Climate Visuals photography award 2019: winners and shortlisted

Climate Visuals is a project that aims to create a new visual language for climate change. Images of polar bears, melting ice and factories do not convey the urgent human stories at the heart of the issue. Based on international social research, Climate Visuals provides insights for a more compelling visual language for climate change. It has recognised existing and outstanding images with impact for its inaugural photography awards. The project is run by Climate Outreach, Europe’s leading climate communication organisation, which celebrated its 15th anniversary on 7 November

Shortlisted: High on Tide Mousuni Island by Sumit Sanyal

A man collecting water from a hand pump while huge waves caused by high tides strikes the edges. Where the pump is located, the wall has been destroyed due to erosion from tidal flooding.

Date taken: 11/10/2018
Photograph: Sumit Sanyal/2019 Climate Visuals Photography Award

Shortlisted: Destroyed Shoe Shop by Kianoush Saadati

Severe floods struck Golestan province of Iran in March and affected 10 cities: Gorgan, Bandar Turkman, Azad Shahr, Aq Qqala, Gonbad-e Kavus, Bandar-e Gaz, Ali Abad, Kalaleh, Kordkuy, and Minodasht. The heavy rain in Golestan was unprecedented, with 70% of average annual rain falling in the first 24 hours. In Golestan and Mazandran provinces, 11 people were confirmed dead and an estimated 20 people injured. Over 60,000 people were affected by the flooding, with at least 10,000 people are provided emergency shelter in stadiums, exhibition areas, schools.

Date taken: 21/03/2019
Photograph: 2019 Climate Visuals Photography Award

Shortlisted: Looking Through The Doorway by Greta Rybus

A man looks through a doorway, which just hours before lead to another room in his home. The sea, which has been rising and eroding the shore, chewed into the home’s foundation and it crumbled into the sea. The United Nations named Saint Louis as the area most at-risk from climate change in Africa. Guet Ndar, where this family called home, is highly populated fishing community. The fishermen have noticed huge changes. They say the ocean used to be a long distance across the beach during low tides; now it laps at their homes. And, they’ve seen an increase in strange winds and storms, making their work at sea more dangerous and volatile. Many people have lost their homes.

Date taken: 19/03/2015
Photograph: Greta Rybus/2019 Climate Visuals Photography Award

Shortlisted: Water World Child by Jashim Salem

In the past few years, tidal surge – water levels rising significantly above the tide levels that astronomy predicts – has begun to affect the Bangladeshi port city of Chittagong as much as twice a day, resulting in frequent flooding of residential and business areas. If things continue to worsen, most areas of Chittagong could become completely submerged in the near future. Here we see Saraf, eight, sitting on a submerged car at their home flooded by the tidal surge. 

Date taken: 29/08/2015
Photograph: Jashim Salam/2019 Climate Visuals Photography Award

Winner: Solar Power by Ann Johanssen

Shohida Begum poses for photographs lit by a solar powered lantern in a slum where she lives in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Date taken: 11/11/2018
Photograph: Ann Johanssen/2019 Climate Visuals Photography Award

Runner-up: Climate Refugees by Ricardo Funari

A family of drought refugees from the semi-arid region of north-eastern Brazil known as Sertao, trying to escape to the distant Sao Paulo megalopolis.

Date taken: 29/10/1998
Photograph: Ricardo Funari/2019 Climate Visuals Photography Award

Runner-up: Infant Health by Siegfried Modola

A Mongolian mother, Obgerel, cries as she holds her baby daughter Suikhan in a pediatric emergency unit. Suikan suffers from a respiratory illness in one of the most polluted capital cities in the world, Ulaanbaatar. 

 Date taken: 21/01/2019
Photograph: Siegfried Modola/2019 Climate Visuals Photography Award

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