Slideshow: Agora’s #Photojournalism2020 winner and finalists

Agora, a free-to-use photography app, received 12,321 submissions for its #Photojournalism2020 competition from amateur and professional photographers all over the world. Rene Bernal’s (@renebernal) ‘Young guns,’ a photo depicting a group of Filipino children playing with toy guns they discovered atop a dumpsite, received the most votes and was declared the winner. A $1,000 cash prize was awarded to Bernal.

2019 was a pivotal year for political protests, uprisings, and climate change awareness. This inspired the team at Agora to launch its very first photojournalism contest. ‘People who manage to be in the right place at the right time can become potential journalists for all Humanity. Through #Photojournalism2020, we aim to discover the best informative images by people worldwide. Everyone owns a camera, and can create interesting content,’ said Octavi Royo, Agora’s CEO and Co-Founder.

It was difficult to choose 14 other photos to feature in this article as they are all compelling. All Top 50 #Photojournalism photos can be viewed here or in the video, above. Agora currently has 6 contests running on its app where users can win a $1,000 cash prize. The title of the photo followed by the Agora username and country of origin is featured here. All captions are the photographer’s own words.

#Photojournalism2020 Winner: ‘Young guns’ by @renebernal (Philippines)

About this photo: Self-taught filipino photographer @renebernal shot this staggering photo in a dumpster in San Dionisio, a district located in the southern part of Metro Manila. His photo collected the most votes on the Agora app and won him a $1,000 cash prize.

In Rene’s own words: “Everywhere in the world, children are increasingly exposed to guns, whether real ones or just toys, causing much worry to parents and to the community in general. I was amazed to see these children who were playing in a dumpsite located right in the middle of Paranaque City. They were totally oblivious of the hazards of their recreation. Indeed, a poignant reminder of how these children are able to find ways to enjoy their childhood, even in the most distressing environments.

I feel so lucky and happy to have won this contest as I would like to use this prize money towards my daughters’ education, and will donate part of it to the less fortunate children living in the slums. Discovering Agora gave me a chance to showcase my art and hopefully inspire others. I am very grateful for Agora that enables us to hear other people’s stories through photos.”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘Revolting Tears’ by @notsotoya (Lebanon)

About this photo: “What’s happening now in Lebanon is necessary to document since our TV stations are biased and do not portray the reality of the people in the streets. This is why I took personal initiative to always be on the streets photo documenting to portray the closest image to reality. Warlords are now controlling the fate of Lebanese citizens.

From 29 years till now the country has been economically deteriorating under the absence of the Lebanese government. The woman in the picture is the embodiment of our economy and her tears shed as she witnessed the revolt that the people took to the streets in hope of a better country,” explains @notsotoya.

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘Hoisting’ by @øystein (Norway)

About this photo: “This is a normal day at work for the Norwegian search and rescue services. Training situation hoisting over the Norwegian mountains. Often the preferred way of access when the helicopter can’t land. This was a nice day, but that’s not the case everyday. I was hoisted down with my kit on a nearby ridge before the rescue swimmer started his training procedure. I had to crawl in deep snow to get the right angle of light for this scene.”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘Homeless’ by @pranab_basak (India)

About this photo: “A homeless mother was standing on the ruins of her dwelling place and looking for a new destiny. During the remapping of tribal bordering, many buildings were demolished by local administration. Thus, a large number of tribal people became homeless.”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘Protestas 2017’ by @regulogomez (Venezuela)

About this photo: “During the 2017 protests in Venezuela, I worked as a photojournalist because that was what I could do: documenting the situation so that people would know about it. This photo was taken while a Bolivarian National Police headquarters was burning nearby.”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘Devotees return home’ by @sakter (Bangladesh)

About this photo: “I took this shot at Dhaka’s airport railway station during Biswa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of (the) Muslim community after Hajj. Every compartment of the train along with engine was overloaded!”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘Corazón de fuego’ by @donaldobarros (Venezuela)

About this photo: “It was a dangerous scene. Venezuela was in a difficult and aggressive situation. A lot of people died in those protests. Journalists were targeted all the time, not easy. I did that job for my country. I am an artist, but I stopped my art to give my best as a journalist to Venezuela and the world.”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ’11S’ by @oscar_penelo (Spain)

About this photo: “This protest march was set against the imprisonment of the pro-independence politicians. It shows a massive march demanding the reconstruction of a country with the Sagrada família in the background, one of the symbols of Barcelona and Catalonia, under construction.”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘World champions day’ by @pascalpbz (France)

About this photo: “This picture was taken in Dieppe, moments after the football World Cup final of France vs Croatia. It was madness! The crowd invaded the streets all evening and all night. It was a big party that united all the French people. There was no difference to be seen between anyone, it was beautiful to see. Everyone wanted to be photographed, it was amazing.”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘Fire At Chawkbazar Dhaka’ by @tanveer.rohan (Bangladesh)

About this photo: “More than 70 people have died in this massive fire that occurred in buildings being used to store chemicals, and quickly expanded to nearby buildings in the densely packed historic district of the city. According to the Fire Service control room, 37 units from 31 stations were working all night to control the fire in the buildings. Many people hide in the small shops, but got stuck when fire spread rapidly. This fire incident was one of the most tragic incident in Bangladesh’s history.”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘Protesta vecinal en contra de los residuos mineros en terrenos cercanos a sus casas’ by @kopernic (Spain)

About this photo: “The people in the photo are environmentalists and families that live nearby the mining heap lands. I wanted to express the pain of these people through a staged photo. The population where they live is surrounded by mining sediments, resulting in high blood lead levels.”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘The biggest eruption of Mt. Sinabung, December 2013’ by @kriswantoginting (Indonesia)

About this photo: “To this day, the status of Mount Sinabung is still the same: this volcano hasn’t stopped erupting since 2013. By sharing this photo, I would like to convey a message that we humans should have been taking care of nature before it got angry.”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘Kerbelâ1’ by @bekiryesiltas (Turkey)

About this photo: “During the month of Muharram, elaborate public processions are performed in commemoration of the Battle of Karbala. Thousands of people participate in these commemorations in different provinces and the suffering of the people is as fresh as the first day.”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘The Graves of 20 Nameless Corpses’ by @barcerumkabu (Indonesia)

About this photo: “This deadly flash flooding that hit Sentani, Papua, killed more than 100 people, with more than 8,000 families who had to evacuate the zone.”

#Photojournalism2020 Top 50 Finalist: ‘Grève générale’ by @mikirabat.photo (France)

About this photo: “Paris, 5th December 2019: the general strike brings the french protesters to the streets. Here’s the activist group ‘Black Block’ advancing through the flames.”

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