LONDON, United Kingdom—The Sony 2017 World Photography Awards on February 28 revealed that Yulia Grigoryants of Armenia is on the shortlist to win for one of the competition’s categories. Her photography highlights life in Gyumri after the 1988 earthquake, leaving Armenia’s second largest city into devastation.
Grigoryants’ photographic series is entitled “Inhabitants of the Empty.”
Among the ten categories under the Professional Photography competition, Grigoryants will be judged under the “Daily Life” category, alongside competitors from Italy, Denmark, Iceland, Romania, United Kingdom, Egypt, and Germany.
Photographers have submitted 227,596 images to the Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus competitions, spotlighting the medium of photography. Forty competitors from around the globe have been chosen for consideration for the title in their respective categories—only four will win.
“The Sony World Photography Awards’ shortlist represents the world’s finest contemporary photography captured over the last year, and displays a huge diversity of extraordinary images in terms of genres, styles and subject matter,” read a press statement by the WPO. “Forty-nine countries are represented on the shortlist, reinforcing the awards’ international appeal and unique ability to present the greatest images taken by photographers from all corners of the world on a truly global scale.”
The winner will be announced on April 20 in London, United Kingdom at the Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr Exhibition.
Grigoryants’ photo series description, provided by the World Photography Organisation, can be read below.
“In 1988, a 7.0 Richter-scale earthquake struck northern Armenia. The quake killed at least 25,000 people in the region. Thousands more were maimed and hundreds of thousands left homeless. Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city bore much of the damage. Large-scale war by the early 1990s, the collapse of the Soviet Union, an energy shortage, and a blockade that left landlocked Armenia with just two open borders contributed to exacerbating the region’s already prevalent social and economic problems. A quarter of a century later, Gyumri has the country’s highest poverty rate at 47.7%. The city has lost nearly half of its population since 1988, due in part to the migration of the labor force. A few thousand families are still living in makeshift shelters, waiting for help. Many of them are not eligible for new housing, since they are not considered to be direct victims of the earthquake. Twenty-five years later, they are still waiting for urgently needed improvements to their dwellings. During the Soviet era, these huge twin dormitory buildings on the outskirts of Gyumri accommodated around 60 families each. Today there are just four families living here, among decaying walls and corridors.”