Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 24 July 2020

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – the winners of the inaugural Australian Photography Awards (APA) Stories competition. And if you haven’t done so already, please check out the second video interview in our new monthly series Photojournalism Now: In Conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Renée C. Byer.

2020 Stories – The Winners

I was thrilled to be part of the jury, along with Matthew Abbott, Tom Goldner and Harriet Tarbuck for the inaugural 2020 Stories competition which celebrates long-form photographic storytelling. There were so many incredible entries, and it was fabulous to see such a wide range of photographers exploring new and exciting ways to craft stories. The three winners – Rory King, Nick Moir and Ilsa Wynne-Hoelscher Kidd exemplify the diversity, skill and creativity that is present in Australian photographic storytelling.

Rory King – Burnt Finger, Broken Nose

Burnt Finger, Broken Nose is a visual chronicle illustrating the battles and tribulations of my own personal experience with acute mental and physical illness. Shot during a period of my life defined by isolation, uncertainty and anxiety, taking photographs became the loudest expression of everything I was battling against. The narrative of the work ebbs and flows through various imagery, all working to recall a similar, disquieting atmosphere that underpins the story. The images in the series adopt an ambiguous and evocative sequence over one that is explicit and concrete, located at the threshold between representation and abstraction. This allows the viewer to project their own individual experiences and anxieties into the work, whilst still retaining the essence of my own person journey.”

I found Rory’s Story deeply personal, visceral and poignant. He has found balance by juxtaposing the searingly painful self-portraits with abstract images that float between the literal and the allegorical. I find this series breathtaking and incredibly brave.

Nick Moir – Unprecedented

A DC10 tanker dumps fire retardant onto homes under threat from the Green Wattle Creek fire

A different kind of bravery is evident in Nick Moir’s winning submission “Unprecedented,” a story of the 2019-2020 Australian bushfire season. Nick, a storm chaser at heart, is one of Australia’s most experienced photojournalists. In this series he brings all his expertise in covering major weather events and his journalistic skills, to craft a story that is both epic and intimate.

Ilsa Wynne-Hoelscher Kidd – ‘Cycle’ – a curated vignette from the long-form series ‘Twelve Moons’

When I first saw Ilsa’s submission I was captivated by her capacity to bring together the elements of nature, mysticism and science to create a Story about birth that transcends the documentary tradition, to embrace the poetry of photography, the power of the female form and the timeless wonder of creating another human being.

Click here to see the full complement of winning images and shortlisted stories

2020 Stories Journal: APA is also producing a journal featuring the winners and the 27 shortlisted Stories in print. You can pre-order your copy here. It’s a great initiative to memorialise, in print, the inaugural competition and celebrate what is an amazing collection of works.

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