As 2020 is coming to an end, the Px3 "State of the World" photography contest had already curated the images that sum up this year in pictures. The Prix de la Photographie, Paris (PX3) is a photography award that strives to promote appreciation of photography, discover emerging talent, and introduce photographers from around the world to the artistic community of Paris.
These photos show the events as they happen in an unadulterated, uncensored way. PX3 and State of the World are launching their 2021 competition on November 10th, 2020.
No Man's Land
With no male northern white rhinos left on the planet, No Man’s Land is a poignant swan song to the dedicated caretakers of the last two remaining females, Fatu and Najin.
The northern white rhino is a subspecies of white rhino that historically roamed across Uganda, Chad, Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, following widespread poaching and civil war in their home range, they are now considered extinct in the wild.
Photograph by: Justin Mott, Kenya.
Jin! Jiyan! Azadi! (Women! Life! Freedom!)
The Kurdish-inhabited area in northeastern Syria called Rojava, Among the Kurdish fighters fighting in this area, there are women warriors who are full of love for their friends and passion for the land they were born and raised on. They fight for their beliefs and ideals with the AK47 in their hands.
They are called The Kurdish Women's Defence Units (YPJ). They are dreaming and fighting for the liberation of all oppressed people, beyond the liberation of women.
Photograph by: Yusuke Suzuki, Syria.
These nomadic bee-keepers keep their hives moving around the blossoming flowers and orchards in Eastern Europe and the Asian Steppes. Mostly supplying the street and roadside markets of Ukraine and Russia, they are oblivious to warring tensions, but lately, most of the younger generation have moved to permanent jobs in the cities. This means the stalls and trucks are manned by the elderly and very young children left in their care, moving harmoniously with the changing seasons and different pastures. It is a happy journey.
Photograph by: Dean Yeadon, Ukraine.
Hong Kong Unrest
In 2019, the Hong Kong government proposed an extradition bill that would allow suspected criminals to undergo trial in mainland China.
With Hong Kong residents fearing Beijing’s tightening grip, the proposed bill sparked the worst unrest the city had seen in decades, representing the greatest challenge to the Beijing government since the 1989 student uprisings and subsequent massacre.
Photograph by: Laurel Chor, Hong Kong.
Nature is declining at rates unprecedented in human history. One-third of animal and plant species could be gone in the next 50 years. Photographing these animals in the wild is a truly humbling experience, especially since humans are responsible for the many challenges they face. It is difficult to imagine that these majestic animals may become extinct in the near future. With this ongoing project, I want to show what would be lost if we don’t protect them.
Photograph by: Kevin De Vree, Indonesia.
My birthday was in the middle of the ongoing coronavirus quarantine. I canceled a get-together. Instead, I went to see my friends and family at theirs. Not that I could go near them. Instead, I photographed them from outside, looking in. I scheduled a time at each location and asked that they stand at their window while I stood in their yards, or on their sidewalk, or across the street. If they lived in a high rise I flew my drone to their window.
Photograph by: Saam Gabbay, USA.
Headstrong: The Women Of Rural Uganda
This ongoing project about the working women of rural Uganda began in Gulu at a quarry. Nearly all the workers who break large rocks into gravel size pellets are female. They earn 1000 UGX ($0.30) for every jerry can of gravel that they fill. This is an extremely difficult labor and dangerous work.
I placed the women in front of mosquito netting, allowing them to be noticed, appreciated, and valued for their labor and economic contributions. Beatrice Lamwaka, a well-known Ugandan author, is providing the essential African female viewpoint on this project. Theirs are voices that are rarely heard.
Photograph by: Dan Nelken, USA.
Abandoned Elderly—30 Years Post Communism
Thirty years ago Communism ended. After years of living in a state of control, many people fled their country to start a new life. New governments took over but life has remained difficult for many. In Romania and Bulgaria, older people are living in isolated villages. They are living in rural villages far from family and friends. I watched them as they were preparing for the upcoming winter. They spent their days foraging in the forest for wild mushrooms, spices, and berries, collecting firewood and corn for their few animals.
These people are spending their last years alone and in poverty.
Photograph by: Michele Zousmer, Romania, and Bulgaria.
Children Living In Perpetual Invisibility
In an effort to escape poverty, Filipino children are being lured into the cybersex trade by human traffickers. Cybersex trafficking is a sinister form of modern-day slavery in the Philippines — the live sexual abuse of children streamed via the internet. “Children Living in Perpetual Invisibility" is an awareness campaign created to shed light on children enslaved in the cybersex trade.
The project demonstrates, in real-time, the daily life of rescued Filipino cybersex-trafficked children who live in a long-term shelter where they receive psychological care and learn life skills.
Photograph by: Matilde Simas, Philippines.
Orangutans On A Thin Vine
The name “orangutan” comes from the Malay word orang (people) and hutan (forest). While the future for many species is uncertain, orangutans in the wild are hanging on by a particularly thin vine.
Their populations have declined significantly over the past hundred years due to habitat destruction in their native Sumatra and Borneo where forests give way to palm oil plantations. If we lose the forest we lose the orangutans.
Photograph by: Mark Edward Harris, Singapore, United States, Indonesia.
A Meal For Everyone
Gandini Primary School near the village of Makobeni in Kenya. This school operates a non-profit organization (Watoto Kenya Onlus) to provide and guarantee a safe meal every day for all 500 children attending school. The moment of the meal in these places is a fantastic moment of joy and aggregation. But the most important thing is that this meal, for many, is the only meal of the day.
Also, for this reason, many families make enormous sacrifices to send children to school, this way they can eat. I miss their smiles so much.
Photograph by: Fabio Marcato, Kenya.
Mexico 43 Missing Students
Iguala, Mexico. 43 students that dreamed to become rural teachers were organizing to protest for better schooling conditions in 2016. Inexplicably, they were abducted by the police, the army or the local drogue mafia, or by all of them, and disappeared since then. Agony for the parents and relatives, anger for the Mexican society and repeated claims for human rights activists and those that seek justice have remained unheard.
Photograh by: Eduardo Lopez Moreno, Mexico.
Faces Of The Front-Line
New York City has become the unfortunate coronavirus epicenter of the world. With over 8.4 million residents and 345,000 infected at the time of this writing, I wanted to capture the faces of our city's heroes who keep us all safe. Even at the expense of their own health.
Photograph by: Jeffrey Lau, USA.
Rear Window Quarantine
In Milan, during this Covid-19 lockdown time, balconies, terraces, and roofs have become the only useful places to get our yard time. We took a walk on the roofs transformed into gyms, solariums, libraries where you can meet the words of others through books. Balconies and windows were the escape route, the holiday, the break from a monitor-shaped job. One of the consequences of the pandemic will be to rethink the design of houses, especially as regards the common parts, in order to make cities more resilient. In Italy, the debate, involving architects, physicians, sociologists, has already opened.
Photograph by: Matteo Garzonio, Italy.
Siege Of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
In November Hong Kong students turned the occupied universities into fortresses and blocked the main communication zones, paralyzing the economic life of the city. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University became the place of the biggest fights.
The police began the assault on 17 November morning and the battle lasted until the next day. After the clashes unable to capture the campus, the police began a siege that lasted for 12 days. Students on campus were facing rioting charges of up to 10 years in prison. This led to desperate attempts to escape through the sewer system.
Photograph by: Witold Dobrowolski, Hong Kong.
In The Shadow Of Corona
Unprecedented times demand an unprecedented response. As a film-based photographer, I’m compelled to make this new work by any means necessary.
Photograph by: David Wolf, USA.
Lost At Sea
The Carteret Islands 90km Northeast of Bougainville, PNG were the first place in the world to require population relocations due to climate change-related issues. At around 1m above the waves, the 7 tiny islands are extremely vulnerable to changes in the sea and the climate. The remaining 1600 people are forced to contemplate relocation to high ground 4 hrs away by boat and many have done so. Some have returned after struggling to adjust, unhappy living away from their home. Every day, more ground is lost. It is unlikely the remaining children will be able to have their own families here.
Photograph by: Darren James, Papua New Guinea.
The Damned Of The Earth
Under a burning sun and feet in the mud, for hours, we see them working far in the rice fields. With heat and light, you can hardly see their silhouettes. Their faces and bodies are completely covered. One might think they have no identity. Who are they? How old are they, what is their story? Impossible to know who is under the hood. Let’s go out to meet those damned of the earth, who sacrifice themselves, like angels, to offer us rice in our plates. Suphan Buri Province, Thailand.
Photograph by: Julien De Wilde, Belgique.
Portraits of miners at the Pniówek coal mine, 40 km south-west of Katowice, the capital of Silesia. The region contains numerous active coal mines guaranteeing the supply of coal from which Poland draws 80% of its energy. Job security, good salaries, early retirement, and, in many cases, family tradition make this an attractive occupation, but the profession is in an inexorable decline as many of the mines are not profitable. Poland, one of the largest producers of coal in Europe, is also one of the most polluted countries. The EU recommendation of carbon neutrality by 2050 seems out of reach.
Photograph by: Alain Schroeder, Poland.
Cyprus For Sale
After suffering numerous credit crashes that have crippled their economy, Cyprus adopted the 'Citizenship by investment program', whereby non-EU citizens are invited to invest in prime property and in return receive an EU passport. Due to Cyprus fast-tracking applications, investors' credit histories are not properly checked to lead to money laundering. Other consequences include rising rents, middle-class gentrification, and natural and urban environmental disregard.
In attempt to attract wealth, Cyprus has become a commodity to be bought and sold at the expense of its citizens.
Photograph by: Paul Shiakallis, Cyprus.
An ‘ice stupa’ is an artificial glacier that stores waste stream waters so that the water can be used at a later date when supplies are scarce. It has been cleverly devised and is used as a solution to the water crisis faced by local farmers in Kashmir, northern India.
The conical tower shape ensures that the surface exposed to the sun is minimal, so premature melting is avoided. The idea is simple – it needs no pumps or power, instead of relying on the physics of water and uses the otherwise wasteful streamflow water.
Photograph by: Greg White, India.
Refugee camp in the area of Malakasa, Greece. It was quarantined twice. The approximately 2,500 refugees, living in the camp, are at risk from coronavirus, as well as from the terrible shortages of food, medicine, and other basic necessities.
Photograph by: Orestis Ilias, Greece.
Far east. Steel foundries. Life here has a circular flow, in the morning the workers get up early, there are those who prepare meals for the others in turn. The shifts begin and the men are all busy demolishing old shipwrecks coming from all over the world, the metal is cut, worked, melted, and again transformed.
Only the metal here changes life, these men are not, they are always here, every day. Every day until the evening until the siren sounds the arrival of sunset. A human chain made of fatigue, sweat, and hard work. Many curious eyes and friendly smiles. Men to respect.
Photograph by: Nicola Ducati, India.
Working For Sticks
As we stay at home on the Covid-19 lockdown, it is easy to slide into self-pity. It is also easy to forget that there are people in this world who do not live in privileged European bubbles. The laborers in Yangon Port have to lug 50-kilo sacks of rice in sweltering heat from boats to trucks to make ends meet. For every sack carried they receive tally sticks for which their reward is a few Kyat.
The lockdowns in Burma deprive millions of their livelihoods. The hardest hit are those who survive just above the poverty line. For them, hunger and poverty will not vanish after the lockdowns are lifted.
Photograph by: Frank Lynch, Myanmar.
INTIME is an almost 100-year-old pub situated in the heart of Frederiksberg in Copenhagen, Denmark. Intime is recognized for its disarmingly friendly atmosphere, which celebrates the free queer spirit and musicality.
Photograph by: Magnus Cederlund, Denmark.
Musician Outside His House During Covid19 Outbreak
Sax player shot outside his house with a balloon to represent isolation. “There is a story in every image; my goal is to tell it like no one else can.”
Photograph by: Fadi Acra, USA.
Hong Kong Summer On Fire
Ever since the Hong Kong Government tried to pass the Extradition Bill, which would enable the PRC Government to lawfully arrest people in Hong Kong who violate the law in China upon the approval of the Hong Kong Chief Executive, the fear and anger of Hong Kong people to the government has been ignited.
Photograph by: Tsz Fung Cheng, Hong Kong.
The Siege Of PolyU
What began in June 2019 as peaceful marches against a now-withdrawn extradition bill to mainland China has since morphed into a full-blown anti-government movement with "five key demands", transforming Hong Kong into an urban battleground between anti-government protestors and the city’s police force.
After 6 months of clashes and protests, November 2019 saw the Hong Kong Polytechnic University ("PolyU") become a battleground between anti-government protestors and the riot police who encircled them. After 12 days, the siege of PolyU was finally lifted - with nary a protestor left on campus.
Photograp by: Bing Guan, Hong Kong.
Cameroon: The Anglophone War
The Anglophone Crisis is a conflict in the South-West region of Cameroon, otherwise known as the 'Ambazonia War'. In September 2017, separatists in the Anglophone territories declared the independence of Ambazonia and began fighting against the Government of Cameroon. Starting as a low-scale insurgency during 2018, the conflict spread to most parts of the Anglophone regions and intensified. As of late 2019, the war has killed approximately 3,000 civilians and displaced more than half a million people.
Photograph by: Giles Clarke, Cameroon.
Note: this post originally had 88 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.