Tasked with telling visual stories around themes of mental health, fighting infections and climate change, entrants to the Wellcome Photography Prize produced more than 10,000 images from around the globe, with the two top awards – and £10,000 prize money – going to photographers from the UK and Indonesia.
Film maker Jameisha Prescod’s self-portrait, winner of the single image prize, showed her kitting in her London flat, an activity she used to cope with her depression during lockdown. Winning the series prize, visual storyteller and educator Yoppy Pieter chronicled how the Covid-19 pandemic has made life harder for transgender women in Jakarta.
"Both winning entries moved all judges and initiated debate, we couldn’t not discuss them at length," says Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome and chair of the judging panel. "Covid-19 and mental health are components in both, but what captivated us all was the powerful human stories at the very centre through a lens of compassion."
Here, we take a look at the winning photographs from the three categories in the prestigious competition.
Managing mental health
Category winner – single image: ‘Untangling’ by Jameisha Prescod, a filmmaker based in London.
Category winner – series: ‘The Big Fish’ by Morteza Niknahad, an Iranian visual artist.
Category winner – single image: ‘The Time of Coronavirus’ by Aly Song, a photographer for Reuters based in Shanghai, China.
Category winner – series: ‘Trans Woman: Between Colour and Voice’ by Yoppy Pieter, a visual storyteller and educator based in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Health in a heating world
Category winner – single image: ‘Climate Cost’ by Zakir Hossain Chowdhury, a photojournalist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Category winner – series: ‘An Elegy for the Death of Hamun’ by Hashem Shakeri, an artist, photographer and filmmaker based in Tehran.