2021 PRIZE WINNERS - 'SENSE OF SELF'

NICHOLE MURRAYFINK
USA

Oppressed By The Burden

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In considering my own identity, I think of those who have come before me, those whose choices and sacrifices have shaped my very existence.  I think of my grandmother who has passed down stories of her once enslaved grandmother and her time in bondage.  

The contempt my great-great-grandmother reserved for her owner, the wickedness he inflicted upon her, was all clear in the manner she referred to him as Master. That lives in me, stained on my heart without ever knowing her or hearing her voice.

 

This image was taken in response to the murder of George Floyd and is a part of a self-portrait series reflecting on my identity as a Black woman living in the American South.

In this self-portrait, I am resting on a bed of cotton, with a cotton boll on my chest. This symbolic device serves as a reminder of the pervasive impact of enslavement on the descendants of the enslaved and the undue strain from the obligation of bearing this load.

www.nicholefink.com

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ANDREA DE FRANCISCIS
Italy

Portrait of R.
 

R. is a student from Kashmir, the disputed territory in Northern India, theatre of a long-standing, unresolved conflict. R., like many Kashmiris of her age, grew up during the militancy and the brutal repression of the Indian security forces, in a conservative context with strict segregation of the sexes and where sexuality is mainly lived in secret.

R. identifies as lesbian, a word that she first became aware of while reading a book. She never heard this word, so she searched for the term but there was no correspondence in her language, in Koshur. She eventually found it in English: it was the definition of herself, to which she had never given a name although she always felt “different”.

Her family never accepted her identity, she feels caught between two fires: her roots and her identity – her inner sense of self. The intersections of her identity as a lesbian, as a woman, as a Kashmiri, as a Muslim, as a low-caste show how oppression works on different levels. She asked not to show her face and use her name, as she feared her father could come to know and harm her.

 

@andreadefranciscis

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NIAMH SMITH
Ireland

Home, Soft Focus Life, Cocooning

 

This portrait is part of a series titled Home, Soft Focus Life.

The scene is a transformation of the everyday banal and isolation felt in an obscure time of uncertainty. An existence recently experienced by many people in Ireland and abroad. This ordinary image paints with feeling and inspires the emotion.

 

95-year-old grandfather Eugene was photographed from an intimate distance, a spiritual experience awakening moments of reflection during a macabre time.

 

www.niamh-smith.com

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FINALISTS - Sense of Self

FRANCESCA CESARI Italy

FRANCESCA CESARI Italy

SARAH MEI HERMAN The Netherlands

SARAH MEI HERMAN The Netherlands

MARY GELMAN Russia

MARY GELMAN Russia

TIM FRANCO South Korea

TIM FRANCO South Korea

MORGAN FORD WILLINGHAM USA

MORGAN FORD WILLINGHAM USA

FITRI JALIL Malaysia

FITRI JALIL Malaysia

NADEZHDA ERMAKOVA Russia

NADEZHDA ERMAKOVA Russia

EKATERINA ZERSHCHIKOVA Germany

EKATERINA ZERSHCHIKOVA Germany

EMILIO CRESCIANI Australia

EMILIO CRESCIANI Australia

NYREE COX Saudi Arabia

NYREE COX Saudi Arabia

ANNIE CLAFLIN USA

ANNIE CLAFLIN USA

CONSTANZA PORTNOY Argentina

CONSTANZA PORTNOY Argentina

EMMA WILSON UK

EMMA WILSON UK

PREETI SCHADEN USA

PREETI SCHADEN USA

MICHELLE SANK UK

MICHELLE SANK UK

MICHELLE SANK UK

MICHELLE SANK UK

MICHELLE SANK UK

MICHELLE SANK UK

GINA OSTERLOH USA

GINA OSTERLOH USA

LAURA PANNACK UK

LAURA PANNACK UK

SAKURAKO KURODA Japan

SAKURAKO KURODA Japan

CAROLYN MENDELSOHN UK

CAROLYN MENDELSOHN UK

MELISSA IANNIELLO Italy

MELISSA IANNIELLO Italy

JAMIE VAN DEN HEUVEL The Netherlands

JAMIE VAN DEN HEUVEL The Netherlands