Youmanity Award winners announced

05 December 2018

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The Youmanity Photography Award, run by Business Disability Forum Member Metropolitan Police, has announced that Sujan Sarkar has won the 2018 ‘This-Ability’ contest with his reportage on Mukul Roy.

A labourer from West Bengal, India, Mr Roy had relocated to Rajasthan to work in a stone-crushing plant when he suffered an accident. His right leg became stuck in a machine had to be amputated. Unemployed, Mr Roy returned to West Bengal where he learned to make handicrafts which he now proudly sells at the market. 

Diane Lightfoot speaking at the This-Ability exhibitionThe annual award, open to anyone with an interest in photography, saw over 3000 entries from 53 different countries. Photographers worldwide were invited to submit images that celebrated the story, uniqueness and character of their models rather than their disability.

The second and third places were awarded to Sergey Kolesnikov, a Russian photographer who reported on the life of ‘Andrey’ who despite a brain injury, leads an independent life in Smolensk; and Marco Mariani, from Italy, with an essay on Francesco Messori whose disability did not prevent him from becoming captain of the Italian aamputee soccer Team.

The finalists’ photographic works areshowcased in a group exhibition, curated by Elisa Canossa, which opened  at London City Hall on 3 December 2018 to coincide with International Day of Disabled Persons. The exhibition will run through to 14 December.

Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer at Business Disability Forum, addressed an audience of city figures at the opening.

The judges in 2018 were Aris Kourkoumelis - Photographic Historian, Brandei Estes - Head of Photography, Sotheby’s, Francesca Filippini - Head of Development, Photographers’ Gallery, Mike Birbeck FRPS FDP - President, Disabled Photographers' Society, Neil Kenlock - Social documentary photographer, Simon Tovee - Chair MPS Disability Staff Association.

Speaking for the Jury, Brandei Estes commented “This-Ability photography award saw a diverse range of photographs and I was seriously impressed with the high standard of this year’s photographic entries. This-Ability Photography Exhibition will give us all the chance of thoughtful reflection, learning and inspiration."

Youmanity is a non-profit organisation based in London promoting the importance of cultural diversity and social inclusion. This-Ability, supported by Scotland Yard’s Directorate for Inclusion and Diversity alongside Business Disability Forum. 

For more information about the Award and exhibition, visit Youmanity's website.