May 2016

  • The Garment Industry's Deadliest Disaster
    Image from Bangladesh, by A.M. Ahad

    This photograph depicts people gathering as rescuers look for survivors and victims at the site of the eight-story Rana Plaza building, which housed several factories that manufactured garments for numerous multinational companies. The building, which was illegally built on top of a former shopping center, collapsed on April 24th, 2013 in Savar, Bangladesh, killing 1,129 and injuring 2,500 people—the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry. Injured survivors and the families of those who died are yet to receive their promised compensation in full. Chasing higher profits, many international corporations have outsourced their production to countries with lower labour costs and fewer labour regulations, such as Bangladesh.  

    The Allard Prize Photography Competition jury selected this photograph for its depiction of the destruction that can be caused by an industry weakened by corruption and weak rule of law as well as the possible negative consequences of global labour outsourcing.

    A.M. Ahad is a photojournalist based in Bangladesh. His work has been published in TIME, The New York Times, The Guardian, The International Herald Tribune, Saudi Aramaco World, and Himal Southasian. His work has also been exhibited in Finland, France, the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

  • The Moment After Resignation
    Image from Switzerland, by Valeriano Di Domenico

    This photograph was taken at a FIFA press conference in June of 2015. It depicts the moment after former FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter’s resignation, which occurred days after the United States government indicted many current and former FIFA officials and marketing companies for money laundering and bribery. Numerous allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement have been made against Blatter, although no formal indictments have been made and he continues to deny wrongdoing. In December 2015, FIFA’s Ethics Committee banned Blatter from all international football-related activities for eight years due to mismanagement of a financial payment worth $2 million USD. This ban was later reduced to six years.

    The Allard Prize Photography Competition jury selected this photograph as a reminder that corruption can take place in any sector, anywhere in the world, including in the leadership of the world’s most popular sports.

    Valeriano Di Domenico is a freelance photographer based in Zurich, Switzerland.

  • Fishing For the Truth
    Image from Ukraine, by Andrey Lomakin

    This photograph depicts a protester attempting to rescue financial documents thrown into the river near former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s opulent estate, shortly after he fled the capital, Kiev. The following day, Ukrainian Members of Parliament voted to oust president Yanukovych from government. Some of the retrieved documents show that Yanukovych spent millions of dollars on furnishings and decorations for his former residence, the Mezhyhirya mansion, estimated to have cost more than $75 million USD. The Ukrainian public has long been suspicious that Yanukovych and his family were wrongly profiting from his control of the country as his annual presidential salary was approximately $100,000 and his annual salary prior to his presidency was approximately $24,000. Other documents retrieved include an anonymous receipt for a $12 million USD cash transfer, dated September 2010, about seven months after Yanukovych took office. In diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, U.S. officials described the Yanukovych government as "a kleptocracy."

    The Allard Prize Photography Competition jury selected this photograph as an illustration of the challenges of identifying and combatting corruption when there is a lack of transparency in government spending.

    Andrey Lomakin is a photographer based in Kiev, Ukraine. He worked as a staff photographer at Tyzhden magazine from 2008 to 2014 and is now working on personal documentary projects.

  • Olympic Ruins of Athens
    Image from Greece, by Brecht De Vleeschauwer

    This photograph, taken at the Olympic Kanoe and Kayak Complex located on the grounds of the former Hellinikon Airport in Athens, depicts one of the many sites that Greece was unable to maintain from the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Dried out swimming pools, unused venues, and abandoned stadiums are spread across the city. While Olympic investments are often presented as beneficial for all, this photograph suggests otherwise.

    The Allard Prize Photography Competition jury selected this photograph as it represents wasteful and unjust spending of public money despite that many basic human rights, such as the right to education, go unaddressed. This summer, the Olympic Games will take place in Rio de Janeiro. Many Brazilians are still living without basic sanitation or education, yet just one year after hosting the World Cup, Brazil is investing another $13 billion in Olympics venues.

    Brecht De Vleeschauwer is a freelance reporter and photographer based in Belgium.

  • Where Are the Missing Women?
    Image from Canada, by Jeff Topham

    This photograph depicts participants at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Memorial March, held annually in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories, on Valentine’s Day. The march was initiated by First Nations women in 1992 when the body of Cheryl Anne Joe was found dismembered on a downtown Vancouver street corner. The march became an annual event to honour the lives of murdered and missing women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. It also draws attention to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence that many women face everyday.

    Although the Canadian federal police (RCMP) reported that there were 1,181 police-recorded incidents of murdered and unresolved missing Aboriginal females between 1980 and 2012—164 missing and 1,017 homicide victims—the former Conservative federal government long rejected requests for a national inquiry. In 2015, Canada’s newly elected Liberal federal government announced it would undertake the national inquiry.

    The Allard Prize Photography Competition jury selected this photograph for its powerful reminder of the injustice and inequality faced by many women and minority groups, in particular Indigenous women, and the frequent insufficiency of government response to crimes committed against individuals from these groups, even in developed nations.

    Jeff Topham is a professional photographer, photojournalist and filmmaker based in Vancouver, Canada. His photographs have been published in The Guardian, The Observer, and The Globe and Mail. In 2013, his documentary film Liberia 77 was featured at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles.

  • Toxic Trespass: Sameer, 16 Years Old
    Image from India, by Giles Clarke

    The 1984 Union Carbide gas tragedy in Bhopal, India killed an estimated 15,000 people. The original site of the pesticide plant remains one of the world's most toxic places. Thousands of families have, for decades, been using water contaminated with poisonous chemicals leading to serious illnesses including cancer and birth defects. The parent company of Union Carbide, U.S.-based Dow Chemical, has evaded the Indian courts and the ongoing legal process since 2001. This photograph depicts 16 year old Sameer Hasan at home with his mother. Sameer was born to parents contaminated by a carcinogenic and mutagenic water supply caused by the Union Carbide disaster.

    The Allard Prize Photography Competition jury selected this photograph as it demonstrates the importance of the rule of law and the urgent need to protect the environment and regulate the production and labour practices of multinational corporations.

    Giles Clarke is an award winning photojournalist with Getty Images Reportage. He is based in New York City.