2024 Sony World Photography Awards: Winners revealed

The winners of the 2024 Sony World Photography Awards have been announced, with Juliette Pavy named as Photographer of the Year for her series, Spiralkampagnen, a project on the forced sterilisation of Inuit women in Greenland.

Naja Lyberth, a psychologist in Nuuk
Naja Lyberth, a psychologist in Nuuk, was one of the first to testify about her forced sterilisation [Juliette Pavy]

Pavy's documentary project explores the lasting affects of birth-control practices carried out on Inuit Greenlanders by Danish doctors in the 1960s and 1970s.

The series examines the spiralkampagnen ("coil campaign") in which several thousand Inuit women and girls, some as young as 12, were fitted with an intrauterine device (IUD) without their consent.

The photos range from shots of the city of Nuuk and its clinical spaces, to X-ray imagery and archival photographs of the young women involved.

Naja Lyberth, a psychologist in Nuuk, was one of the first to testify about her forced sterilisation. She set up a Facebook group to allow women to share their common experiences and help each other cope with the trauma.

Jytte Lyberth was 14 years old at the time she had the IUD inserted. Since then, she has never been able to have children.

Archive photo of Jytte Lyberth at the age of 14, at the time she had the IUD inserted
Jytte Lyberth at the age of 14, at the time she had the IUD inserted [Juliette Pavy]

Monica Allende, who chaired the 2024 Professional competition jury, praised Pavy's "empathetic portrayal of her subjects, capturing them in a manner that is both dignified and profoundly intimate, thereby highlighting her exceptional talent".

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Pavy's work triumphed in the Documentary Projects category of the Professional competition.

Here are the other category winners, alongside comments from the photographers.

Architecture & Design

Sala Mayor (Living Room) by Siobhán Doran

Philippine Ancestral Home
[Siobhán Dora]

"This series is part of a book project, Houses that Sugar Built: An Intimate Portrait of Philippine Ancestral Homes, for which I was granted access to these historic mansions.

"The sala mayor (main living room) typically showcases the character of the architecture and the lifestyle of the people, but also leaves room for the viewer's interpretation of these unique residences."

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A Thousand Cuts by Sujata Setia

A photographic portrait of a woman with artistic paper overlay
[Sujata Setia]

"A Thousand Cuts is an ongoing series of portraits and stories that present a photographic study of patterns of domestic abuse in the South Asian community.

"The continuous act of chipping at the soul of the abused is expressed by making cuts on the portrait of the participant, while the prints are made on thin paper to depict the fragility of the existence."

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Echoes of the Hive by Mahé Elipe

Beekeepers in Hopelchén, Campeche in southeast Mexico
Artistic portrait of a beekeeper from Hopelchén, Campeche in southeast Mexico

"In March 2023, a tragic fate befell more than 100 beekeepers [in Hopelchén, Campeche in south-east Mexico]. Their Melipona bees were poisoned by fipronil, an insecticide that is banned in most countries in Europe, but is still permitted in Mexico.

"This tragedy left deep scars on the Mayas, whose survival is intertwined with the golden nectar of the Melipona."

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The Sacrifice Zone by Eddo Hartmann

Scientist in protective clothing walks through landscape of a remote area of Kazakhstan used for nuclear testing

"This series explores a remote area of Kazakhstan known as 'The Polygon', which was once home to the Soviet Union's major nuclear testing facilities.

"The location is still heavily contaminated and can only be accessed in protective clothing.

"The images in this series were made using an infra-red camera, which hints at a menace that is equally invisible to the human eye: the radiation resulting from the nuclear explosions."

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Portraits and Landscapes by Jorge Mónaco

Portrait of a man in Kazakhstan wearing a traditional clothing
[Jorge Monaco]

"My goal is to create projects that shed light on the lives of people from minority groups, whether they are ethnic, religious or gender-related.

"Through my images, I aim to raise awareness and promote inclusion, offering a reflective perspective on human diversity."

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Father and Son by Valery Poshtarov

Portrait of a father and son in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, 2023
[Valery Poshtarov]

"While posing, fathers and sons hold hands for the first time in years, sometimes decades. It's a powerful moment, often filled with hesitation or even resistance.

"This act of intimacy became the project's main purpose, the photographs being just a mere testament to the long-unspoken love between the men."

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Kald Sòl (Cold Sun) by Thomas Meurot

Surfers wearing wetsuits and holding surfboards walk along a path in Iceland
[Thomas Meurot]

"Kald Sòl is a series I undertook while documenting a surf expedition in Iceland in the middle of winter.

"Documenting cold surfing has always appealed to me, so when I got the chance to do it, I jumped at the opportunity straight away. The black-and-white photographs reveal the cold, even when the sun is out."

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Still Life

Flora by Federico Scarchilli

Still life study of a plant used for medicinal purposes
[Federico Scarchilli]

"Plants are among the main suppliers of medicinal substances and should be considered as the producers and dynamic containers of chemical substances.

"This series highlights the important role of pharmacognosy in modern biology."

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Wildlife & Nature

Suspended Worlds by Eva Berler

A leaf and fibres caught in a spider web
[Eva Berler]

"This project started as an exploration of the world of spider webs, where both time and action are frozen, but it led to a personal journey into my deepest fears and aspirations.

"They work as metaphors for the hidden lives of the people next to us, who we pass by every day and don't really know anything about."

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The Open competition celebrates the power of single images.

Liam Man won for his photograph Moonrise Sprites over Storr, showing the rock formation of the Old Man of Storr, lit by drone lights, during a storm on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Old Man of Storr, Skye, Scotland
[Liam Man]
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Kayin Luys, of LUCA School of Arts Sint Lukas Brussels, has been awarded the title of Student Photographer of the Year, for his series Don't Trust Pretty Girls - an intimate portrait of his in-laws.

A woman singing into a microphone
[Kayin Luys]

Daniel Murray, 15 years old, won the Youth Photographer of the Year award.

Entrants were asked to respond to the theme Through Your Eyes

The photograph of a solitary surfer on an empty Cornish beach captures the quiet atmosphere of the end of the summer season.

A solitary surfer on an empty Cornish beach
[Daniel Murray]

Kathleen Orlinsky was announced as this year's Sustainability Prize winner for her series America's First Wilderness.

Orlinsky's project looks at the ways in which the people inhabiting the wilderness of south-eastern New Mexico peacefully coexist with the nature around them, and promote the conservation of the space.

Joe Saenz, a wilderness outfitter guide, environmental activist and educator from the Chiracahua Apache Nation, leads a horseback pack trip through the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico.
Joe Saenz, a wilderness outfitter guide, environmental activist and educator from the Chiracahua Apache Nation, leads a horseback pack trip through the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico [Katie Orlinsky]
Mexican grey wolf at the Ladder Ranch in Caballo, New Mexico is placed inside a capture box and muzzled in order to reduce visual stimulation and make it safer to handle for USFWS biologists Brady McGee, Melissa Kretzian and Margaret Dwyer from the Mexican Grey Wolf Recovery Program.
The Mexican grey wolf species is native to the Gila Wilderness region, and was almost extinct until the Mexican Grey Wolf Recovery Program began reintroducing the species into the wild in 1992 [Katie Orlinsky]

This year's Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize has been awarded to Sebastião Salgado.

More than 40 images, selected by the esteemed photographer highlighting the key themes and milestones over the last five decades of his career, will be on view at the Sony World Photography Awards 2024 exhibition at Somerset House.

Draped in blankets to keep out the cold morning wind, refugees wait outside Korem camp. Ethiopia, 1984
Ethiopia, 1984 [Sebastião SALGADO]

All photographs courtesy of 2024 Sony World Photography Awards.

An exhibition of the winners and shortlisted images takes place at Somerset House, London from 19 April to 6 May 2024.