Take a look at this year’s winning images in the Sony World Photography Awards 2024

A French photographer has scooped the most prestigious prize at this year’s Sony World Photography Awards for a documentary project about the sterilization of women in Greenland.

Juliette Pavy was named as the overall winner of the annual competition at a ceremony in London on Thursday for her series entitled “Spiralkampagnen: Forced Contraception and Unintended Sterilisation of Greenlandic Women.”

Juliette Pavy was named Photographer of the Year for "Spiralkampagnen: Forced Contraception and Unintended Sterilisation of Greenlandic Women." - Juliette Pavy/Sony World Photography Awards
Juliette Pavy was named Photographer of the Year for "Spiralkampagnen: Forced Contraception and Unintended Sterilisation of Greenlandic Women." - Juliette Pavy/Sony World Photography Awards

Now in its 17th year, the Sony World Photography Awards celebrates powerful images that resonate with audiences around the world. Pavy’s winning portfolio set out to chart the severe and lasting impact of the Danish authorities’ involuntary birth control campaign in Greenland in the 1960s and 1970s, which affected several thousand Inuit women, some as young as 12.

Pavy, who received a cash prize of $25,000, was selected from the winners of the competition’s 10 professional categories. Her submission won the documentary category. Other professional categories include sport, the environment and portraiture.

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In a press release issued ahead of the event, Monica Allende, chair of the 2024 jury, said of Pavy’s win: “The Sony World Photography Awards jury lauded Juliette Pavy’s empathetic portrayal of her subjects, capturing them in a manner that is both dignified and profoundly intimate, thereby highlighting her exceptional talent.”

Liam Man, a landscape photographer from the UK, was announced as the competition’s Open Photographer of the Year for his otherworldly shot (pictured above) entitled “Moonrise Sprites over Storr.”

It depicts the Old Man of Storr rock formation on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, taken late at night during a powerful blizzard.

Thomas Meurot's "Kald Sòl" (Cold Sun) documents a winter-time surfing expedition in Iceland. - Thomas Meurot/Sony World Photography Awards
Thomas Meurot's "Kald Sòl" (Cold Sun) documents a winter-time surfing expedition in Iceland. - Thomas Meurot/Sony World Photography Awards

A series about the landscape, wildlife and people of the Gila Wilderness in southwestern New Mexico garnered American photographer Kathleen Orlinsky the Sustainability prize. A regular contributor to National Geographic and The New York Times, Orlinsky has spent the past decade documenting the impact of the climate crisis.

Student photographer of the year went to Kayin Luys from Belgium, who interpreted the brief — which was simply entitled “Home” — to submit an intimate portrayal of his partner’s family.

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Daniel Murray’s photograph of a solitary surfer on an empty beach in Cornwall, England earned him the youth photographer of the year accolade.

Internationally acclaimed photographer Sebasti?o Salgado received the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize for his distinctive black-and-white works, captured over his five-decade-long career. Forty pictures taken by Salgado, who divides his time between his homeland of Brazil and France, will be on show as part of an exhibition featuring the work of the competition winners, finalists and others shortlisted at London’s Somerset House this spring.

The show will also feature work by last year’s overall winner, Edgar Martins from Portugal.

Last year’s competition attracted controversy when a German artist rejected the prize for the creative open category after revealing that his entry was generated by AI.

In its guidelines, the competition’s organizers state that entries “may feature manipulation, but where Entries are manipulated, the extent of which must be described in the image description section when submitting.” Computer-generated images are not allowed, however.

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