South African Student Wins Top Prize at the Sony World Photography Awards!
Photo Cred: Pexels

Coenraad Heinz Torlage from the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography was awarded Student Photographer of the Year for 2021, winning R500,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for his institution.

 

Johannesburg, South Africa (19 April 2021) – A South African student has won the top prize at the Sony World Photography Awards!

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards are one of the most important fixtures in the photographic calendar. The Awards are a global voice for photography and provide a vital insight into contemporary work today. For both established and emerging artists, the Awards offer extensive exposure.

Now in its 14th year, the Awards consist of four competitions: Professional (for photographers entering a body of work or portfolio), Open (for photographers entering a single image), Student (for academic institutions) and Youth (for 12-19 year-olds).

“The World Photography Organisation is delighted to announce the overall winners in the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards 2021. The Photographer of the Year title and accompanying $25,000 (USD) cash prize and a range of Sony’s digital imaging kit is awarded to the esteemed documentarian Craig Easton (United Kingdom) for his series Bank Top. Also announced are the ten category winners alongside 2nd and 3rd place of the Professional competition as well as overall winners of the Open, Student and Youth competitions.”

Winners were revealed in a celebratory announcement video which you can watch here:

But the exciting win for South Africa was the “student photographer of the year”!

Coenraad Heinz Torlage from the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography was awarded Student Photographer of the Year for 2021, winning R500,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for his institution.

Torlage was chosen for his series ‘My Local Leaders’, created in response to the brief Our Time, which asked students to depict the way they and their contemporaries see the world and how they plan to change it for the better.

Coenraad Torlage - South African Student Wins Top Prize at the Sony World Photography Awards!
Photo Cred: Coenraad Torlage
Coenraad Torlage - South African Student Wins Top Prize at the Sony World Photography Awards!
Photo Cred: Coenraad Torlage

In Young Farmers Torlage, who grew up on a farm himself, set out to photograph the next generation of farmers as they face challenges concerning severe droughts, safety and debates around land ownership alongside their contributions towards a fairer and more equitable future of sustainability and food security.

Commenting on his win Torlage says: “I have been through an experience that is almost impossible to describe. I often dreamt of winning and prayed that I could share my country and the amazing people in it with the world.”

“I was born on a farm in South Africa and grew up with cattle, horses, donkeys and chickens, many of which I still own and love to this day. Farming is an intense occupation that requires passion and unwavering dedication. I set out to photograph young people who choose this life because, like me, they believe they have a responsibility. This sits heavily on all of our shoulders. South Africa is an unpredictable land with severe droughts, safety concerns and debates around land ownership. Despite these challenges, young farmers are working toward a fairer and more equitable future of sustainable food security. They are my peers, my friends and my family, and this is our time to feed the nation.”

“I believe in the young farmers of South Africa, which this country needs in terms of food sustainability and ecological awareness. Winning is a dream made possible by the amazing people that I photographed and everyone who helped and supported me. I believe in hard work, family and most of all, the grace of God. I am truly humbled that my images could even be considered for such a prestigious competition.”

For more information, and to see the other winners, click here.


Sources: Sony World Photography Awards
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