Photo by Rory Doyle
The winner of the 2019 Zeiss World Photography Awards has been announced. Congratulations to Rory Doyle for his project “Delta Hill Riders,” following Afro-American cowboys and cowgirls across the Mississippi Delta.
Doyle has been photographing African American cowboys since 2017 in an effort to bring more awareness to this vastly under-represented perspective. After the American Civil War, approximately one in four cowboys was African-American, but the white John Wayne stereotype was prevalent, and to a degree, remains so today. Doyle’s series breaks these stereotypes, with a appreciative warmth and evident connection with his subjects. (Read more about Doyle’s project in an interview with Zeiss here.)
Doyle wins 12,000 Euros in Zeiss lenses and 3000 Euros towards travel costs for a future photography project. His series will also be exhibited in London from April 18th to May 6th as part of the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, held at Somerset House.
There were six series shortlisted for the competition, which had the selected theme “Seeing Beyond” this year. Selections from these series will also be exhibited in London. The series are:
“Land of Ibeji,” by Benedicte Kurzen & Sanne De Wilde, a collaborative project that explores twinhood, particularly in a region called Yoruba-land in south-west Nigeria, which has ten times as many twin births as any other region in the world.
“‘Like’ and ‘Companionship’, there is no distinction” by Gangfeng Zhou, a series which explores silicone dolls and the culture surrounding them in China.
This is the fourth year for the Zeiss Photography Awards, a collaboration between Zeiss and the World Photography Organization. This year’s jury was made up of artist, photographer, and filmmaker Simon Frederick; leader of the Photoworks agency Shoair Mavlian; and Dagmar Seeland, who is the German picture editor at STERN magazine.