Iranian photojournalist Asghar Khamseh has won this year's coveted $25,000 L’Iris d’Or Photographer of the Year award at the Sony World Photography Awards, coming ahead of 230,103 entries.
The winning work, Fire of Hatred, is a powerful portrait series of victims of acid attack, a crime associated with social stigma and blame as well as physical and psychological damage. The series, created by Tehran native Khamseh for the Mehr News Agency, highlights the increased number of attacks in Iran and the lack of medical, financial or counseling support available through government or NGO channels.
“Portraits of disfigurement resulting from social violence are undoubtedly a hard-hitting subject, and one which the longstanding tradition of documentary photography does not shy away from," says documentary jury chair Dominique Green in a statement. "The jury were united in their admiration of this work and the light it shed on the tragic practice it exposes.”
On the heels of a long shortlist revealed in February, Amélie Labourdette placed first in the Architecture category; Kirstin Schmitt for Candid; Alberto Alicata for Staged; and Francesco Amorosino for Still Life. Documentary winners include Jetmir Idrizi for Campaign; Asghar Khamseh for Contemporary Issues; Kevin Frayer for Environment and People; and Angelos Tzortzinis, TIME's Wire Photographer of 2015, for Current Affairs. All winners of the night received the latest Sony digital imaging equipment.
All winners and shortlisted works will be exhibited at Somerset House in London from April 22 to May 8, 2016.