Strike a pose and get ready to smile…it’s time for us to announce the Best Photograph nominees for the INSP Awards 2018!
This award will go to the best example of a single original image captured by a street paper, and judged on artistic merit and storytelling ability.
Our top ten, featured below, will now go forward to our editorial shortlisting panel, who will choose the five finalists. These will be announced in early August, and the winner will be revealed at the Global Street Paper Summit in Glasgow.
1. Factor S, Uruguay
La Construcción de una Imagen
By Fernando Vidal
Factor S said: The history of this photograph derives from a newspaper column called “La Construcción de una Imagen” (“The construction of an image”) that I wrote for Factor S. In addition to being Factor S’s editor, I work in a shelter for people over 65 who live on the streets, and during my time there I dedicated myself to meeting people and learning their stories, and many of those I tried to record through my camera. Luis stayed in this position for quite some time, but getting it exactly how I wanted it to look took me longer than I thought. I could never define exactly what spoke to me from this picture but I did know that it was necessary to capture it.
2. Faktum, Sweden
Greece May 2017: Between War and Crisis
By Lisa Thanner
Faktum said: Athens is fighting, against all odds. With 500,000 refugees stranded in camps and major economic crises, the capital of Greece is still giving people hope. We had the exclusive opportunity to visit the refugees in camp Skaramagas. Journalist Malin Clausson and photographer Lisa Thanner visited the camp thanks to El Sistema, a music education programme from Venezuela. Their motto is “Music for social change” and El Sistema still have Swedish volunteers active in the camp. This photo show kids waiting for their music lesson with El Sistema. They look out the window and as a viewer you wonder, what lays ahead for these children?
3. Hecho en Bs. As., Argentina
By Pepe Mateos
Hecho en Bs. As. said: This photo is part of a report we published in our January 2018 edition, dedicated to our elderly citizens, one of the most vulnerable groups in society. During December 2017, Conservative President Mauricio Macri, elected in 2015 with an agenda of slashing currency and trade controls favoured by his development-oriented predecessors, said Argentina needs pension reform to slash its deficit and attract investment. His government has promoted a pension reform that will reset the system for calculating pensions for around 17 million people. According to opposition figures, the government will save around $US5.6 billion by slashing the pensions. Debate on the bill was suspended twice due to massive demonstrations also backed by workers’ unions and social movements. Protesters were met with water cannons and tear gas and fought back using slingshots to fire rocks at police, turning the vast lawn in front of the capital into a battleground. In this photo, a group of citizens protected themselves in a street flower pitch from the advance of the repression by the police on December 18, when the pension reform was treated.
4. Hecho en Bs. As., Argentina
By Manuel Cortina
Hecho en Bs. As. said: This photo is part of a report we published in our January 2018 edition, dedicated to our elderly citizens, one of the most vulnerable groups in society. During December 2017, Conservative President Mauricio Macri, elected in 2015 with an agenda of slashing currency and trade controls favoured by his development-oriented predecessors, said Argentina needs pension reform to slash its deficit and attract investment. His government has promoted a pension reform that will reset the system for calculating pensions for around 17 million people. According to opposition figures, the government will save around $US5.6 billion by slashing the pensions. Debate on the bill was suspended twice due to massive demonstrations also backed by workers’ unions and social movements. Protesters were met with water cannons and tear gas and fought back using slingshots to fire rocks at police, turning the vast lawn in front of the capital into a battleground. In this photo, an activist is handing a flower to the police to urge them to stop the brutal repression, a few seconds before he was met by a rubber bullet. A bullet with which he lost an eye.
5. Hus Forbi, Denmark
The Female Fakir Swallowing
By Mette Kramer Kristensen
Hus Forbi said: In this photo you see a beautiful young woman. She is charismatic. She has got a smiling face. She holds her arms behind the bag, which gives her elbows a swing that makes it look as if she has wings. Can she fly? Why not. She looks so special that no-one would be surprised is she suddenly took off and headed up to the clouds. She has tattoos on her arms, legs and breasts. And she has a sword in the mouth. Actually, it goes all the way down her throat and even longer. Photographer Mette Kramer Kristensen has taken it in a music hall to get the dark background that really makes the young woman, Cecilia Gosilla, stand out. She’s a former homeless woman who is now trying to build a career in showbusiness – and at the time of the photo was pregnant with her first child.
6. Mi Valedor, Mexico
Removing the Rubble
By Sara Escobar
Mi Valedor said: The earthquake in September 2017 was a huge shock for Mexico, arriving on the same day as the infamous 1985 quake, which took the lives of over 5,000 people and has left its mark upon Mexican society. In the days after the quake last year, Mexico City descended into chaos once again. Many of us didn’t know how to be useful; nevertheless, the whole city mobilised. Convoys of bikes and motorcycles crossed the city taking supplies to where they were needed; social media exploded with attempts to try and organise the coordination of rescue and resources; and at every disaster site you would see scenes like the one in this photo. Human chains – of civilians – carrying water, medicine, and tools; emptying out the rubble, bucket after bucket, to get to the trapped survivors, and those less lucky. The 360 people who died in September 2017 must be remembered, but as Rebecca Solnit has said: ‘the living are the monument, the living who co-exist in peace in ordinary times and who save one another in extraordinary times.’ It has been incredibly inspiring for Mexican civilians to realise the potential of their actions when they work together and organise.
7. Street Sense, USA
“Where else can we go?”
By Benjamin Burgess
Street Sense said: This photo by volunteer photojournalist Benjamin Burgess was taken during coverage of a homeless camp eviction conducted by city government in Washington D.C. The photo accomplished several things: communicated the trauma homeless campers felt during the clean-up, documented the first arrest we’ve observed in the past three years since the city ramped up enforcement of anti-camping laws, and grabbed readers attention as a prominent cover photo. Burgess was the only person on the scene for this event, and the accompanying story reported three different clean-up days at the same site. Once the photograph was received, the story was retooled to begin with what was happening in this strong image. It also happened to run in the first edition of our 15th year of printing – a passive commitment to the strong journalism we produce.
8. Surprise, Switzerland
By Annette Boutellier
Surprise said: Slavcho Slavov has spent more than 10 years living on the streets of Europe. He first left his home in Bulgaria to earn money to finance the education of his two teenage children. His wife died of cancer when the kids were still young; Slavcho raised the kids on his own. But finding work was difficult in Bulgaria, especially for Slavcho who had lost one hand in a car accident when he was 26. So he left the kids with his mother and travelled through Europe. He earned money by painting, first on the pavement, then on stones and canvas. In Lourdes, Slavcho found a little puppy and decided to keep him, calling him Lourd after the city. It was Lourd who later rescued a cat, Matz. From then on, the trio became inseparable. Today, the three of them have found a place to stay in the Swiss capital Bern, where the picture was taken. Slavcho wrote his autobiography and continues to sell his art and the book on the streets. He is proud not to receive any money from state welfare and that his daughter studies geology in Sofia and his son became an IT-specialist.
9. Surprise, Switzerland
The Post-Soviet Cowboy
By Mario Heller
Surprise said: Bobur lives in Murghob, a small city in the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan. Located at 3,600 metres above sea level, the region’s soil is unfertile; the climate rough; electricity and water are scarce. The mean temperature lies around 0°c. The ethnic Kyrgyz Bobur has lived in this poor area for all his live. “I was born here, my parents and my brother are buried here, I will never leave this place”, he says. His first wife left for Russia when the USSR broke down, taking their two children with her. Although Bobur married again and had two more children, he sees no prospects for his family here, where the market sells only cheap Chinese imports and there is no work. Back in Soviet times Murghob was important due to its proximity to the Chinese border. Today, even the Tajik government seems to have forgotten about it. But Bobur won’t budge, he loves Murghob just as he loves his well-kept motorcycle – which doesn’t run anymore.
10. Toledo Streets, USA
In Search of the Summer of Love
By Edwin Conn
Toledo Streets said: A week after the hate rally incident in Charlottesville, VA, our small community in Maumee, OH held a counter-rally with speeches of inclusion, love, and compassion. I went to the rally to photograph for Toledo Streets as well as listen to some amazing speakers. The shot of the child looking back at me holding his own small sign warmed my heart as it did for many of our readers and supporters. This issue was a sell-out within the first three weeks of release.
Don’t forget to keep checking back this week as we reveal more nominees in the Editorial categories for the INSP Awards 2018, and use the hashtag #INSPAwards on social media to congratulate our nominees!