“We are living in a world that is a very divisive, and [Portrait of Humanity] is an antidote to that – it is a way to celebrate every race, religion, sexuality, culture, and gender around the world,” explained Marc Hartog, CEO of 1854 Media. Yesterday, 30 May, Hartog appeared on BBC World News, alongside shortlisted photographer Abbie Trayler-Smith, to discuss Portrait of Humanity – a new global award from 1854 Media in partnership with Magnum Photos, to create one of the greatest collaborative photography exhibitions in history. BBC World News is the BBC’s international news and current affairs television channel. It has the highest viewing figures of any news channel, reaching 125 million people weekly.
Portrait of Humanity seeks to prove that there is more that unites us than sets us apart. The award invited photographers of any level to show us the world through their eyes, capturing the many faces of humanity and documenting the universal expressions of life. 200 shortlisted images feature in the Portrait of Humanity Book, published by Hoxton Mini Press, and 50 winning images will travel the world as part of a touring exhibition, stopping at museums, galleries and international photography festivals including Organ Vida International Photography Festival in Zagreb, Croatia, and LagosPhoto Festival in Lagos, Nigeria.
Trayler-Smith’s shortlisted image captures a young woman, Sara, gazing out of the rain-stained window of a bus. The photographer captured the moment at a refugee camp in Iraq. Following a nine-month battle, ISIS was expelled from Mosul in early 2017, and people were being transported straight from the batte-fields to safety. “Her, and her family, arrived on a bus. I just saw her looking out,” explains Trayler-Smith on the news show . “The look on her face struck me – I recognised that global uncertainty that we all feel in her face as she looked out into the camp.”
Trayler-Smith’s photograph was just one of the more than 25,000 submitted. “We had photographs submitted from almost every country around the planet,” says Hartog. And the final selection reflects that. Together, they fulfil Portrait of Humanity’s aim to celebrate our shared values of individuality, community, and unity.
Do you want to be part of the movement? Together, we will create a Portrait of Humanity
Thank you to Blah PR for securing the interview.