Discover the winning images of Portrait of Humanity Volume 4

View Gallery 28 Photos
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Photo: © Chiara Luxardo, Portrait of Humanity Vol.4 Single Image Winner.

Uncover the striking winning images, including a portrait of an eagle huntress and an Italian beekeeper.

© Marisol Mendez, Portrait of Humanity Vol.4 Single Image Winner.
© Laurie Broughton, Portrait of Humanity Vol.4 Single Image Winner.
© Laurie Broughton, Portrait of Humanity Vol.4 Single Image Winner.

Now in its fourth year, Portrait of Humanity serves as a powerful prism through which to understand a myriad of stories from around the globe. Among the three winning photographic series and 30 single images, there are displays of joy, stoicism, hope and bravery – poignantly reinforcing the fact that in 2021, light began to flicker at the end of the pandemic-induced tunnel. 

The images have been selected by a panel of jurors at 1854 including British Journal of Photography’s Editorial Director Izabela Radwanska Zhang. The photographer’s work will be exhibited at festivals throughout the world starting with Melbourne this April for PHOTO2022. Meanwhile, the winning single images will also be published in the Portrait of Humanity book besides 200 images that made the award’s shortlist.

Series Winners

Claudia Gschwend

Swiss photographer Claudia Gschwend’s vibrant series Artists of Sencirk transports viewers into the world of circus and costume, by way of Sengalese performance group, Sencirk. “It was important to me to take the portraits in a way that gave space to display and highlight the unique features of each of these amazing artists,” Gschwend reflects. “This circus community in Senegal gives young people something to aspire to – a chance to dream and to feel joy.”

© Claudia Gschwend, Portrait of Humanity Vol.4 Series Winner.

Jonathan Liechti

The second of three series winners, Bern-based photographer Jonathan Liechti will exhibit What happens when we die?, a project inspired by his research on coronavirus victims. After recognising that death has become a “taboo subject” within his community, Liechti decided to shine a light on the doctors and other professionals who come face to face with death on a daily basis. “Dying and death are part of our lives – the way we deal with it as a society is to some extent characterising,” he explains. “This project is a tribute to all those who are confronted with the topic on a daily basis and who help make a reverent farewell possible.”

© Jonathan Liechti, Portrait of Humanity Vol.4 Series Winner.

Florence Babin-Beaudry

The final series winner this year is Florence Babin-Beaudry’s Products of Conception, a series which the Canadian photographer shot in an effort to draw attention to the many women who experience miscarriage. The series comprises portraits of women in staged domestic interiors such as the bathroom and the bedroom, pointing to the stifling, catastrophic atmosphere that prohibits many women from speaking about their experience. Babin-Beaudry used fruits and vegetables – traditionally connoted with fertility – as a marker of their loss. “I think this subject is little explored in contemporary art and photography,” she says. “I hope my series will make women feel empowered and beautiful rather than ashamed about their miscarriage.”

© Florence Babin-Beaudry, Portrait of Humanity Vol.4 Series Winner.

The prize-winning images, which have been selected from photographers of all abilities, display a striking mix of the contemporary and the timeless. Face masks, the realities of climate change and Personal Protective Equipment are all present while elsewhere,  portraits depicting universal themes such as birth, tradition, farewells and death are made manifest. 

Audrey ​​Jeane’s portrait of Damel, a young golden eagle huntress demonstrates the importance of tradition and more significantly, the changing representation of women in Mongolian society. For the image, Jean traveled to Mongolia where she went on a 100-mile winter migration with Damel’s family. This led to her a portrait session with Damel and her eagle in one of the Gers – a movable yurt-like structure the families usually live in. According to Jean, the image captures “ the beautifully tender relationship between humans and animals”. She believes that it “also showcases the less well-known lives of young teenage girls living in Mongolia and brings to light a moment in their lives that carries so much pride and history.”

© Audrey Jeane, Portrait of Humanity Vol.4 Single Image Winner.
© Adrees Latif, Portrait of Humanity Vol.4 Single Image Winner.
© Barney Cokeliess, Portrait of Humanity Vol.4 Single Image Winner.

Barney Cokeliess’ image of his late close friend Ernest Huie, which was taken on 6x7cm film in natural light, demonstrates the importance of companionship and intimacy – another current that underpins the work of this year’s Portrait of Humanity winners. “Ernest was hugely charismatic and had a really infectious laugh, but I think my portrait of him captures something quieter and more vulnerable about him,” he remembers. “His story involves a lot of loss as well as some amazing adventure and resilience and I can’t help reading some of that into the picture.”

The full list of Portrait of Humanity 2022 single image winners includes:

Fred Borghesi

Rory Langdon-Down

Andy Hughes

Scott Rossi

Richard Pilnick

Laurie Broughton

Emli Bendixen

Cole Ndelu

Lisa Sorgini

Nyani Quarmyne

Boris Schmidt

Chiara Luxardo

Simon Murphy

Natalia Kamenetskaya

Jooeun Bae

Frederic Aranda

Tristan Still

Verity Fitzgerald

Rui Camilo

Hannah Maule-ffinch

Mateo Ruiz González

Marisol Mendez

Paz Olivares-Droguett

Karsten Thormaehlen

Leigh Alner

Adrees Latif

Audrey Jeane

Meredith Andrews

Barney Cokeliss

Matt MacPake

Alice Finney

Alice Finney is an arts and culture Editor and Writer, based in Berlin. A graduate of the Central School of Ballet and Sussex University, she specialises in writing about dance, design and popular culture. She has written for titles including SLEEK Magazine, INDIE Magazine, Mixmag, gal-dem, HuffPost UK, and Dezeen.