Mustafah Abdulaziz (USA), First prize winner


Syngenta Photography Award aims to draw attention on pressing social and environmental issues, stimulating dialogue around a number of global challenges. The competition invited both professional and amateur photographers, under two separate categories, to share their views on the theme of Scarcity–Waste and examine one of the greatest challenges facing a world with increasingly limited resources.

Rasel Chowdhury (Bangladesh), Second prize winner

The curatorial rationale for Scarcity Waste states:

“In a world of limited resources, scarcity and waste have become fundamental social, political and environmental issues of our time. In the past 50 years, the world’s demand for natural resources has doubled. If we continue to use resources and generate waste at the current rate, by 2030 we will need the equivalent of two planets. But we only have one. Something needs to change.”

Benedikt Partenheimer (Germany), First prize winner, open competition.

I really liked their approach and the vision they put forth:

“The increasing strain mankind places on land, water and energy resources to grow food, while simultaneously supporting booming urban populations, is unprecedented. Our future depends on finding solutions to these challenges. At Syngenta, we don’t have all of the answers. Instead, we must work together with our partners and stakeholders to find solutions.”

Camille Michel (France), Second prize winner, open competition.


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It’s true that an image speaks more than a thousand words. No matter how you put some global challenges in words, they will never be so striking as these images.

“Photography has the capacity to transcend language barriers and communicate directly to people around the world, regardless of their culture and perceptions.”

Image via Inhabitat.

Lasse Bak Mejlvang, ‘Smokey Mountain,’ Manila, 2013

Toby Smith, ‘Yiwu Christmas Factory,’ Yiwu, China, 2014

Michael Hall, ‘Mountain of Plastic,’ China, 2012

Sudipto Das, ‘Illegal Sand Mining,’ West Bengal, India, 2010

Souvid Datta, ‘Shuogang Factory,’ Beijing, China, 2014

Lasse Bak Mejlvang, ‘Smokey Mountain 10,’ Manila, 2012