Magnum Photography Awards 2016
Presenting The Winners, Finalists & Jurors’ Picks
Portrait Winner
Jens Juul, Denmark

Magnum Photos and LensCulture are delighted to announce 44 remarkable photographers from around the world who have been chosen by our international jury for the first annual Magnum Photography Awards. Each of the selected works is presented in its entirety in this online exhibition — it’s a lot to see and absorb, but we believe each of these photographers has something special to offer.

Our call for entries generated an overwhelming, record-breaking response — attracting excellent submissions from photographers in 127 countries. The judges had a difficult job to do, and after many hours of review and long, impassioned discussions, these are the works that rose to the top and stayed there. So, these 44 photographers have earned their spots as some of the best of the best in 2016.

We encourage you to take your time to dig in and appreciate each of their important stories and photos. And be sure to come back a second or third time to review your favorites again. Enjoy!

Series Winners

Documentary
Mauricio Lima
Brazil
Refugees
Street
Dougie Wallace
United Kingdom
Harrodsburg
Portrait
Jens juul
Denmark
Six Degrees of Copenhagen
Photojournalism
Sandra Hoyn
Germany
The Longing of the Others
Fine Art
Aaron Hardin
United States
The 13th Spring
Open
Julián Barón García
Spain
C.E.N.S.U.R.A.

We were delighted by the diversity and quality of submissions to the Magnum Photography Awards 2016. It was an incredibly hard competition to judge because of this—but also a pleasure. We came across brilliant storytelling from all corners of the world, powerful documentation of important issues, and memorable single images.

— David Kogan, Executive Director, Magnum Photos

Single Image Winners

Documentary
Cris Toala Olivares
Netherlands
Portrait
Hannah Modigh
Sweden
Fine Art
Kyle Weeks
South Africa
Street
Ofir Barak
Israel
Photojournalism
Valery Melnikov
Russian Federation
Open
Asger Ladefoged
Denmark

Jurors’ Picks

Alejandro Chaskielberg
Argentina
Selected by Martin Parr
Magnum Photographer, President of Magnum
Martin Parr
Magnum Photographer President of Magnum
London, UK

Tomoko Hida is seen here with his family in the ruins of their house destroyed by the tsunami. What an extraordinary image: to have found the people and to set up this beautifully lit night scene, to illustrate such a moving story about this devastating event. Balancing these posed portraits, Chaskielberg has also woven in images of photos that were destroyed by the tsunami. Overall, the series is both haunting and moving.

Tommaso Protti
Brazil
Selected by David Kogan
Executive Director, Magnum Photos
David Kogan
Executive Director Magnum Photos
London, UK

The work is a powerful depiction of an important human rights issue: the overcrowding of Brazilian prisons. The photographer, Tommaso Protti, shows originality in voice and style, and has gained remarkable access to his subject. Capturing strikingly tight compositions that verge on the violent and surreal, alongside moments of emotion and isolation, the photographer creates a claustrophobic, chaotic and memorable story.

Paul D'Haese
Belgium
Selected by Stacey Baker
Photo Editor, New York Times Magazine
Stacey Baker
Photo Editor New York Times Magazine
New York, USA

If we were to look really carefully at the everyday world around us, we might see what Paul D’Haese sees: sculpture. Or we might not—which is what makes his pictures so striking. He unfamiliarizes familiar landscapes. His is the world I want to walk through.

Marta Berens
Poland
Selected by David Alan Harvey
Magnum Photographer, Founder of Burn Magazine
David Alan Harvey
Magnum Photographer Founder of Burn Magazine
New York, USA

While there are many, many great pictures, few photographers really “get” authorship. That is to say building an overall body of work and its potential visual literacy. Everybody has technique down and a “look”—yet separating the super graphic from the substantial remains a curator’s work...That is why Marta Berens excels. She is an author first. Her topic of the Situi is made important by the WAY in which she tells the story. The method of storytelling is always as important as the story itself. Whomever tells a picture story with flare and style and visual literacy is the one we “read.” She also has no fear: she is willing to go to the edge. Content-oriented enough to be viewed as substantial, yet without over-explaining or being crushingly didactic. Berens achieves a very nice balance.

Laurence Rasti
Switzerland
Selected by Amy Pereira
Director of Photography, MSNBC
Amy Pereira
Director of Photography MSNBC
New York, USA

Laurence Rasti documents a marginalized community forced into exile because of their sexuality and counters that ugly persecution with great sensitivity and beauty. This project, at once, looks at the humanity of intimacy and at the same time, the fear and alienation of living in secrecy under the threat of death.

Mario Cruz
Portugal
Selected by Newsha Tavakolian
Magnum Photographer
Newsha Tavakolian
Magnum Photographer
Tehran, Iran

The work by Mario Cruz hits you like a brick in the face. He uncovers the unimaginable nightmare of slavery, something that should simply not exist in our time. His approach and composition are both extremely human and beautifully composed. Mr. Cruz’s project is both important and outstanding.

Dimitri Mellos
United States
Selected by Jim Casper
Editor-in-Chief, LensCulture
Jim Casper
Editor-in-Chief LensCulture
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dimitri Mellos makes remarkable photographs that capture moments of transcendence, delight, confusion, humor, solitude, despair — sometimes all in the same frame. These densely packed images are teeming with mundane ordinary moments, unlikely juxtapositions, the interplay of shadows, silhouettes, and shafts of slanting urban light. His artful eye seems hyper-naturally tuned-in to saturated colors and morphing shapes; one can feel both his sense of whimsy and compassion as he takes us along his city streets.

I felt the overall quality of the entrants was quite astounding. I was very impressed with this terrific cross-section of where photography is today. Lots of talent out there.

— David Alan Harvey, Magnum Photographer, and Founder of Burn magazine

Student Spotlight

Both Magnum Photos and LensCulture are committed to discovering and recognizing new, talented photographers from all over the world. We share a special commitment to students and education and professional growth. Therefore we have selected these five young student photographers who show great promise and deserve special attention at this early stage of their careers.

The rich variety of photographic expression in this competition truly amazed us. The jury was delighted to see work from a wide range of talented practitioners — including hard-hitting photojournalism and documentary, as well as more experimental and conceptual approaches to visual storytelling, fine art, portrait and street photography. It is evident that the language of photography is alive and thriving in diverse cultures around the world.

— Jim Casper, Editor-in-Chief, LensCulture

International Jury

Martin Parr
Magnum Photographer, President of Magnum
Magnum Photos
David Kogan
Executive Director
Magnum Photos
Stacey Baker
Photo Editor
New York Times Magazine
David Alan Harvey
Magnum Photographer, Founder of Burn Magazine
New York, USA

Martin Parr is a British photojournalist, photobook collector, and documentary photographer. He is best known for his photographic projects which offer a critical examination of various elements of modern life, especially in suburban and provincial life in England.

In 1994, Parr became a full member of Magnum Photos. He has published nearly 50 books and has been featured in over 80 exhibitions around the world, including the Barbican Arts Center in London. Parr’s retrospective exhibit was chosen to be an important monthly display in 2007 for Photography Asia. He also received the Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal in 2008 for his significant contributions to photography and an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Photographic Society that same year. In 2008, Parr became Manchester Metropolitan University’s Honorary Doctor of Arts in acknowledgement of his contributions to the university’s school of art and also for his photography.

David Kogan is the Executive Director of Magnum Photos with global responsibility for the 69 year old agency. A role he has held since 2014.

After graduating in 1979 he worked in newspapers and radio as a correspondent until he joined the BBC in 1982. There he held senior editorial positions in BBC radio on ‘Today’ and New York and in BBC Television on ‘Newsnight and ‘BBC Breakfast Time’.

In 1982 he co authored ‘The Battle for the Labour Party’.

From 1988 -1996 he was Managing Editor and then global Managing Director of Reuters Television responsible for both global news coverage and commercial management.

In 1998 he co-founded Reel Enterprises Ltd a company specialising in sports and broadcasting negotiations responsible for £21 billion of deal flow in the UK and international markets. In 2011 this was sold to Wasserman Media Group.

He has held a variety of Non Executive Directorships and Chairmanships and holds an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Television Society and Honorary Doctorate in the Arts from the University of Bedfordshire. In 2014 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire under the Diplomatic List.

Stacey Baker is a photo editor at The New York Times Magazine. She assigns and produces photography for the weekly publication on topics as varied as sports, politics, religion and pop culture. She works with an array of photographers from all over the world, including photojournalists and portrait, fine-art and conceptual photographers. These include Alec Soth, Damon Winter, Lars Tunbjork, Stephanie Sinclair, Nadav Kander and Katy Grannan. She is a former director of photography at More Magazine.

David Alan Harvey has photographed more than 40 articles for National Geographic, beginning with a story about Tangier Island, Virginia, in the November 1973 issue of the magazine.

In 1978, Harvey was named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). His work has been exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Nikon Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. His photographs have appeared in Life, The New York Times, and Sports Illustrated. He is well known for his work on Spanish cultural migration into the Americas and has produced significant bodies of work in Mexico, Cuba and Brazil.

He has published five books, Cuba, Divided Soul, Jeju Haenyeo, Based on a True Story and a republication of his seminal 1967 project, Tell It Like It Is.

Harvey is the founder and editor of the award-winning Burn magazine, featuring iconic and emerging photographers in print and online. He joined Magnum Photos as an associate in 1993 and became a member in 1997.

Amy Pereira
Director of Photography
MSNBC
Newsha Tavakolian
Magnum Photographer
Tehran, Iran
Jim Casper
Editor-in-Chief & Publisher
LensCulture

Amy Pereira is the Director of Photography at MSNBC, where in 2013 she launched the photography department and visual direction of the new MSNBC.com. Her primary focus is documentary photography and visual storytelling with an emphasis on issues surrounding social justice.

Prior to her current position, she was the senior photo editor at Newsweek International for 10 years and the editor of multiple books of photography. In the summer of 2015, she produced photographer Matt Black’s “Geography of Poverty,” a three-month, long-form feature on income inequality in America. She is currently producing, in partnership with Magnum Photos, an ambitious multi-part special feature on the global migrant and refugee crisis.

Newsha Tavakolian was born in 1981 in Tehran, Iran. A self-taught photographer, Newsha began working professionally in the Iranian press at the age of 16, at a women’s daily newspaper “Zan”. At the age of 18, she was the youngest photographer to cover the 1999 student uprising, which was a turning point for the country’s blossoming reformist movement and for Newsha personally as a photojournalist; a year later she joined the New York-based agency Polaris Images.

In 2002, she began working internationally, covering the war in Iraq. She has since covered regional conflicts, natural disasters and made social documentary stories. Her work has been published in international magazines and newspapers such as Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad, The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic.

Jim Casper is the editor-in-chief and publisher of LensCulture, one of the leading online destinations to discover contemporary photography from around the world. As an active member in the contemporary photography world, Casper organizes annual international photography events, travels around the world to meet with photographers and review their portfolios, curates art exhibitions, writes about photography and culture, lectures, conducts workshops, serves as an international juror and nominator for key awards, and is an advisor to arts and education organizations. He serves on the board of directors at SPE, the Society for Photographic Education, the world’s largest association of photography educators.

Thank You

Magnum Photos and LensCulture would like to thank every photographer who participated in this competition — your work inspires us. Thank you, too, to our international partners who helped to spread the word about this important new award for photographers around the globe. We also appreciate the outstanding support of our hardworking team members and support staff for keeping the entire process running smoothly. And we offer our sincere gratitude to the members of the jury who worked long and hard reviewing the entries and finally selecting the brilliant work displayed here.