Ilvy Njiokiktjien was returning from South Africa to the Netherlands on the very day Nelson Mandela died. When she heard about his death, she decided to fly straight back to attend the funeral and record the atmosphere in the country. Her winning picture shows the streets of Pretoria with people crowding the roadsides to see Mandela’s funeral cortege pass by and to pay their respects. The jury felt the young winner had captured the essence of this worldwide news story: a mixture of mourning and gratitude for South Africa’s first black President. It thought her entry was an ingenious photograph taken at the right place and time to communicate the various levels of what was happening. In 2008 Njiokiktjien won first prize in the National Geographic Photography Contest and during last year’s Fotoweek she was appointed National Photographer of the Netherlands (a photographic equivalent to the Poet Laureate).
Robin de Puy (b. 1986) winner of the Dutch National Portrait Prize 2013
Since winning the Photo Academy Award in 2009, Robin de Puy has been regarded as a leading light in the field of Dutch photojournalistic portraiture. The 28-year-old photographer had not just one, but two portraits nominated this year. Her winning portrait of An-Sofie Kesteleyn in moody black-and-white is a sympathetic, natural portrait of a fellow photographer who has recently suffered a serious illness. By contrast, her portrait of Eva Jinek features eye-catching bright colours and is heavily stylized, with a strongly decorative graphic quality. The jury reported that “If you can show two such diametrically opposed examples of what a good portrait can be and do it to such a high standard, you are entitled to call yourself a versatile photographer”.
Rob Hornstra (b. 1975) and Arnold van Bruggen (b. 1979) win Canon Prize 2013
This is the fourth year that the Canon Prize for Innovative Photojournalism has been awarded. The Silver Camera Foundation intends the prize to encourage and reward innovative forms of narration and presentation within photography. The most innovative of all the entries in 2013 was Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen’s The Sotchi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus.
The jury finds the term ‘wide-ranging’ almost inadequate to describe this project, which has managed to maintain keen public interest over many years and reached completion in 2013. “It is a consistently stylish multimedia assemblage comprising an exhibition, a book, a website, many articles and other publications. An exemplary project, it offers numerous lessons for contemporary photographers and mediamakers: how to go on telling urgent stories in an independent way in today’s world; how important it is to engage in collaborations that recognize and acknowledge partners’ professional expertise; and how an entirely personal note can be struck and maintained within a large-scale multimedia project.”
The winning pictures and other nominated photographs will remain on show at the Hague Museum of Photography until 6 April 2014. Thereafter, they will move to venues in Assen, Naarden and elsewhere.