Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Coleg Sir Gar students celebrate Amnesty International UK photography awards

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A-LEVEL student Reece McCreadie is celebrating after being crowned Amnesty International UK’s Young Human Rights Photographer of the Year.

And classmate Rae Kinzett came in close as runner-up.

The competition celebrates young people with a talent for capturing images that arouse reaction or contemplation, and among its judging panel was award-winning American photo journalist, Sharon Jensen.

Reece and Rae, who are both studying A Level photography, attended a prestigious ceremony in central London to celebrate their awards.

With 2,700 entries, it is unique for one organisation’s students to be presented with two top awards.

Reece said: “I feel overwhelmed winning such a prestigious award, but I’m happy that my work has opened some people’s eyes to human rights issues, especially freedom of expression.”

His photograph represents globally suppressed voices and opinions.

“The subject, ambiguous and unidentifiable, suggests pain and torture,” he said.

“Droplets of sweat emerge from their pale, fragile bodies through their silenced voices and the darkness and mystery of the background holds the subject prisoner.”

What comes across in much of Reece’s work is his feelings that to deny people a voice is to deny them an identity.

Classmate Rae produced photographic images relating to her own experience with gender and identity.

She said: “There is still much pain and homophobia, as well as transphobia, all over the world, so I wanted to show this in a reputable way but also make it a personal image.

“I know that for me and other individuals, it is still an uphill struggle to gain both acceptance and rights, so overall I hope my photography helps contribute to the discussion and encourages young people to speak out against the harassment that some people still experience.”

Coleg Sir Gâr A Level photography lecturer, Mikaela Toczek, spoke of her pride in the two students.

“These results are a testament to their dedication, skills and maturity, and I hope it will encourage other young people to speak out about human rights issues through the medium of photography,” she said.

Coleg Sir Gar students celebrate Amnesty International UK photography awards

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