18 January 2013
Last updated at 14:42
A project by Alessandro Penso on young immigrants in Greece has won this year's prestigious Terry O'Neill photography award. Youth Denied documents the experiences of adolescents and young adults from the Middle East and Central Asia who have travelled to Europe in the hope of a better life.
The migrants populate abandoned industrial areas that surround the port of Patras, the "'urban holes" of Athens and the disused train station in the centre of Corinth.
A group of about 10 Afghans between 14 and 18 are also in a dilapidated bathing establishment in Patras. “We came to Patras because we want to leave Greece,” says Sakir, a 17-year-old Afghan.
Every day, Sakir and his friends try to illegally get onto trucks that board boats for Italy. “I managed to get to Italy once, but the police found me in Ancona and sent me back” says Sakir. “I was not allowed to speak with anyone who understood me!”
“In February 2012 the group was attacked by three locals. Mostafa El Mouzadhir was hit by a car and sustained multiple injuries,” explains Penso. “When I went to see him in hospital he had a police form which asked him to leave the country within 15 days because he was there illegally."
Terry O’Neill praised Alessandro Penso as a worthy winner: “Every year the entries get more difficult to judge. It never ceases to surprise me just how much young talent there is out there and how much they are pushing the envelope of photography. Every year the winners and shortlisted photographers go on to major careers working for the world's most acclaimed magazines. Alessandro no doubt will be filling the pages of them too.”
Second place went to Wendy Sacks for her series Immersed in Living Water. “While working as a paediatric emergency physician, I carried a camera to document ill patients. These images were used for teaching and documentation,” explains Sacks.
Sacks had to leave medicine due to severe arthritis but returned to photography initially documenting her own children.
“Water has become my medium of choice by chance. It has become a medium for physical and emotional healing. Through the lens, I remembered my world of medicine; I remembered the children who were sick and had died in my care, the children whom I barely had time to mourn.”
Marc Wilson was awarded third prize for his project Last Stand. Photographed between 2010 and 2012 and made up of more than 40 images, the project documents the remnants of war in the 20th Century in the UK and northern Europe.
"These manmade objects and zones of defence now sit silently in the landscape, imbued with the history of our recent past. Some remain proud and strong, some are gently decaying. Many now lie prone beneath the cliffs where they once stood." says Wilson.
An exhibition of the Terry O’Neill TAG Award is at The Strand Gallery in London until 31 January 2013.