South Africans shortlisted by Sony World Photography Awards

Three photographers from South Africa have been shortlisted in the 2017 Sony World Photograpy Awards, the world’s largest photography competition, placing in the top 50 of their respective categories out of 227,596 submitted images from 183 countries. The photographers’ work will be on show in London as part of the Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr – 2017 Exhibition from 21 April to 7 May 2017, and published in the 2017 edition of the awards’ book.

Christiaan Kotze, South Africa – Motion: Fencing: Men's Foil Individual, Great Britain's Richard Kruse v the USA's Massialas on Sunday 7 August 2016 in Rio, Brazil

Christiaan Kotze, South Africa – Motion: Fencing: Men’s Foil Individual, Great Britain’s Richard Kruse v the USA’s Massialas on Sunday 7 August 2016 in Rio, Brazil. Christiaan Kotze/2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, 2017 sees the 10th anniversary of the Sony World Photography Awards and a decade-long partnership with headline sponsor, Sony. Each year the awards recognise and reward the very best contemporary photography captured over the last year entered into any of the awards’ four competitions – Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus. With 49 nationalities represented, the 2017 shortlists reinforce the awards’ international appeal and unique ability to present the greatest images taken by photographers from all corners of the world on a truly global scale.

South African snaps Student Focus

Cole Ndelu, 22, from the Stellenbosch Academy of Design & Photography, has been announced as a shortlisted photographer in the awards’ Student Focus competition. Ndelu’s shortlisted image, ‘Pride of the Panther’, was one of the 10 images selected from submissions by over 300 institutions across the globe answering the brief ‘Memories’.

Cole Ndelu, Stellenbosch Academy of Design & Photography, South Africa, Student Focus Shortlist

Cole Ndelu, South Africa – Pride Of The Panther. Cole Ndelu/2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Ndelu’s shortlisted image ‘Pride of the Panther’ is a fascinating portrait of Zana Masombuka, referring to the South African student protest against the tuition fees. Interested in how the protest action moved from the ‘real world’ to the ‘online world’, and carried on in places like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, the photographer chose to render her image in a way in order to highlight the role of the social media in the protest action.

Zana is dressed in full black – similarly to the Black Panther Party – and I have chosen to distort, fracture and glitch the image. My image is about how we remember and where we go to remember – there are no physical monuments for the students protesting against the tuition fees. Also, I wanted to remind people of how this movement changes online, because online spaces often distort the truth and the reality.

Based in Pretoria, South Africa, Cole Ndelu is a recent graduate of the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography. She is a visual communicator with the strong desire to spark conversation, and inspire thought and exploration. Ndelu was also commended for a single image in the Portraits category of the Open competition. As a shortlisted photographer, Ndelu has been given a prestigious Sony α7 full frame, which she will now use to complete a second photography challenge set by the judges. Ndelu will also be flown to London in April to attend the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony on Thursday 20 April. The winner of the Student Photographer of the Year title will be announced at the ceremony and will receive the grand prize of €30,000 worth of Sony equipment for his/her university.

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