This is the winning photograph of the HIPA “Humanity” Photography Awards. Shot by Brazillian photographer Ary Bassous, it shows Dr Juliana Ribeiro after 8 hours of continuous work in the Covid-19 emergency room. The image is an intimate moment in a day experienced by so many medical professionals during the past 18 months and you can clearly see the fatigue and emotional cost etched into her face along with the deep grooves from wearing her protective clothing for such a long time.
What grabs you is the hint of sadness in her face as she feels the pain for humanity, as deaths in Brazil exceeded half a million people due to the pandemic.
– Ary Bassous
The photo was taken in the University Hospital Clementino Fraga Velho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bassous was awarded the Grand Prize of $120,000.
Many of the winning entries depicted scenes all too familiar from the past 18 months of the pandemic, and show a strong journalistic element. However, other winning entries show other moving scenes from the Beirut Port explosion, a migrant sea rescue in the Mediterranean, and in the portfolio category, impactful aerial photographs of the Arctic and Antarctic as they experience climatic change.
“Humanity is the most important thing a lens can capture, and the winners expressed it in strong and varied ways.” says Judge Gary Knight, “Photographing others in love, in crisis, or exploring the lives of others, is one of the most special things we can do as photographers.”
Here is a selection of some of the other winning images from the competition.
The first place in the Humanity category was awarded to Mads Nissen from Denmark for his heartwarming image depicting 85-year-old Rosa Luzia Lonardi being hugged by her nurse. Nissen says it was the first embrace that Rosa had received for 5 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Brazillian nursing home created a ‘hug curtain’ which allowed residents vital physical contact with loved ones and volunteers.
Ilhan Kilinc from Turkey won 2nd prize in his photograph that also touches on the pandemic. The image shows “the profound extent of the psychological impact inflicted on healthcare workers” as they were not able to interact with family members and particularly their own children at the end of a long day working the Covid-19 wards.
The third place depicts a Lebanese truck driver standing amid the aftermath of the Beirut Port explosion, two days after he was caught in the blast, a scene of apocalyptic devastation in the background. Marc Abou Jaoude says that he was “lucky to live and witness another day”.
“High Hopes” by Italian photographer Fabrizio Maffei shows the moment a migrant was rescued by the coast guard after the boat sank in the Mediterranean. Maffei writes that “although the day is coming to an end and in the bitter cold, the rescue team did not stop until the end”.
Now into the 10th season, the HIPA awards (Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award) have attracted nearly half a million entries from 203 different countries. The other winning entries can be seen on the HIPA website.