From Peru's mining boom to Mexico's female truckers, the series recognised in this year's Latin America Professional Award are a standout selection demonstrating the technical skill, artistic excellence and powerful story-telling of the region's photography community. Shining a spotlight on talent from across Latin America, the award celebrates how immensely varied each photographer's work is.
Open to all photographers from Latin American countries entering photo series (five to ten images) to the Professional competition, the award has been a brilliant platform for these photographers to benefit from publishing deals, gallery representation and international coverage. The finalists and overall winner will be announced on 12th April.
Speaking about the award, Scott Gray, CEO and Founder of the World Photography Organisation says: ‘We know that there is an incredibly rich photographic community across Latin American and this prize will give insight to the diverse and vibrant practitioners working in the region.’
Here we take a look at a few of our favourite series.
Angela Ponce, Peru, Shortlist, Latin America Professional Award, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
Peru is going through a mining boom, especially in the provinces of Puno, Ayacucho and Cusco in the Andes, where large mining companies are working to extract different types of metals such as copper and gold. However, this activity has important environmental impacts. The first to be affected are the people of the rural communities near the mining camps who find it increasingly impossible to continue farming raising livestock and preserving their mountains due to the contamination. “With these waters we irrigate our corn and potato crops. When there is no snowfall, life will end,” says Exaltacion Chuquichampi (58), who as a child used to play in the snow of the Quelccaya mountain in the community of Sallany. “Now there is little snowfall, what are we going to do when the snowfall ends? There will only be a black mountain,” adds Yovana (29), daughter of Exaltacion.
Miguel Pérez, Mexico, Shortlist, Latin America Professional Award, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
In Mexico less than 1% of cargo and passenger truck operators are women. Over the last decade, a group of women have appeared on the national transportation scene as truck operators – traileras – in a sector that has always been male-dominated.
Their lives seemed condemned to the domestic sphere. Not wanting to resign themselves to this life, the ‘Reinas de la 57’ (Queens of 57th) began to exercise their Independence and right to belong in this industry, learning the trade with the same professionalism and responsibility as anyone else. They entered the truck world on their own terms, applying their own experiences. They now seek to draw attention to their often ignored reality, in order to improve their working and safety conditions.
Reinas de la 57 is an ongoing project that documents the journey, struggles and daily life on the road of eight women who never set out to be extraordinary, but became so thanks to their character and passion for trucks.
Gonzalo Lauda, Argentina, Shortlist, Latin America Professional Award, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
In this highly-staged series, I’ve recreated the highlights of Argentinian Independence history. It was a titanic task, mobilising the Argentine army in special locations with careful attention to movement, light and atmosphere for each shot.
The images have the characteristics of European paintings with historical accents: the romantic spirit and the power of glory. Separating my work from the purely historical narrative, I’ve highlighted the
effort, work and camaraderie of battle. We could hear the screams and gallops when executing the most dramatic shots and feel the quiet moments of calm in the vastness of the battlefield. The mountains, the Pampas and the horse are protagonists, like soldiers in combat.