In the first edition, in 2017, we chose to honour Reza Deghati, a photographer with an exceptional career, full of outstanding works, and with incredible achievements in the field of Human Rights.
Reza Deghati, among many things, is a philanthropist, idealist, humanist, and has become a renowned photojournalist who, over the last three decades, has worked all over the world. His missions have taken him to more than a hundred countries as a witness to conflicts and human disasters. His work is featured in international media (National Geographic, Time Magazine, Stern, Newsweek, El País, Paris Match, Geo…), as well as a series of books, exhibitions and documentaries.
Together with his work as a photographer, Reza has been a committed volunteer since 1983 to train young people and women from societies in conflict, to help them fight for a better world. In 2001, he founded Ainaworld in Afghanistan, an NGO for the younger generation that trains populations in information and communication through the development of educational tools and adapted media. While continuing his reporting for the international press, Reza continued to hold workshops on the language of images through his association Reza Visual Academy. He works with refugees, young people in Europe and different megacities around the world.
Author of thirty books, and winner of many awards throughout his career, Reza has been a Fellow (2006-2012) and Explorer of the National Geographic Society since 2013, and Senior Fellow of the Ashoka Foundation. World Press Photo has recognised his work; he has also received the Infinity Award from the International Photography Centre, the Lucy Award, an honorary medal from the University of Missouri, and the Honorary Doctorate of the American University of Paris. France has also named him Knight of the National Order of Merit.
This is just a summary of what Reza represents in the world of photography. And we say short because, with a career of more than 30 years, there are countless actions, stories and projects that have been associated in favour of a more peaceful and tolerant world.