Max Pinckers wins Photographic Museum of Humanity 2014 Grant

Max Pinckers has won first prize in the Photographic Museum of Humanity 2014 contest. Pinckers, 25, who was one of BJP’s ‘Ones To Watch’ in January last year, won the $2000 prize for his series, Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty?, which ruminates on love and marriage in India.

Jury member Alec Soth said: “In Max Pinckers’ brilliantly rendered photographs, all the world’s a stage and Pinckers is the stage director. But, like the best theatre, what matters in Pinckers’ pictures isn’t the technique behind the theatrics, but the comic drama of humanity.”

BJP’s Olivier Laurent, who also sat on this year’s jury, added: “Max Pinckers takes us on a journey between fact and fiction, through staged and candid, yet stylised images that explore the themes of love and companionship. While still young, Pinckers has without doubt established his own visual identity, which is once again present in this winning series.”


German photographer Andrea Diefenbach won second prize ($1000) for her documentary essay, Land Ohne Eltern (Country Without Parents). The essay looks at divided families in the Republic of Moldova in eastern Europe, where many children live separately from their parents as a consequence of massive emigration.

Third prize ($500) went to Finnish photographer Alfonso Almendros for his series Family Reflections, a personal exploration of his childhood memories.

The jury also awarded five series with an honourable mention: Days of Night – Nights of Day by Elena Chernyshova; Hikari by David Favrod; City of Dreams by Guy Martin; Waveherd by Igor Omulecki; and Balance on the Zero: Ecuador 2011-2013 by Pietro Paolini.

The New Generation Prize, awarded to a photographer under the age of 25, went to Kate Smuraga for her work Letter From Town, a series of portraits of young people from her home town of Belarus.

Three further series also received a New Generation honourable mention: The Weapons of Maidan by Tom Jamieson; Change of Course by Prasit Sthapit; and Five Nights, Aquarium by Wenxin Zhang.

This year, the international competition, which is now in its second year, received more than 1,100 entries. Photographers were invited to submit up to 15 images to be considered by the jury, which also included Brazilian curator Iatã Cannabrava and documentary photographer Diana Markosian.

The Photographic Museum of Humanity was founded in January 2013 by editor and chief executive Giuseppe Olivierio. It is the world’s first internet museum dedicated to contemporary photography. Its aim is to create an online space for photography that is available to anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world.

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