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MEMO photographer Rich Wiles shortlisted in Sony World Photography Awards

February 24, 2015 at 2:21 pm

British photographer Rich Wiles is today announced on the shortlist for the Professional ‘Arts & Culture’ category of the world’s biggest photography competition, the Sony World Photography Awards.

Rich Wiles’ series, “Circus Behind the Wall” was selected from 173,444 images from 171 countries, the highest number of entries in the awards’ eight year history.

He will now compete to win the category and the coveted L’Iris D’Or/ Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year tile plus a $25,000 (USD) cash prize and latest Sony digital imaging equipment.  The winners will be announced on Thursday 23 April.

Each year the Sony World Photography Awards uncovers the best contemporary photography in the world and rewards and recognises both professional photographers and enthusiasts.  The Professional competition was judged anonymously by a panel of experts from the World Photographic Academy and photographers were judged on a series of between 3 and 10 images.  See full list of judges and bios here.

Rich Wiles’ images, along with the other shortlisted photographers, will be shown at London’s iconic Somerset House from 24 April – 10 May as part of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition.  Tickets are now available at

About Rich Wiles:

Rich Wiles is originally from Hull, UK but has been based in Palestine for more than 10 years. Wiles first went to Palestine in 2003 following his graduation from Hull School of Art and Design. He lives with his wife and daughter in the city of Ramallah.

Wiles specialises in social documentary photography and sees the camera as a tool of storytelling and raising awareness to contemporary human issues. He believes that photography has an active role to play in the global struggle for social justice.

His work has been widely exhibited in galleries around the world and is regularly published in the international media. In 2012, he won the Palestine Photography Award and he has previously been shortlisted in the Travel Photographer of the Year Award and the FujiFilm Student Digital Photographer of the Year Award.


Quote from Rich Wiles about being on the shortlist

“I am thrilled to be on the short list for the World Photography Awards. This is clearly an huge honour for me, my family and my work, but above that I hope it will also help shed some further light on to life in Palestine and the resilience with which people respond to the inhuman conditions forced upon them.”

About the shortlisted work (in Rich Wiles’ words):

‘Circus Behind the Wall’  documents the work of the Palestinian Circus School which is based in the village of Birzeit, in the West Bank. The school teaches Palestinian children and youth contemporary circus skills and performs widely both nationally and internationally. When performing in Palestine, the circus brings laughter to many Palestinian children, yet when it performs internationally in uses contemporary circus as a platform from which stories of Palestinian life and its daily struggles are told. This series highlight the vibrancy and spirit of Palestinians, and one of the many varied and unexpected tools that they have incorporated in to their struggle for rights.”

The series was produced by Wiles over the course of several visits to the Circus School in January 2014 and was shot digitally on a Canon 5D Mark II and a range of Canon’s L-series lens.

Talking about all the photographers shortlisted in the Professional competition Astrid Merget Motsenigos, Creative Director of the World Photography Organisation and organiser of the awards said:

“The sole purpose of the Sony World Photography Awards is to celebrate and appreciate the talented artists working in the photographic industry.  Once again, the shortlist demonstrates the vibrancy, diversity and skill of both today’s established photographers and, as importantly, the growing army of citizen photographers for whom the awards offer unpreceded exposure and opportunity.

“The record number of entries gave our expert panel of judges a monumental task but we are incredibly proud to present to you a shortlist which truly showcases some of the world’s best photography.”

For more information about Rich Wiles please visit:

or contact: [email protected]

For further information about the Sony World Photography Awards please contact:

Jill Cotton, Senior Press Manager, World Photography Organisation

+44 (0) 20 7886 3043 / [email protected]

·         Images from the shortlist are available to download at or via

·         Please note, images cannot be used on social media platforms without the permission of the photographer

·         If using on Twitter please #SWPA and tag @WorldPhotoOrg

Notes to editors:

·         177, 444  images were entered in total to the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards:

87,505 Professional entries; 79,264 Open entries and 6,675 Youth entries images

About World Photography Organisation (WPO)

WPO is a home where photography is celebrated and the art of the photographer is recognised.  Working with professional , enthusiast and student photographers alike, the World Photography Organisation provides a global network across the photographic industry to not only to raise the level of conversation around the subject, but to increase awareness and appreciation of this artform.  WPO hosts a year-round portfolio of industry and public events including: Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition and accompanying global exhibition; Photo Shanghai, Asia Pacific’s premier art fair dedicated to photography, and the World Photography Student Focus Programme, inspiring and working with the next generation of photographers.  In addition, WPO has a thriving online presence via its website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and addresses the industry’s latest issues in its monthly online publication, The Magazine.  For more information please visit

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world.  Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $75 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.  Sony Global Web Site: