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GCI Photography Competition 2017

GCI received more than 90 entries to its photo comp this year, including a strong showing from photographers across many parts of India and Bangladesh. This year’s theme of ‘Urban Food’ attracted diverse interpretations, ranging from insights into bee keeping to the mysteries of noodle making.


  1. Indian photographer Supriya Biswas has won first prize in the 2017 Global Change Photography Competition for his provocative image, entitled ‘Happiness’ (above). Supriya says the sight of homeless children rummaging for food in a rubbish dump is a reminder of the daily struggles faced by the world’s poor. His image, taken in an urban area of Kolkata (AKA: Calcutta), is a confronting example of our collective responsibility to find better ways to feed and shelter the estimated 800 million people living in dire poverty around the world. Juxtaposed with that sobering message is the undeniable joy captured on the children’s faces; a pleasure that seems remarkably at odds with their Armageddon-like surroundings.
  2. Rafayat Haque Khan from Bangladesh submitted this beautiful image of an aged couple working side-by-side in a chilli field in the Bogradistrict of northern Bangladesh. Rafayat says chilli peppers remain a major part of Bangladeshi cuisine, and elsewhere across the sub-continent.
  3. Last year's winner Debdatta Chakraborty entered several strong entries again this year. In the above image taken at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, two local children wait patiently in a small shack displaying their merchandise. Although soft drinks and packaged drinking waters are common, green coconut water continues to be the most popular drink in the coastal areas of the Indian subcontinent.
  4. Amitava Chandra captured this misty, early morning scene near Duttapukur, in West Bengal. The labourers are spreading boiled paddy for drying and additional processing. Rice plays a vital role in local cuisine, Amitava reminds us.
  5. African photographer Tiago Afonso recorded this scene at the central market of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, Africa. Tiago reports that although much of Mozambique remains poor, a few rural communities seek to make enough to live on by selling their produce at the Maputo market.
  6. Sohel Parvez Haque could not resist capturing this image of a young water melon seller accompanying a load of melons heading to market in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  7. Bangladesh, we’re reliably informed, has a famously delicious ‘footpath delicacy’ called Fuchka (yes we checked). Amitava Chandra discovered this urban food scene in Kolkata’s New Market. He explains that Fuchka is prepared by mixing a dough made from flour/atta (a coarse derivative of wheat). One of the attractive features of Fuchka, he says, is the delicacy’s crispy texture. The final item is served after cracking open the upper-layer, inserting a secret blend of potato-masala into the gap, and gently misting same with a sprinkle of tamarind water. There are lots of Fuchka recipes on YouTube.
  8. An Indigenous Mayan woman sells vegetables, while simultaneously caring for her child. San Cristobal de las Casas, México Photo: Victor Hugo Casillas Romo
  9. Goat herder moves the herd to pasture. Michoacan, Mexico. Photo: Victor Hugo Casillas Romo
  10. Chapala Lake, the largest lake in Mexico, was once home to many types of fish but many have disappeared because of contamination. Fishermen however still capture fish using traditional methods.