Abbie Trayler-Cruz also finds a persons side of geopolitical conflict in her own second-prize-winning picture of an unnamed youthful lady fleeing Mosul. Together with her heavy eyes and deep sadness, she’s Botticelli’s Madonna from the Pomegranate, looking troubled with the streaked window from the bus transporting her from battleground to refugee camp. Less visible societal shifts are hinted at in Maija Tammi’s eerie One of these Is really a Human, a portrait of Erica: an attractive and wholly convincing female robot. Netting Tammi third prize, Erica lies in soft light having a knowing gaze – an obvious face for developments in Artificial Intelligence already insinuating themselves into many regions of contemporary existence.
César Dezfuli’s portrait of Amadou Sumaila – a youthful man saved in the ocean from the coast of Libya – scooped 2010 top prize. A effective indication from the human tragedy unfolding within the Mediterranean, obviously, but additionally a picture of human emotion beyond the plethora of quotidian experience. Presented with a blazing sky and apparently infinite sea, one prominent rib visible over the neckline of his T-Shirt, Sumaila’s expression suggests at the same time trauma, fear and defiance. Like a face-on vision of emotional horror, it recalls Don McCullin’s 1968 Shellshocked US Marine, Hue, Vietnam.