Scavenging deer and luxury-slum contrast win UN environmental photo prizes

18 March 2005

Images of deer scavenging on a rubbish tip, the housing of the rich set against the slums of the poor, and Buddhist monks solemnly draping cloth round a tree trunk today scooped the top prizes in the United Nations environmental agency’s latest photography competition.

Images of deer scavenging on a rubbish tip, the housing of the rich set against the slums of the poor, and Buddhist monks solemnly draping cloth round a tree trunk today scooped the top prizes in the United Nations environmental agency’s latest photography competition.

“The ability of the human eye and the camera lens to illuminate the beauty and tragedy of the world is again brought into sharp focus by our fourth International Photographic Competition,” UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said.

The winners of the Gold in the three categories of the UNEP International Photographic Competition on the Environment, sponsored by the global photographic company Canon, were:

• Resmi C. Senan of India for the $20,000 Gold in the General Category for her portraits of deer feeding on refuse and rubbish tips;

• Monica Alexandra Terrazas Galvan of Mexico for the $5,000 Gold in the Youth Category for her simple but stark portrayal of the gap between rich and poor through the imagery of affluent housing set above the slums below;

• Chamaiporn Pongpanich of Thailand for $2,000 Gold in the Children’s Category for a moving and reverential portrait of monks, draping a brown and gold cloth round the trunk of a huge tropical tree.

Amateurs and professionals alike from nearly 170 countries took part and more than 32,000 photographs were submitted, nearly double those of the previous competition five years ago, for this year’s contest under the theme “Focus on Your World.”

“The winning photographs will, I am sure, become famous and popular in their own right, touching as they so ably do the human emotions, the human spirit,” Mr. Toepfer said. “But I believe they can go even further, triggering real action by changing the hearts and the minds of all those who glimpse them.

“This will be their lasting legacy and one so important in this, the UN’s sixtieth anniversary year, the year of UN reform and the year when we review the achievements of UN Millennium Development Goals on poverty eradication,” he added.

 

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