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Moving portraits of migrants in transit win Sony World Photography Awards

An image from Jan Grarup's series 'The Children of the Financial Collapse in Venezuela'
An image from Jan Grarup's series 'The Children of the Financial Collapse in Venezuela'

Striking images of Mexican migrants waiting to cross the US border make up the winning entry for this year's Sony World Photography Awards.

The prestigious awards selected an overall winner, as well as winners of the professional, open, student and youth categories.

Migrantes, the winning series of black and white self-portraits of migrants in Mexico, was captured by acclaimed Australian photographer Adam Ferguson. 

It presents poignant portraits of people suspended in time in search of a more prosperous life.

Carlos Soyos, age 34, and his son, 8, at the El Buen Samaritano migrants shelter in Juarez - Adam Ferguson
Carlos Soyos, age 34, and his son, 8, at the El Buen Samaritano migrants shelter in Juarez - Adam Ferguson
Winning series Migrantes was captured by Australian photographer Adam Ferguson - Adam Ferguson
Winning series Migrantes was captured by Australian photographer Adam Ferguson - Adam Ferguson

Ferguson travelled to the cities of Juarez and Reynosa last year and recorded the often harrowing stories of migrants staying in shelters near the border.

He was inspired to photograph the series after noticing that the media was awash with images of fraught Mexican migrants carrying their belongings, clinging to loved ones and caught in the flashes of photographers’ strobes.

While Ferguson noted the importance of this photojournalism, he also noticed a lack of photography from the Mexican side of the border, especially images that gave the migrants any measure of agency.

Mike Trow, the chair of the 2021 professional competition, said of Ferguson's work: "What Adam Ferguson has done on the US/Mexico border with migrant families and individuals is deeply compassionate and moving."

Ferguson recorded the often harrowing stories of migrants staying in shelters near the borders - Adam Ferguson
Ferguson recorded the often harrowing stories of migrants staying in shelters near the borders - Adam Ferguson
The photographs were described as "beautiful, meaningful and kind" - Adam Ferguson
The photographs were described as "beautiful, meaningful and kind" - Adam Ferguson

He added that the photographs are "beautiful, meaningful and kind". 

Scott Wilson, from the United Kingdom, was the winner of the competition's Open category, with his image of a dirt-caked wild mustang kicking up a dust storm in north-western Colorado. 

Scott Wilson was the winner of the competition's Open category - Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson was the winner of the competition's Open category - Scott Wilson
Ezra Bohm from the Netherlands won Student Photographer of the Year - Ezra Bohm
Ezra Bohm from the Netherlands won Student Photographer of the Year - Ezra Bohm
His images highlight their extraordinarily detailed customary dress - Ezra Bohm
His images highlight their extraordinarily detailed customary dress - Ezra Bohm

Ezra Bohm won 'Student Photographer of the Year' for his image of residents of close-knit communities in the Netherlands who maintain a traditional way of life, highlighting their extraordinarily detailed customary dres.

Tri Nguyen, from Vietnam, won 'Youth Photographer of the Year' for his image 'Under The Moonlight', depicting a young man basking in artificial moonlight standing against a derelict background.

Tri Nguyen, from Vietnam, won Youth Photographer of the Year - Tri Nguyen
Tri Nguyen, from Vietnam, won Youth Photographer of the Year - Tri Nguyen

The Sony World Photography Awards 2022 exhibition opens at Somerset House, London from April 13 - May 2.