2013 Youth Photo Competition Winners

Illustrate the negative effects that corruption has on your world
Sony Ramany
Ramany, 21, has worked for the past two years as a junior photographer for New Age, a leading English language daily in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Prior to that, he worked for the national photo agency Focus Bangla. He is studying for a diploma in photojournalism at Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka. His goal is to become a press photographer of international quality.

"Corruption has spread like cancer in our society. Wherever we go, we can hardly get our jobs done without bribery, especially in the government sector… Everybody can contribute positively to his or her society through their work to make it a better place to live. I have chosen through my profession to fight against the odds the factors that make me a victim within my own society. I chose to be a photographer because I believe a photograph can tell a story easily and can influence people who cannot even read or write."

A man shows dead fish from a lake in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Environmental groups frequently protest that industrial pollutants are discharged into the lake, in violation of regulations and of a High Court order against river pollution. 27 June 2013

Rajarshi Chowdhury
Chowdhury, 30 graduated in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology and works in the computer technology industry in Bangalore. Born in Serampore, near Kolkata, India, he began taking photographs at age 20 and photography has become his passion. He has a special interest in capturing the essence of human life. He enjoys street photography, nature and landscape photography. His work has been published in magazines and newspapers.

"Corruption is affecting every echelon of society. But the worst damage is done to those people with limited means and knowledge. Access to information and social awareness can keep this social evil under control."

A money lender in a crowded market in Bangalore. Money lenders are considered a godfather and guardian of the underdog, but the lending system has minimal transparency and the poor and illiterate risk being robbed without any rights or access to any information. 5 December 2009

The Philippines
Maria Francesca Avila
Avila, 25, lives and works in the Philippines.

"I am involved in outreach programmes that often allow me to travel into the remotest parts of the country. And it is during these travels that I encounter and witness the hardships faced by some of my countrymen and women due to a lack of support from the government."

A bridge is meant to provide fast and safe connections for people. Not so for this bridge in southern Luzon, Philippines. Public works and highway departments are allocated a budget to build a bridge. But what if the bridge is unfinished? How do people get to work and schoolchildren to their classrooms? Are they supposed to wade across the waters and pray they don’t get swept away or get sick? Do we simply turn a blind eye and let them suffer endlessly, oblivious to the needs? Photo taken early 2013

Sumon Yusuf
Yusuf, 29, graduated in English literature and he has studied photojournalism at South Asian Media Institute, Pathshala in Bangladesh. A native of Bangladesh, he has worked for the past for three and half years for BRAC, an NGO dedicated to alleviating poverty by empowering the poor. He has documented several projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Currently Yusuf is studying visual literacy at the Asian Centre for Journalism of Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippines. His work has been exhibited and published in The Daily Star, The Daily Guardian, The Daily Observer, Development Asia, F-Stop Magazine, People & Planet Diary, One World Calendar, Helvetas, Switzerland, and 9th Angkor Photo Festival in Seam Riep, Cambodia.

"As a visual documentary photographer, I’m quite interested in documenting the social impact of corruption, which could be political or economic."

Garment workers were crushed and their dead bodies trapped in debris after the eight-story Rana Plaza factory building collapsed in Savar, Bangladesh. More than 1,100 people were killed and 2,500 injured in the worst disaster to hit Bangladesh’s fast‐growing and politically powerful garment industry. For those attempting to improve conditions for workers who are paid as little as US$38 a month, it is a grim reminder that corporate social responsibility programmes are failing to deliver on lofty promises. 25 April 2013

George Karugu Maina
Maina, 19, was born into a family of six and lives in Nairobi. He is a first-year student in Architectural Studies at the University of Nairobi. Maina earns money from freelance photography. Maina uses his camera to reveal how those in power treat their citizens.

Every month, residents of Ongata‐Rongai, Rift Valley Province, in Kenya pay the local town council approximately 300 Kenyan shillings (US$3.37) for garbage collections services, only to step out of their homes in the small township to find the garbage dumped in the heart of the town. Where do the large sums of money go?

A.M. Ahad
Ahad, born in 1989, is a photojournalist for the Associated Press, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He graduated in mass communication and Journalism from Stamford University, Bangladesh, and was a staff photographer for DrikNEWS and for Daily Sun before joining the news agency. Recently he completed post-graduate work in photojournalism on a scholarship at the Asian Center for Journalism at Ateneo De Manila University, Philippines. Ahad’s work has been featured worldwide, including Angkor photo festival in Cambodia, The Charlotte Observer Gallery, United States; Guardian Gallery, London; Grand Atrium of Dubai Mall, Dubai; and the Indonesian Art Institute. His work has also been published in TIME.com, The New York Times, The Guardian, International Herald Tribune, The Observer Magazine, Courier International, Asian GEO, Saudi Aramaco World, Himal Southasian, I Care, New Age, and Forum Magazine of Daily Star. He has received awards in environmental photography and national photo competitions awards.

Bangladeshi people raise their hands against corruption at a commitment programme in Dhaka, Bangladesh, pledging to combat corruption. 27 September 2012

Jonas Kako
Kako, 21, was born in northern Germany and started taking photos as a little boy while on holiday with his family. Since then he has traveled around the world and always carries his camera with him. In 2010. Kako joined a local Amnesty International group. Learning about political injustice and corruption, he became more and more interested in social documentary photography. At the end of 2012, he journeyed for three months to northern India, where he said he experienced a whole new beautiful, but at the same time corrupt and hard, world. In October this year, Kako will begin studying documentary photography at the FH Hannover, Germany.

"My camera has always been with me. In 2010 I joined a local Amnesty International group, learning about political injustice and corruption. That’s when I got more and more interested in social documentary photography."

In 1984 in Bhopal, India, one of the largest industrial disasters occurred. Almost 30 years after the explosion at the Union Carbide chemical plant, people still suffer the consequences. Groundwater is contaminated with chemicals causing severe mental and physical damage to children before they are born. Eight people have received minimal sentences, while victims receive little state support. The former manager of Union Carbide spends his retirement in Long Island, New York. This photo shows a Bhopal mother holding her disabled child at the Chingari Rehabilitation Centre, Bhopal. 10 January 2013

United Kingdom
Lee Harper
Harper, 26, is a freelance photographer who graduated with a BA Honours in documentary photography from the University of Wales, Newport, in the United Kingdom. He has a keen interest in human rights and has travelled around Europe, the Middle East and Asia. His projects include Albanian sectarianism, exiled journalists around Europe and the conflict in Syria. Exposing corruption through his photographs is an important part of documenting the voiceless.

"With photography you hope to try to educate people through your images and explain what is happening in the world."

The police in the United Kingdom are not seen as transparent and people do not feel they can trust them, due to corruption that is rife in the force. Riots and anarchy have broken out in many parts of the UK as people rebel against the government, the banks and the police for not serving the community’s interest. The police are making society crack. Cardiff, Wales, March 2012

Mehman Huseynov
Huseynov, 23, is a student and works as a photo and video reporter in Azerbaijan. He posts his work on the Internet and is active in human rights and freedom of expression issues. He is a studying at the Azerbaijan State Economic University.

"I shoot violations of the law with my camera and spread them through social networks, thus struggling for a democratic society in my country."

In Azerbaijan, freedom of expression is vigorously suppressed. This photo shows what a person who is demanding his or her rights faces in my country: police brutality and harassment. The police forbid people from voicing their opinions or from seeing reality. This shows the consequences a protester faced at a gathering in the centre of Baku organized by the opposition parties in March 2012.

Soham Gupta
Gupta, born in 1988, is a documentary photographer based in Kolkata. He grew up amidst the leftist political and literary culture of Bengal and began taking photographs in his teens. Gupta is drawn to the photographs of Don McCullin, Anders Petersen, Christer Strömholm and Jim Goldberg; and the melancholy darkness of painters such as Georges de La tour, Gherardo della Notte and others of the 17th century. He holds a diploma in photojournalism from Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. He has exhibited in Paris and in Kolkata, and his photographs were included in Max Ström’s book "A DAY IN THE WORLD." In 2013, he was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass. When not photographing, he enjoys nostalgia, writing and talking about the modern history of India and digging into a delicious Italian buffet. Jane Goodall is his hero and if not a photographer, Gupta probably would have been a zoo-keeper.

Leather scraps from nearby tanneries are illegally burnt in a furnace at the Dhapa dump in West Bengal in an attempt to produce fertilizers, adding to Calcutta's pollution problem. 25 February 2013

The more than 500 digital photos submitted were judged using the following criteria:

  • Impact – compelling subject matter and caption
  • Artistic interpretation – composition, style
  • Technical skills – focus, colour, use of light

The views expressed in the photographs and the essays for this Transparency International competition are those of the contestants and do not necessarily represent the views of Thomson Reuters Foundation and Transparency International.