The Fundación Esperanza Pertusa convenes the Fourth Edition of the Esperanza Pertusa International Photography Arward. The goal of this Prize is to recognise and disseminate the work of professional or amateur photographers inspiring positive social transformation by addressing the poverty and social exclusion experienced by millions of human beings across the world.

They say that to SEE is all we need to do to transform reality. The aim of this Prize is to recognise the power of the gaze for social transformation. Hence, this Prize values the artistic dimension, beauty and the ability to summon the gaze of the spectator.

Poverty and beauty: an apparent contradiction in terms which only the power of art can wholly express.

Esperanza Navarro-Pertusa

Patron of the Fundación Esperanza Pertusa

Winner Project in the I Edition of the Esperanza Pertusa Photography Competition

«Las habitantes»

Photographer: Ana Palacios 

“Inhabit”: to live habitually in a given area or place.

Las Habitantes depicts a vital journey taken simultaneously by girls in different parts of the world: Colombia, India, Madagascar… the planet interpreted as a single border-less space, a common home for everyone.

The protagonists invite the photographer to gaze deeply into their private worlds, her photographs depicting a journey through stories of women’s collective development.

All the girls are currently swimming against the tide. They are tackling the double challenge of being girls and becoming women in countries where women’s rights are all too often questioned.

The images trace the personal and universal map followed by each girl toward adult life: moments of introspection, education, play, communal belonging, dreams… The girls cease to be anonymous; they look back at us and challenge the observer to reflect.

Las Habitantes depicts complex realities opening the door to a future where women, regardless of their place of origin, become increasingly strong and prominent as they fight to inhabit their deserved place in society and on the planet.

** Las Habitantes is a photographic project encompassing 10 years’ work photographing girls in underdevelopment contexts on three continents, which documents their daily fight to take their place in the world under the umbrella of projects of different NGOs promoting the rights of girls.

Winner Project in the II Edition of the Esperanza Pertusa Photography Competition

«Shred the patriarchy»

Photographer: Chantal Pinzi

The project Shred the Patriarchy focuses on the stories of some Moroccan women who practice skateboarding despite the hard social and family repercussions that are forced to suffer for this choice not yet accepted within the moroccan society.

The international reputation of Morocco as a reformist and progressive country

it is still contradictory when it comes to women which continue to face significant obstacles. Their social, economic and political participation, as well as in the sport’s sphere is still minimized or completely denied.

Skateboarding is no exception. If you are a woman you should not practice it.

I found it quite important to discover the voices of those few women who decided to break the unsaid rules and to shred around despite the judgments and punishments they receive because of their rebel spirits transforming skateboarding in a form of resistance to patriarchy.

They can no longer accept being what society wants women to be: creatures of weakness.

I could document how the skate subculture can be a tool to promote empowerment and social inclusion especially for girls who have so few opportunities to express themselves and communicate freely.

Many of these women were raised with conservative parents. The most important thing was to become a good muslim, the rest was not important.

Their dreams and their wills, particularly that of skating, have been oppressed by a system that fails to understand the benefits and the importance of those values as acceptance, empathy and unity shared within the skate community

In a skatepark, girls can safely play at the top of their lungs and children of different backgrounds can play together by creating ties that transcend differences in color, religion and social background.

But the stereotypes that have made skateboarding a domain of gender require these women to make a radical choice between their traditions and the subculture forcing them to abandon the walls of their homes for living their own chosen life chosen. The women I met and their stories are brave examples of how an apparently simple object, a piece of wood with wheels, enables them to realize and confirm their identities by giving them the ability to stand up every time they fall in life just like they do when they fall off a skateboard.

Winner Project in the III Edition of the Esperanza Pertusa Photography Competition

«Hijacked Education»

Photographer: Diego Ibarra Sánchez

War does not end with the final sound of a bullet, an empty shell on the ground, or the raising of a flag. The open wounds of war write in blood the future of millions of children, and its effects reverberate in time. The increasing attack on schools, the militarization of children, the use of schools by armed actors, and exile set a lost generation at risk. Currently, around 264 million children worldwide do not have the opportunity to enter or complete school due to poverty, discrimination, armed conflict, emergencies, and the effects of climate change.

Hijacked Education is a photographic project where the author rocks between the boundaries of photojournalism and art to create a memory. Starting in 2012, it documents attacks on education and their consequences in countries such as Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Nagorno Karabakh, Iraq, Lebanon, Ukraine, and Colombia.

The first photograph is a portrait of 16-year-old Daria Kechenovska inside her destroyed school. Lyceum #25 in Zhytomyr was thoroughly ruined on the morning of March 4 by a missile attack on the school. She had studied here for the past 11 years. «I want to be a soldier to defend my country.» September 29, 2022, Zhytomyr, Ukraine.

In the second photo, we can see the detail of a school destroyed by the Islamic State in northern Syria, Al Hasaka. Schools have become a prime target of the Islamic State, wiping out years of investment in education with the stroke of a pen. Schools are used as bases for armed actors, attacked, and children are recruited to fight. April 13, 2016. Al Hasaka, Northern Syria.

The last photograph is a portrait of Yousef, 12, inside his former high school in Jummuria. The school was severely damaged by shelling during the war in Mosul. Yousef dreams of becoming a policeman and continuing his studies.» Mosul, Iraq. March 6, 2022.