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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 23 July, 2014

Which one of these photos is worth €35,000?

Pick your winner.

THE WINNER OF this year’s student category of the World Photography Awards will receive €35,000 worth of Sony equipment.

Nice.

The entry list has been whittled down to 10 entries from talented, emerging photographers in the UK, US, South Africa, Bangladesh, New Zealand, China, Romania and Denmark.

Organisers say:

“Student Focus is one of the largest international programmes for photography students. Involving 230 educational institutions worldwide, its aim is to support and inspire the future generation of photographers.”

Applicants were asked to submit a single image under a brief: “Tomorrow’s News’. Here are their entries (and their own words):

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Nadia Navarro, 28 from Argentina says of her photo: “Those who are looking for their daily freedom through various ways of resistance, they are the tomorrow news rebels. Rebellion is an intern resistance, big revolutions will exist through people who fight against the society prejudices with daily little actions which defy the pre-establishment.”

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Rahul Talukder, 23, took this shot of the Rana Plaza tragedy in his native Bangladesh. He says: “More than 1,130 workers died and 2,500 injured in this deadliest garment-factory accident in history.”

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“The story behind the picture is that the Danish government has decided to include special needs children in regular public schools. And they have closed a lot of the schools who took care of special needs children,” says photographer Tor Birk Trads, 27.

“The idea is that the special needs children should be included in the daily life of kids with ‘normal’ intelligence. But the backside is that the inclusions not always function very well. The teachers are not yet educated to take on this extra responsibility and they lack time to deal with the special needs children.”

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Student Li Dandan, 22, took this photo in China on 23 September last year. The subject, Liu Yuanhuang, said: “I’m not an alien, it’s just glaucoma!”

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University of Auckland student Chloe Riddell, 25, took this image of twins Tayah and James who were living with their grandmother. Three months later, they were separated from each other.

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“This photography was taken in October 2013, on a field at the limit of Cluj-Napoca city in Transilvania,” explains 21-year-old Sebastian Vacariuc from Romania. “At a certain moment, an old man appeared and started walking around. He seemed absorbed by inner thoughts , by a sort of vision or premonition.

“The contrast between him and the grim ambient rooted in the background block of flats increased as he seemed to have appeared out of nothing and to have no specific direction or intention of really going somewhere.

“He created the impression of being suspended in time and space, just an aged actor passing through an empty stage set. The light coming from behind emphasised this peculiar old character walking in silence at the edge of a noisy city.

“A subtle connection between these elements composing the image provoked the desire to capture it, to revisit it again, to understand it. The news of tomorrow may be found in transcending images as this one.”

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“South Africa’s desegregated top-tier schools still face challenges of diversity and old institutional ideologies,” according to Russell Bruns of Rhodes University – School of Fine Art.

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“Don Wessels, age 53, has been disabled and blind for 27 years. In 1987, he was conscripted into the Apartheid-era South African army. In 1988, he was on a reconnaissance investigation in the Angolan bush when he was caught in a near-fatal explosion from a landmine. The explosion took his sight and both his hands,” says Tara Mette of her subject.

“Since his accident, Don has obtained a BA Degree at the University of Stellenbosch, Honours and Masters postgraduate degrees in international politics with UNISA. He was nominated as a candidate running for Parliament in 1999.

“To Don, his best accomplishment was to marry his wife, Maatje van Wyk in 2001. The couple have had many adventures including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and they have twice completed a four-day canoeing trip down the Orange River. There first baby, Matteo, was born on the 15 October 2007 and their second, Francois, on 8 June 2009.”

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“The internet has become an almost-holy entity in the supreme power that it represents, can religion really be immune to its take over? In truth, the internet is already its own kind of religion,” says Scarlet Evans, 22, from the UK.

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“I often find it difficult to know where I stand with myself,” says student photographer Jordan VanSise. “While I try to hold on to the value and the beauty of this life, I am constantly reminded of the things I have come witness to and I wonder what the point of all this is.”

Who is your winner? Let us know in the comments section. All 10 are now required to create a series of images under the title ‘Self Portraits’. The winner will be announced in London on 30 April.

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