INSP Awards: the 2019 Best Photograph Nominees are here

Say cheese…it’s time for us to announce the Best Photograph Nominees for the INSP Awards 2019!

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 June, and the winner will be revealed at the Global Street Paper Summit in Hannover, Germany.

The Nominees:

1. Asphalt, Germany

By Karin Powser

Asphalt said: The article “Politik sieht Straße” [Politics notices streets] describes politicians’ long-overdue preoccupation with the hardships faced by the increasing numbers of homeless people in Lower Saxony. Finally, help should be on its way to get homeless people off the streets. The photo by Asphalt founder and photographer Karin Powser provides a fitting representation of the sad reality of life on the street: two men, clearly homeless, one of whom has mobility problems, are pictured with alcohol around them, but are there for each other in their time of need. A billboard behind them with the word “fröhlich” [happy] creates a stark juxtaposition. This is Hannover.

2. Aurora da Rua, Brazil

A Dream Inside a Styrofoam Box
By Erikson Walla

Aurora da Rua said: Our photograph shows Rogério Santos, a hard-working dreamer with his feet on the ground. It is the work of volunteer photographer Erikson Walla, produced exclusively for Aurora da Rua. Living on the outskirts of the city of Salvador, Brazil, Rogério dreams of using the art of film as a means of giving attention to those who have no voice. Rogério is a “baleiro”. He sells sweets, popsicles and coffees on the city’s streets and buses. His story is just the same as many other Brazilians, who, faced with unemployment, have to find other informal ways to survive. Through a federal government funding programme, he was able to realise his dream of studying Cinema. Dream and persistence are words that pulse through Rogério’s life – he wants to work with the big names of Brazilian cinema or, who knows, go even further and work with international experts like Steven Spielberg. From a window as a vantage point over the city, next to his Styrofoam box, he contemplates a landscape full of possibilities in the majestic world of cinema.

3. bodo, Germany

By Sebastian Sellhorst

bodo said: We met Michael in our contact point. He had one bag with the charred remains of his property. “That’s all I’ve still have,” he says. On a railway embankment near the Dortmund city centre he had built himself a small shack. “When I made myself something to eat my gas burner caught fire. Within seconds everything stood in flames,” he told us. We were shocked and decided to meet him the next day at the remains of his dwelling. After some climbing on a railway embankment we reached what was left. Michael was busy searching the ashes for belongings that had not fallen to the flames. So we took a picture that drastically shows the hardness and the dangers of a life without an apartment.

4. Faktum, Sweden

Camilla’s Cottage
By Mario Phrat

Faktum said: Camilla’s best option when needing somewhere to live, away from old friends and drugs and destruction, was a little cottage in the countryside outside Gothenburg where she could live with her dog, Stina. So the social workers offered her this very simple living, 48 square metres, for 3,500 SEK a month, and Camilla started a new life here. It would soon be destroyed by many reasons. The social workers soon placed other people in the house that were not free from drugs and a very bad circle of abuse, violence and damage started. Camilla was scared and on top of that she and her dog became sick from mould and unhealthy water in the mill. The house that the social workers put her in was actually not a good place for anyone to live in from the start. It turned out to be a living hell. But who would listen to a former junkie, not trusted by anyone? The tests did reveal the truth though, and finally Camilla got out of the cottage. But for a long time she was trapped, paying rent for a house she could not live in.

5. Kralji Ulice, Slovenia

Queen and Queen
By Sandra Požun

Kralji Ulice said: This photograph was taken for the purpose of our poetry column “Queen and Queen”. The column is published monthly in order to raise people’s awareness and fight prejudice and discrimination against same sex couples; spreading the message that the love, relationship and intimacy between people of the same sex is something of everyday life and has always been and will always be present in our society. “Queen and Queen” talk between themselves in an interpersonal relationship involving simultaneous or alternating emotions of love and hate, something completely common when emotions are intense.

6. Megaphone, Canada

Work as a Metaphor for Life
By Rick Collins

Megaphone said: Photojournalist Rick Collins took the long – and creative – view when photographing Jon Sigurdson in his home for “Work as a Metaphor for Life”, a story on a Victoria, B.C. employment programme in our February 2019 edition. The photograph conveys how a sense of isolation can be felt, even in a crowded city. This isolation is what the programme in the story – “Next Steps to Employment”, operated by Our Place Society – aims to alleviate by providing participants with support and life skills training. People experiencing poverty and barriers to employment can access “Next Steps” to help them get on the path toward rebuilding their lives through supported employment.

7. Sorgenfri, Norway

By Terje Visnes

Sorgenfri said: This photo of our vendor Helene was taken for our 2019 calendar. Our vendors got to dress up as whomever they wanted to be at our region’s theatre. The staff did their make-up and dressed them all up. The vendors had a day out of the ordinary. Helene chose to dress up like a geisha. “I was so pretty,” she said. On the photo you can see a tear falling down her cheek. Beautiful. Everyone can relate to sometimes wearing a mask, and no one is just what you can see with your eyes. We wanted to highlight that in the portraits in the calendar, taken by our freelance photographer Terje Visnes.

8. The Big Issue Australia, Australia

Home Share Home
By James Braund

The Big Issue Australia said: Cecilia and Jean sit in their favourite chairs in their loungeroom, sharing a laugh and a cuppa. They’re flatmates with a difference. Cecilia, 89, and Jean, 61, were matched through Homeshare, an international organisation working to combat loneliness and homelessness through pairing elderly homeowners with vulnerably housed housesharers: young people, asylum seekers, students, single women, and women fleeing family violence. It’s a new movement in Australia. We commissioned photographer James Braund to capture the bond between Cecilia and Jean, and the life they share. The photo is warm and engaging, a study in friendship and compassion. “We have a lot of fun,” says Cecilia. For Cecilia, it means she’s able to maintain her independence. “I’m not ready for a nursing home,” she tells us. “I was alone when I got sick. My neighbour saved my life. Since then I can’t stay on my own… Then somebody told me about Homeshare. [Jean] has been a great help.” Jean is unequivocal about how Homeshare helped her stay afloat after a relationship ended. Her job was in Melbourne, but she was unable to afford the sky-rocketing city rents. Like Jean, women over 55 are the fastest growing cohort experiencing homelessness in Australia.

9. The Big Issue Korea, South Korea

From K-pop Idol to Volunteer
By Jungshin Lee

The Big Issue Korea said: Jungshin Lee is a member of the famous K-pop band CNBLUE. He plays bass in the band. Before he became a soldier (every man in South Korea has to serve in the army for two years), he went to Myanmar to help people as a volunteer. He took photographs of those beautiful memories and contributed these photos exclusively to The Big Issue Korea for free. The photographs, like this one entered, were sensational in Korea and many people were inspired by his photos, which captured the faces and lives of people from Myanmar.

10. The Curbside Chronicle, USA

Busk Hour: Mime Jordan
By Nathan Poppe

The Curbside Chronicle said: This Oklahoma City street performer turns the sidewalk into a stage. Mime Jordan was speechless. He arrived to our interview in costume, a red striped shirt with matching overalls, and – in true mime fashion – refrained from speaking. Nothing that a keyboard couldn’t fix. We swapped seats in my office, and he typed out his answers. You have to expect the unexpected with Mime Jordan. This photo hopefully captures his playful spirit and the work he puts into crafting an unbelievable show for onlookers. Nathan Poppe took this photo at a street festival while Mime Jordan was hard at work.


Take a look at the nominees we’ve already announced in the Editorial categories for the INSP Awards 2019, and use the hashtag #INSPAwards on social media to congratulate our nominees!