‘The flames of misery’ is the winning photograph of the UNICEF Photo of the Year 2020 contest. The image, by Greek photographer Angelos Tzortzinis, shows the Exodus of children from the burning refugee camp of Moria, on the Greek island of Lesbos. It is a frozen moment in time that captures the bravery and disbelief of children and their willingness to help others in the face of great adversity.
The photographs that have won the second and third prizes in this international competition organized by UNICEF Germany also capture stories of children in extraordinary and distressing circumstances.
“The UNICEF Photo of the Year 2020 is a powerful call to all of us. Talk about a nearby drama. The image confronts us with our human duty: as Europeans, we must find an answer, also for the children of Moria. Together, we can do more to bring hope into their lives as well, “said Elke Büdenbender, patron of UNICEF Germany.
“The year 2020 has brought an increase in disasters for many children around the world“, recalled Peter Matthias Gaede, vice president of UNICEF Germany. “The images presented this year show what it means to flee a refugee camp, to be threatened by the coronavirus pandemic when you already live in dire conditions, or to be physically and mentally devastated by child labor. The message is clear: let’s go! to help the children! “, has indicated.
The pandemic It has significantly limited the working environments of photojournalists. However, the UNICEF 2020 Photo of the Year jury has received a “remarkable number of photos”. “Many were from local photographers in crisis areas around the world“, said Professor Klaus Honnef, president of the jury that has awarded” ten excellent photographic series about children whose lives are marked by a wide variety of limitations and challenges. ”
The second prize in the competition has been awarded to photography ‘The curse of coal’ by Indian photographer Supratim Bhattacharjee which has captured “all the misery, horror, exhaustion and destruction on the faces of these children” from the coal fields of Jharia, in the Indian state of Jharkhand, where many minors are malnourished and thousands of them do not go to the school.
The photograph ‘El ballet de las favelas’ has won the third prize. The snapshot is of the Russian photographer Evgeny makarov, a resident of Germany, who accompanied the ballet students from Manguinhos on their walks through the favela, during training at school and in a community that makes them happy. This ballet was created by the members of one of the best dance academies in Brazil who decided to offer an alternative to the often desperate living conditions of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.
The jury has also awarded honorable mentions to seven other photo series like that of ‘Sport and fun instead of war and fear’, by Anas Alkharboutli; ‘The children of Catania’, by Daniele Vita; ‘From the school of life to the public school’, by Elena Chernyshova; ‘A piece of freedom on the roof’, by Erfan Kouchari; ‘One heart, two lives’, by Hamed Malekpour; ‘Fleeing from Venezuela’, by Nicoló Filippo Rosso and ‘The streets are his bed’ by Yusuf.