HIPA Awards: The Moment Category Winners
A showcase of the winning entries of The Moment category in the Hamdan International Photography Awards.
“When the blast took place—in that brief, transitory moment between life and death—everyone present in that area was united, and came forward to help.”
On 15 April 2017, on a beautiful spring day in a neighbourhood called Al-Rashidin, located in the west of Aleppo, there was a bombing. It was carried out by terrorists who targeted a gathering of civilians who had been allowed under ceasefire, to cross over to another area. There was chaos everywhere. At the time of the disaster, I was with my colleague, Abdelkader, a fellow photojournalist. Without hesitation, he set aside his camera on his shoulder, and made four trips to the scene of the explosion to help the wounded. The picture here is a depiction of the frenzy and fear that had inhabited everyone present at the scene that day. It was a terrifying moment to witness Abdelkader running with the severely injured child in his arms. To me, the image is a portrayal of the humanity and injustice that exists in Syria, my home.
“The Ronhingyas are a very simple people, with absolutely no understanding of the political situation, or, why they’re being continuously driven out from any place that they call home.”
With their meager belongings, I witnessed several families undertake long, treacherous journeys in horrible weather conditions. This particular photograph shows a group of Rohingya women, who after four consecutive days of walking without food or water, have finally made their way into Cox’s Bazar, a district in Bangladesh. It is estimated that in the last year alone, that over 700,000 Rohingya refugees have escaped violence in Myanmar; the majority of whom do so into neighbouring Bangladesh. Something urgently has to be done about the situation. They cannot continue living their lives by struggling to survive on a day-to-day basis.
“To approach animals in their most natural, native settings, I have to understand the mysteries of their behavior. With careful preparation, I can show the animal in its best light, demonstrating its beauty, strength and intelligence.”
In the Ross Sea in Antarctica, an adult Emperor Penguin is seen returning to the ice edge, for the first time after being at sea for days or even weeks. Despite the long and arduous journey, the penguin will have a belly fully of ice fish and krill for its awaiting chick.
“I witnessed how unpredictable life can be, how the tables can be turned over in a fraction of a second.”
I was one of the photographers attending the 2016 edition of the Gold of Kagan rally, held in the Astrakhan region of Russia. During the course of the rally, a 10 tonne MAZ rally truck sprung out of nowhere and spread panic over a group of photographers and journalists present at the spot, who were caught unaware. I later learned that the truck driver could not see the people before him, and ended up seriously injuring a photographer. Thankfully, he went on to make a full recovery.
“A stray dog had managed to almost make its way through the fence. I knew something explosive was about to take place.”
In Argentina, the ancient and traditional practice of cattle branding is still being used to identify an animal’s owner. Burning an identifying mark into the hide of an animal was, until the invention of the tattoo, the only method of marking that lasted the life of the animal.
“A photograph is a document, a record of an event or moment that has transpired. It plays an important role in the history of a place. As a photographer, you must be willing to do whatever it takes to make this possible.”
I remember receiving a call late at night about a massive land slide that took place in the Guizhou Province, and was asked to document the event. The area of the catastrophe was located 30km away from my home. I drove all the way, and upon reaching found that rescue operations were already underway. There were 20 people under the wreckage. The photograph encapsulates the strength possessed by everyone who came forward to salvage the situation.