Magnum 30 Under 30 – winners announced

Magnum’s 30 Under 30 award asked for “documentary photography covering social issues” from photographers the world over and still free-limbed and wide-eyed enough to be in their twenties.

A total of 664 photographers sent their photography to be judged.  A shortlist of 60 was selected, and now thirty winners have been announced. You can choose an overall winner with the People’s Choice Award, run by The Photography Show.

Judging the event was BJP Projects Editor Gemma Padley, FT Weekend Magazine Deputy Picture Editor Josh Lustig and renowned Magnum photographers Chris Steele-Perkins and Moises Saman.

Saman said to IdeasTap: “I was inspired to see so many personal stories that originate from an honest understanding of the issues. I was most impressed by the challenge to the more traditional visual language that most of the finalists applied to their stories.”

Competition winners get a portfolio review event at The Photography Show, where their photography will be critiqued by industry professionals from the editorial, publishing, museum, advertising, and gallery sectors. The 30 winning photographers’ work will be included in an exhibition featured at The Photography Show at Birmingham’s NEC in March, alongside an official award ceremony hosted by Magnum Photos.


The photographers each describe their image to IdeasTap:

Maddie McGarvey

“Sonya Casto is a 13-year-old girl living with her grandmother in Ohio. Physically and emotionally abused by her mother as a child, she now suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression. Despite this, she is fiercely protective over her younger siblings, and hopes to forge her own path.”

Natalia Szemis

“Imaginarium is a story about the inner world of blind and sight-impaired children. I asked them how they imagine themselves. In response I received remarkable self-portraits. They showed me things they are not able to see. The pictures were taken in Poland at the center for blind and visually-impaired in Laski, a small village near Warsaw.”

Ciril Jazbec

“On thin ice is one chapter in a long-term project about the human face of climate change. It shows the life of hunters and fishermen in remote villages in Northern Greenland. Their daily life is changing due to unpredictable weather, higher temperatures, and the resulting thin ice.”

Hosain Nazari

“Some people work not to earn money, food or accommodation but because it’s their way of life. This project looks at the shepherds of northern Iran who live with their flock of sheep in the mountains for most the year, carrying all the luggage they need on their backs.”

Jasper Bastian

“Across the River examines the scars of the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica, in the north of Kosovo. The city was once one of the wealthiest areas in the former country of Yugoslavia. Today, it is split into two parallel worlds divided by the river Ibar.”

Sebastián Bruno

“This project follows the steps of Don Quixote in Castilla La Mancha –route of 2,500km that covers the five provinces of the region, Albacete, Cuenca, Ciudad Real, Guadalajara and Toledo. I position myself as Don Quixote to search for an identity that for years I denied to myself.”

Michael Vince Kim

“In 1937, 180,000 Koryo-saram (Koreans living in Far East Russia) were deported to Central Asia under Stalin’s rule. 40,000 died during the month-long journey and the harsh winter. Those that survived retained traditions and a sense of identity as ethnic Koreans, but this is quickly disappearing with newer generations.”

David Severn

“Thanks Maggie explores reinvented social uses of ex-colliery land in and around the former coal mining stronghold of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Today, these sites are unique and peculiar spaces often still retaining signs of their industrial past. The once polluted land has now largely been given back to nature.”

Tom Jamieson

“Throughout 2014, Kyiv’s Maidan Square and its adjacent streets of Hrushevskoho and Khreschatyk became home to protestors from all over Ukraine. This series catalogues the home-made weapons of the Euromaidan revolutionaries, each completely unique to its owner and often personalised with inscriptions or revolutionary imagery.”

Ramin Mazur

“This story is about people who suffer from the rare skin disease Epidermolysis bullosa. In the past, Moldovan medics didn’t know about this disease. To that extend that newborns with EB were treated with a special chemical that caused more blisters to appear.”

Souvid Datta

“Every year, China’s pollution causes 3.5 million deaths. Outside urban areas, disease rates in communities near chemical, pharmaceutical or power plants hit five times the national average. Individuals proclaiming the human price of pollution have been lost in the fray of millions, or quashed by denial and intimidation. As the toll rises, we must engage with the truth.”

Anna Pantelia

“Xenophobia and racism dominate the media in Greece. In Patras about 40-50 refugees and immigrants live in the abandoned factories of Peiraiki Patraiki, watching the boats sailing to Italy. They all have different stories but one thing in common is their goal: to sneak onto a boat to Italy, in order to live the so-called ‘European Dream’.”

Jordi Ruiz Cirera

“Intensive large-estate agriculture is taking over food production. This new model brings genetic engineering, food processing and bio-fuels, with the promise of tackling hunger, creating huge revenues for companies who control the market. This project documents the consequences of soya and cattle production in Paraguay.”

Sam Ivin

“Lingering Ghosts aims to give a small insight into some of the asylum seekers who hope to find refuge in Britain. It also seeks to raise questions about how the UK’s migration system treats those who arrive in our country seeking safety.”

Andre Malerba

“At a brick factory in Hlawga township, Yangon, Myanmar, people struggle to match the back-breaking demand of Myanmar’s famed economic revival. Subsisting on meagre earnings – US$2 per day on average – they work to supply the raw materials for a world not meant for them. This is Myanmar for much of its population.”

Danila Tkachenko

“Restricted area is about our utopian strive for technological progress. I traveled through Russia in search of places that used to have great importance and are now deserted. Secret cities, which cannot be found on maps, forgotten scientific triumphs, abandoned buildings of almost inhuman complexity.”

Jiehao Su

“Borderland is rooted in my personal history. It began 2012, as I revisited places that related to my past. The images show my obsession with the boundaries between reality and the imaginary, present experience and memory, isolation and belonging.”

Rob Stothard

“This project looks at both sides of the border between England and Scotland, juxtaposing photographs of traditional border riding ceremonies with those from the ‘Yes’ and ‘Better Together’ campaigns in the Scottish independence referendum.”

Tsering Topgyal

“My photo essay is about Tibetans who fled in exile to India. They haven’t seen their parents since they left. For them, ‘The great tragedy is not being separated from family, but being separated from the sense of missing them, after living without them for decades.’”

Marco Casino

“The Penny Penny is an annual commemoration on 5 November in South African townships. This tradition originated from Guy Fawkes night. Children and teenagers have developed their own festivities by dressing up in their mothers’ best clothes, running around the neighborhood, singing and asking for money.”

Clémentine Schneidermann

“Between the streets of Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis Tennessee and South Wales are hundreds of thousands of Elvis fans. They can be found in Porthcawl, South Wales, during the annual Elvis festival or in pubs at tribute nights. Elvis represents more than just a rock star. He helps these people who often struggle to make ends meet to dream, and hope.”

Stefano Carini

“Sabrina’s world of wonders is the intimate portrait of a 10-year-old Roma girl who lives with her grandparents in a wooden hut, in a Roma encampment on the outskirts of Turin, Italy. It is a collaboration between the girl and the photographer, with the aim of exploring the many layers of her complex reality.”

Rahul Talukder

“On 24 April 2013, an eight-story building collapsed in Savar, Bangladesh, killing more than 1,100 people. Rana Plaza, which housed five garment factories, had been designed with only six stories and intended for shops and offices. Two further stories had been added. Rescue operations took nearly three weeks.”

Mario Cruz

“They don’t live, they survive. They are the unemployed, elderly and homeless. In Lisbon, Portugal, there are about 2,800 ‘partially unoccupied’ and over 1,800 ‘completely abandoned’ buildings. There are currently over 800 homeless people living on the streets. People who live in abandoned sites do not enter the statistics.”

Ayesha Jones

“I document my journey as a young woman living with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. A spinal deformity that has no known cause. I explore the notion of beauty, female sexuality and body image. This project exposes my hidden ‘disability’ from all angles. The images selected document my journey through the spinal fusion process.”

José Sarmento Matos

“Turning the Page is a photo essay developed in Portugal, about individuals who’ve suffered violent crimes. I photographed and interviewed approximately 20 people who experienced domestic violence, human trafficking, stalking, street violence and others who were traumatised by the murder of someone close to them.”

Massimo Branca

“When I first visited their subterranean house in Bucharest city center, I never expected I would become, over time, part of their family. Many of them, growing up with no parents and in social exclusion, discovered drugs and prison early. Sometimes it seems they rush towards death on purpose. Catalina died at the age of 18.”

Carolyn Van Houten

“For the past five years, Mary Harris has raised her two grandchildren, Kyle, 14, and Nevaeh, 5. Their mother Nichole, 38, has been imprisoned for car theft and drug-related offenses. Mary has encountered new financial and emotional challenges that she did not face the first time she was a mother. With Nichole’s forthcoming release from prison, Mary hopes her life will return back to normal.”

Adam Birkan

“East Asia is on the rise once more. On the verge of reclaiming its past title as the global economic leader. However this economic explosion is fraught with risk. Financial collapse is a possibility, human rights are suspended, environmental impacts are increasing, and class warfare is on the horizon.”

Mario Wezel

“After the implementation of prenatal screenings across Denmark in 2004, the number of newborns with Down’s syndrome dropped. Between 2000 and 2004 around 60 children were born with the chromosomal disease each year. In 2006 only 31. Emmy is six years old and has Down’s Syndrome. Her parents were given a low risk of 1 in 800 at their prenatal screenings.”

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Tom Seymour

Tom Seymour is an Associate Editor at The Art Newspaper and an Associate Lecturer at London College of Communication. His words have been published in The Guardian, The Observer, The New York Times, Financial Times, Wallpaper* and The Telegraph. He has won Writer of the Year and Specialist Writer of the year on three separate occassions at the PPA Awards for his work with The Royal Photographic Society.