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The Syngenta Photography Award – Professional Commission

The Professional Commission invites you to visually explore the rural-urban relationship through a compelling series of images and a creative project proposal. Professional photographers are invited to submit 2 to 10 photographs in addition to a commission proposal relating to the rural-urban theme. All entries must be submitted by January 15, 2013.
To qualify as professional photographer, you must:
  •  Earn most of your income from photography.
  •  Sell or publish your work regularly, or belong to at least one professional photography organization.
Your vision, your story
We anticipate a wide range of creative responses to the rural-urban theme – from hard-hitting photojournalism to fine art photography. The most important requirement is that your images tell powerful stories. The 2012/2013 theme explores the relationship and the tensions between rural and urban environments. You choose how to interpret it – there is plenty of room for artistic freedom.
Connect with a global audience
All entries will be judged by a distinguished international panel. They will three prizes in the Professional Commission category:
  •  1st prize:  US$15,000
  •  2nd prize: US$10,000
  •  3rd prize: US$5,000
In addition to the monetary award, the winner of the first prize will receive a commission worth up to an  additional US$25,000 to explore the rural-urban theme in a more in-depth way.
Winning photographers will have their work featured in the International Herald Tribune and New York Times, as well as showcased at an exhibition and symposium in London.
The 2012/2013 theme of the Syngenta explores the relationship and tensions between rural and urban environments:
  •  Over half of the world’s population now lives in urban spaces.
  •  Yet rural areas provide the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat.
  •  With competition for land, natural resources and labor increasing, balancing these tensions is critical.
All entries must be submitted by January 15, 2013.
At the turn of the 20th century the rural population outnumbered the urban by 7 to 1*. Since then, there has been rapid urbanization and in 2007 the world’s urban population crossed a watershed and exceeded the rural. The UN estimates that by 2050, over 6 billion people, two thirds of humanity, will be living in cities**.
How will these changes affect individuals and the communities they live in? What are the changing roles that people play in this shifting landscape? What are the pressures on natural resources? Is this relationship symbiotic or in competition and do the environmental constraints of water shortage and limited fertile land forever put into question the rural-urban dynamic?
As urban dwellers get further away from where their food is grown, do they lose sight of how sustainable farming operates? Is a city dweller’s relationship with food consistent with his or her rural counterpart? If not, are unrealistic demands being placed on the rural food producers?
How will this ever changing landscape impact overall global food security?
The cities need water for people to drink and to support sanitary services. Rural areas need water to grow crops to feed the expanding cities. Is there enough for both? What role will technology play? What role will society allow technology to play?
In developed countries, cheap and abundant food has been a given. Do urban dwellers really understand where their food comes from, do they care?
invites all artists and photographers to interpret these questions and their own concerning these issues in the broadest sense to stimulate dialogue about our changing planet through photography.
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