2020 Political Photography Contest: Discover the Winners!

870 photos from over 40 countries: The 2020 edition of the Sciences Po Political Photograph Contest drew exceptional submissions that reflect this past year with originality and fervor. Discover the jury’s picks! 

Never before has the jury of the Political Photography Competition had to choose between so many extraordinary photographs. The central themes from this year's submissions included the Yellow Vest movement, the protests against retirement reforms in France, more protests around the world (against climate change, femicide, poverty…), and - of course - lockdown. 

“The four winners highlight the power of an image to both analyse political events and showcase photography as a form of activism,” explains Olivier Duhamel, President of the FNSP and president of the jury. An additional 20 photographs submitted to the competition and worth particular attention will be displayed at Sciences Po’s Paris campus until November 30th. 

2020 Political Photography Contest from Sciences Po on Vimeo.

1st Prize: "As Long As it Stands" - The governmental palace in Belarus protected by armed police force - Paul Dza

1erPrix PPP Paul DZA

© Paul DZA

“The perfectly framed photo of Paul Dza summarizes the Belarusian events, which began in August 2020. It shows how only special police forces, the Omon, could protect the power of the dictator Loukachenko - besieged in his palace - against the ‘Revolution of Consciousness.’” - Olivier Duhamel, President of the FNSP

The photographer: Paul Dza is a communications manager at the RATP in Paris and pursues his passion for photojournalism on the side. Check out his website and Instagram account

2nd Prize: "Sisterhood" - Two women embrace in front of graffiti highlighting the inertia of the police during the attack on Sarah Halimi - Adnan Farzat

2ePrix PPP Adnan Farzat

© Adnan Farzat

“A simple photo of a slogan doesn’t make a photo political. In Adnan Farzat’s photo, however, the slogan is notably in the background. The two interlaced women give the image its power and political strength.” - Xavier Soule

The Photographer: Adnan Frazat, French photographer of Syrian origin, reports on French news, particularly social movements. Discover his website and Instagram account

3rd Prize: "Residents pay tribute to healthcare workers from the windows of their apartments" - Stéphane Lemouton

3ePrix PPP Stephane LEMOUTON

© Stéphane Lemouton

“What type of image can represent quarantine during the pandemic? Photos of people wearing masks, empty grocery shelves, healthcare workers on television or protesting? Stéphane Lemouton’s photo goes in a different direction: French people paying tribute to healthcare workers by applauding them at 8 pm from their windows or balconies. ‘Photography’ comes from the Greek words ‘photos’ and ‘graphien,’ meaning to write with light. This image illustrates this meaning perfectly.” - Alain Genestar of Polka Magazine

The Photographer: Stéphane Lemouton is a political photographer for Bestimage Agency. Discover his portfolio and his Instagram account.

VU’ Agency Pick: "Hong Konger: The City of Protests and Lights" - A crowd gathered at night protesting against police violence on a grand square in Hong Kong - Charmaine Lee

Coup de coeur PPP Charmaine Lee

© Charmaine Lee

“To receive an award, a photo has to stand out for its narrative efficiency. Charmaine Lee’s striking image is a real testament to the strength of representation. The gaze captures everything in this peaceful protest at the foot of world symbols for finance, which China wants to annex.”

The Photographer: After receiving her dual Bachelor’s degree from Sciences Po and the University of British Columbia, Charmaine Lee has begun her graduate studies at the University of Cambridge. 

Special Sciences Po Mention - Alioune Diagne danses for Fariba Adelkhah - Thomas Arrivé

Senegalese artist Alioune Diagne danses on the Esplanade of Human Rights in Paris to pay tribute to the Sciences Po researcher Fariba Adelkhah who is unjustly imprisoned in Iran.

Mention speciale Sciences Po PPP Thomas Arrive

© Thomas Arrivé

“Sciences Po researcher Fariba Adelkhah has been a scientific prisoner in Iran for a year and a half. The effort to free her continues. This photo provides a snapshot of our demonstration on the Human Rights Esplanade at Trocadero in Paris. The photo credit goes to Thomas Arrivé, Sciences Po’s photographer.” 

The Photographer: Thomas Arrivé is a reporter, videographer and photographer within the Communications Department at Sciences Po. Follow his Twitter account.

More information

The annual Sciences Po Political Photography Contest judges photos on both their aesthetic quality and political significance. It is open to all. 

The Sciences Po Political Photography Contest is made possible thanks to the support of l’Actu, Le Figaro Magazine, the Orange Foundation, Play Back Press, Polka Magazine, Public Sénat, SNCF and the VU’ - ABVENT Group. 

Check out the 2017, 2018, and 2019 award winners (FR).

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