FREEDOM TO LOVE - winners announced

The winner of FREEDOM TO LOVE photography award 2014 is Liza Van Der Stock from Belgium.


Liza Van Der Stock highlights the life of male sex workers in Zanzibar, a predominantly muslim island, burdened by the double stigma associated with sex work and sexual orientation. Members of this community find it impossible to openly express their true identity. 


The two runner-ups are Shahria Sharmin and Gordon Welters. An award-winning photographer from Bangladesh, Sharmin’s work gives an insight into the world of the Hijras’ Third Gender communities who live on the margins of society, whilst disability has been  the focus of Welters’ work. The photographer from Berlin captured a glimpse of hope expressed thorough the selfless love of a volunteer at a day centre in Russia.


With the support of The Royal Photographic Society, and under the patronage of Amnesty International, the European Commission and the British Council, FREEDOM TO LOVE aims to raise awareness on the difficulties many people endure every day worldwide, as they try to express the most powerful and constructive human quality - love.


Judging the submissions were Anne Williams, London College of Communication – Bradley Secker, photojournalist - Michael Pritchard, The Royal Photographic Society - Roger Tooth, The Guardian - Sue Steward, photographic critic, The Evening Standard.


Speaking for the Jury, Dr Michael Pritchard, Director-General of The Royal Photographic Society commented “The judges were impressed by the range of subjects covered by the entries. The three winners were able to highlight different aspects of discrimination and were also able to present a positive, personal, side for their subjects. The entries highlight that governments, NGOs and societies generally, still have much to do to ensure that diverse groups of people can co-exist and love without threat”


The works of Liza Van Der Stock, Shahria Sharmin and Gordon Welters, together with 20 other photographers will be showcased at the London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6SB, between 12-17 January 2015

Below is the order of finalists, winner and runner-ups:


  • Liza Van der Stock
  • Shahria Sharmin
  • Gordon Welters
  • Ida Taavitsainen
  • Dionysis Kouris
  • Pixy Yijun Liao
  • Alex Liverani
  • Matteo Bonino
  • Colin Boyd Shafer
  • János Török 
  • Julio Mesa
  • Kristine Tusiasshvili
  • Manuel Bomheker
  • Roni Hendrawan
  • Khushboo Anoop Harjani
  • Roxy Russell
  • Jorge Lopez Munoz
  • Lauren Russell
  • Kellyann Fitzpatrick
  • Claire Vidalie
  • Stefano Morelli
  • Mihail Kopychko
  • Giuseppe Di Cillo
  • Lisa Shalom
  • Luciano Praca
  • Marco Favaretto
  • Shelley Ford
  • Gabriella Cecchin
  • Giulia Mazzoleni
  • Alexey Samoylenko

    You can view a selection of the submitted photographs HERE

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