“Women make it happen – capture their story” was the inspirational call Microsoft and Thomson Reuters Foundation sent out back in January this year.
It was addressed at aspiring photographers as part of this year’s Trust Women Photo Award, challenging them to immortalise the lives and stories of women who are indispensable to their communities. Some three months and nearly 500 amazing entries later, we have a winner – and what a fabulous winner, too! Indian-based photojournalist Prabir Talukdar outshone contenders from countries as diverse as Egypt, Kenya, Spain and Brazil. His well deserved prize will be an all expenses paid trip to Thomson Reuters Foundation’s professional training course on Mobile Journalism and his very own Microsoft Lumia 930.
Empowerment in pictures
Prabir’s stunning and thought-provoking photographs will be showcased at the Trust Women Conference in London in November, but before that, we have the great honour of showcasing them here at Lumia Conversations. Scroll down to see his work from the final of the competition where, along with 9 others, he was asked to illustrate women’s empowerment using a Microsoft Lumia 930. Here are his winning photos accompanied by some insights from him into the way he works and what inspires him.
“Many women in India are still miles away from a basic education, which results in inadequate knowledge about their own rights. Things are changing, but I believe that advocacy through the media is one major step forward. We need to spread awareness about the lack of literacy.”
“My mobile phone gives me portability and invisibility. I don’t always want to interrupt my subjects, so mobiles are very useful and fun to use. The Microsoft phone is more than just a phone, it’s a very powerful camera and I loved using it. I am looking forward to take more pictures with the handset.”
“There are many women in India who have amazing stories but no way to tell them. Photography brings these stories to light and gives them exposure and the credit these deserve. This is an important step in breaking social models in a male-dominated society.”
“I think this award is a great achievement for the women that I have photographed. They let me capture their amazing stories, and I just reflect their stories and their achievements. The credit goes to them.”
“I will spend an hour or even a full day with my subjects to get fully acquainted with them. And only after all that will I ask them to take a picture. I am not a stranger to my subjects by end of the day.”
Storytelling that changes the world
Here at Connects, we fully agree with what one of the judges, Carla Eid, Global Head of Advocacy at Microsoft Mobile, said in Prabir’s praise: “I was moved by Prabir’s ability to create beautiful stories through his photographs. These are stories of women’s strength, their perseverance, and their passion. Prabir brings [these women’s] reality to life for us, so that we might all learn something from their experience.”
As Carla highlighted, photography like this can be a true game-changer. By capturing the lives of women who make a difference, Prabir’s joined them in changing the world for the better… a rip-roaring, thunderous applause from all of us to a super talented, truly inspirational winner! Once you’ve taken your time marvelling at Prabir’s pictures, join us debating which of them is the best of the best. As always, we’re here for your comments.