacher and father who says albinos are being hunted “like animals.” The photo above shows Yohane Kanwendo, who was once kidnapped.

News (Series): Federico Rios

Federico Rios’s project on the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, featured earlier in Dispatches from Latin America, took first place for News Series. Above: Guerrillas assembled to celebrate the birthday of a FARC commander. See this NY Times profile  of Rios.


News (Single Image): Nacho Doce

Nacho Doce took first in News category for this picture of Jackeline, 26, holding her four-month-old son in front of their house in Recife, Brazil. The boy was born with microcephaly resulting from the Zika virus.

Everyday Life (Series): Peter Bauza

Peter Bauza was awarded first place in the Daily Life Series category for his photos of squatters living in an abandoned apartment complex in Rio de Janeiro. The series was also named a winner of the Latin American Fotografía 5 competition. See our Profile  of Bauza. In the photo above, a young girl, Eduarda, who lives with seven siblings in one of five never finished buildings of a supposed middle-class condo project

Everyday Life (Single Image): Pablo Blazquez Dominguez

Pablo Blazquez Dominguez was awarded first prize in the Everyday Life category for this photo people having drinks at a bar in Madrid city center during the annual livestock migration festival in 2016.

Portrait (Series): Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Carlos Garcia Rawlins took the Portrait (Series) top prize for images of dogs at the Famproa dog shelter in Venezuela, abandoned during the country’s economic meltdown.

Portrait (Single Image): Antonio Heredia

Antonio Heredia won the Portrait (Single Image) top prize with this image of Óscar Prieto of Madrid, survivor of a brain tumor.

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