The Fundación Esperanza Pertusa convenes the III Edition of the “Fundación Esperanza Pertusa International Photography Competition”. The goal is to reward 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.

Knowing the reality of the situation is the first step to raising awareness and performing actions, however small, which may lead to transformation. This photography competition is intended to reward and incentivise those who familiarise us with that reality through their work, capturing the viewer with the power of the gaze, encouraging us to learn more about the subject, and ultimately inviting us to be part of the force for social transformation.

But this prize is also intended to recognise the capacity of photography to reveal the beauty of human beings, whatever their circumstances.

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.