The Ian Parry Scholarship 2020 opens for entries

A man exits a dark warehouse as sunlight streams through the broken windows. Photo by Jędrzej Nowicki
The Ian Parry Scholarship 2019 Canon Award for Potential went to Jędrzej Nowicki, a photojournalist from Poland, for his series depicting refugees being evicted from warehouses in Serbia. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV) with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens (now succeeded by the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM) at 27mm, 1/800 sec, f/5.6 and ISO2500. © Jędrzej Nowicki

The 2020 Ian Parry Scholarship, an annual contest that recognises emerging talent in the field of photojournalism, is open for entries.

Now in its 30th year, the scholarship was created to celebrate the life and work of Ian Parry, a 24-year-old photojournalist who died in 1989 while covering the Romanian revolution for The Sunday Times. The newspaper's then picture editor, Aidan Sullivan, and Ian's friends and family, established the scholarship in his memory. It has provided a vital platform for young photographers to get a foothold in the industry ever since.

The scholarship is divided into two categories, the Sunday Times Award for Achievement and the Canon Award for Potential, and is open to photographers under the age of 24, or those on a full-time photography course. Entrants need to submit a portfolio of 12 images with extended captions, along with a proposal for a project they would go on to shoot if they won the scholarship.

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The winners are each awarded $3,500 to help them complete their chosen project, and Canon photographic equipment is available for them to borrow. They also have the opportunity to take part in the Transmissions Programme at the Visa pour l'Image international festival of photojournalism in Perpignan, France, and their images will appear in The Sunday Times Magazine in the UK.

The winner of the Canon Award for Potential will receive a year-long personal mentorship with acclaimed photojournalist Jon Jones. Winner of two World Press Photo Awards, Jon has documented conflict all around the world and he is currently Head of Photography at Tortoise Media. The winner of the Sunday Times Award for Achievement will be accepted into the final list of nominees for World Press Photo's Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam. Anyone who enters the 2020 scholarship will be eligible to take part in a portfolio review day in London alongside industry experts.

A man looks through a handheld telescope in the mountains of Myanmar. A small dog stands on rocks next to him. Photo by Hkun Lat
Hkun Lat, a documentary photographer from Myanmar, was Highly Commended in 2019. His project, The Peace House, documents the members of the Kachin rebels and the Myanmar military who have taken a break from fighting to build a hut together on the frontline. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV) with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 35mm, 1/500 sec, f/11 and ISO500. © Hkun Lat

Polish photojournalist Jędrzej Nowicki won the 2019 Canon Award for Potential for his project examining the eviction of refugees from warehouses in Belgrade, Serbia. The award enabled Jędrzej to fund another project following the lives of members of the transgender community in Poland, and he was delighted to be mentored by Norwegian photojournalist and Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen.

"It was an incredible moment for me," he says. "It was the first time anyone noticed me internationally and my first real peek into the world of 'big photography'. To be given the opportunity to work with Jonas Bendiksen, an outstanding photographer and a role model of mine, was amazing. The Ian Parry Scholarship is much more than just a prize, it is a chance to become part of an amazing family."

Members of the Church of the Last Testament stand in white robes in front of snow-covered trees. Photo by Jonas Bendiksen

Inside an isolated community in Siberia

Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen on the challenges and rewards of documenting a remote religious group.

Moscow-based Nanna Heitmann, winner of the 2019 Sunday Times Award for Achievement, used her prize money to continue working on her Hiding from Baba Yaga project. Named after a character from Russian folklore, the project documents the everyday life of some of the world's most isolated communities along Siberia's Yenisei River.

Nanna says winning the prize meant a great deal to her. "It's a beautiful feeling knowing there are people who support you, who you can talk to and ask for advice," she says. "I really recommend it to any young photographer."

The awards are judged by a host of leading figures, including patron Sir Don McCullin. This year's guest judge will be Fiona Rogers, director of photography and operations at Webber Represents and advisor to the Royal Photographic Society. She has judged major photographic competitions and recently authored a book celebrating contemporary women photographers.

To enter the Ian Parry Scholarship 2020, visit before 5 July 2020.

Written by Tamzin Wilks

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