2 Kenya-based photographers shortlisted in 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Two Kenya-based photographers have been shortlisted among the top 50 in the world in Sony’s World Photography Awards. The two have made the shortlist in the awards’ Professional and Open categories.

In the Professional shortlist is Nairobi-based photographer Fredrik Lerneryd, who is among the finalists in the Awards’ Professional Contemporary Issues category. Originally, from Sweden, Lerneryd focuses his series on Spurgeons Academy in Kibera, Kenya, where every Wednesday the classroom becomes a studio, where the pupils learn to dance in colorful clothes. Lerneryd is a freelance photojournalist who works for international media, NGOs and on independent projects.

(TOP: A cropped version of Austin Odunga’s open portraiture photo that has been shortlisted. Other photos taken by him and Fredrik Lerneryd are available online till March 15, 2018).   

On being shortlisted, he says: “I am especially grateful that I was shortlisted with this particular story. I have worked on it for almost two years and I feel a strong connection with the children, and know many of them on a personal level”.

In the Open category is Austin Odunga who impressed the jury with the image Misty Morning in the Portraiture Category, an early morning portrait of a young guy in a car taken before the mist dried off.  The black and white shot captures the fleeble light in the eye of the subject while a sense of suspense permeates the time, the boy, and even the viewer.

On being commended, Odunga said: “This is an incredible achievement for me. To be commended in the Portraiture category, out of so many images entered from over 200 countries and territories, is more than a compliment.” 

The works of the shortlisted and commended photographers will be exhibited at the Sony World Photography Awards 2018 Exhibition in London from April 20 – May 6. The Open competition winners will be announced March 20, and the overall and Professional category winners revealed April 19, 2018.

Produced by the World Photography Organization, the Sony World Photography Awards is the world’s most diverse photography competition. The 11th edition saw a record breaking 320,000 submissions by photographers from more than 200 countries and territories, presenting some of the world’s finest contemporary photography captured over the past year. The international range of entries display a huge diversity of imagery in terms of genre, style and subject matter across the Awards’ 4 competitions: Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus.

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