The young Venezuelan photographer Alejandro Cegarra has won this year’s Ian Parry Scholarship with his portfolio ‘The Tower of David’.
This is the 25th year of the Scholarship which was established in the name of Ian Parry, a talented and well-respected 24-year old photojournalist who was tragically killed in a plane crash while on assignment for The Sunday Times in December 1989, covering the downfall of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Aidan Sullivan, who was then picture editor of the Sunday Times, along with Ian’s family and friends, established the Ian Parry Scholarship in order to create a positive legacy from such a tragic death and each year the Scholarship holds an international photographic competition for young photographers who are either attending a full-time photographic course or are under 24.
Alejandro Cegarra’s winning portfolio ‘The Tower of David’ graphically illustrates the realism, the humour and the optimism of life in the “world’s tallest squat” – the 195 metre high former Centro Financiero Confinanzas in downtown Caracas which is now home to more than 2500 people. Even in such circumstances children study, play, ride bikes and play football and basketball. Other portfolios on Alejandro’s website illustrate the reality of life in Venezuela today and the talent which he has as a photographer. This prize will enable him to become known internationally.
“This year sees the 25th anniversary of Ian’s death, I, and all those that new him, still miss him very much, but know that he would be so proud of this legacy and that young aspiring photojournalists were being given a chance to follow his dream”. Adrian Sullivan, Founder and Director of IPS.
“Congratulations to Alejandro on winning the Ian Parry. His project documenting the people living illegally in the Tower of David skyscraper in downtown Caracas are in the finest photographic tradition of the scholarship”, Tom Stoddart, Trustes and Judge.
Photographer Rahul Talukder won Highly Commended, Mario Wezel won Commended, Md Shahnewaz Khan received an Honourable Mention and Hosam Katan a special award. Their portfolios can be seen on the Scholarship website.
The winning portfolios document the reality in which many communities live, but perhaps with a glimmer of hope for a better future.
An exhibition of the winners from the last 25 years is currently on at the Visa pour L’Image in Perpignan, France.