Images of Environmental Migrants win the 15th Luis Valtueña International Humanitarian Photography Prize.The competition, which has been running since 1998 in memory of the Médicos del Mundo voluntary workers killed in Rwanda and Bosnia, also features snapshots of Somali people in the Ifo refugee camp and asylum seekers in Greece . The Italian photographer Alessandro Grassani is winner of the 15th International Humanitarian Photography Prize, presented each year by Médicos del Mundo, for his photographic series ‘Environmental migrants: the last illusion. Ulaan Baator, Mongolia’ depicting deep climate and social changes which have taken place in Mongolia. The list of winners includes runners-up Luca Catalano Gonzaga also from Italy, and Argentinian Photographer Gabriel Pecot, with their snapshots of Somali people in the Ifo refugee camp, Kenya and the asylum seekers in Greece. The jury agreed unanimously to award first prize to Alessandro Grassani for his snapshots of environmental migrants in Mongolia. Grassani’s photographs are part of an ambitious project about the environmental migrations. According to a forecast by the United Nations, in 2050 there will be 200 million environmental migrants: people who will look for new ways of livelihood in the urban areas of their home countries, which are already overcrowded and often extremely poor. “90% of this kind of migration- as Grassani explains - will occur literally in less developed countries, and will be the cause of the new humanitarian emergencies of the planet in the next few decades”. This year has established a record in terms of participation: 347 photographers from 33 countries have applied, with a total of 2949 photos received. The winning and commended images make up the 30 snapshots that will shape the exhibition of this year’s award, the tour of which will begin in Madrid in the Casa Encendida Center on 24 January. Members of the jury of the fifteenth competition are: Marisa Flórez, managing editor of photography for the newspaper El País, Jon Barandica, photo editor of Público, Yara Sonseca, exhibitions coordinator at Obra Social Caja Madrid’s La Casa Encendida, Begoña Rivas, photographer for the newspaper El Mundo, Paul White photographer and editor from the Associated Press, Susana Vera photographer for Reuters’ Agency and Alvaro Gonzalez, Medicos del Mundo President. The first prize won by Alessandro Grassani is a grant of 8,000 euro aimed at creating a photographic project in the areas of work covered by Médicos del Mundo. This award is presented each year in memory of Luis Valtueña, Flors Sirera, Manuel Madrazo, and Mercedes Navarro, Médicos del Mundo aid workers killed in Rwanda in 1997 and Bosnia in 1995 while working on humanitarian aid projects. Luis Valtueña was a professional photographer and worked as a reporter at Agency Cover in Spain, which is why this award bears his name. LIST OF WINNERS OF THE 15TH LUIS VALTUEÑA INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE - FIRST PRIZE: Series ‘Environmental migrants: the last illusion. Ulaan Baator, Mongolia’ by Alessandro Grassani (Italy). - RUNNERS-UP: Series ‘Waiting for humanitarian aid in Dadaab’ by Luca Catalano Gonzaga (Italy). Series ‘Hellas Hell’ by Gabriel Pecot (Spain). OTHER PHOTOGRAPHS SELECTED FOR THE EXHIBITION - Series of photographs ‘Tsunami Aftermath in Japan’ by Paolo Pellegrin (Italy). - Series of photographs ‘Insha` Allah (Pakistan's Christian Minority)’ by Marco Gualazzini (Italy). - Series of photographs ‘The Recyclers’ by Vicenzo Floramo (Italy).
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