There was an awards night in London last night which unfortunetly I couldn’t go to because I was on shift but it would have been great to be there.
If you look at the Mongolia link on this blog you can see how the image came about earlier this January and below is an extract from the AOP’s press release:-
“The judges were fascinated by the story behind Richard’s image and commented:
“For me, this ticks all the boxes – emotive subject, great composition and a strong image. It really leaves an impression.”
Deborah Brown (Picture Director) – Grazia Magazine
“Like an urban, nature shot that replaces animals with people – they look like human moles coming up for air. I love what appears to be the spontaneity of this image. And for me, it completely sums up the competition.”
Olivia Howitt (Picture Desk) – Radio Times”
Munkhbat and Altangeret (both 15) have lived in this manhole together for over three years under the streets of Ulaanbaatar, the coldest capital city in the world. Spending time with them I witnessed what a tough, lonely and violent existence they have to endure in temperatures reaching -40c. They were forced into this situation by divorced and deceased parents but they still hope and strive for a better future. For me this image encapsulates the extremely difficult conditions these boys live in whilst life continues around them, oblivious and indifferent to their plight.”
This was a very personal project for me so I’m happy that it’s been recognised by a wider audience and hopefully through this competition more people will have an understanding of what many children are experiencing in Mongolia.
If you are interested in this subject, please have a look at this aid agency in Ulaan Baatar who I met and who are doing a great job trying to help people just like Munkhbat and Altangeret. The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation.