A Norfolk student, who took an image to explore a lack of diversity in the media, has been announced as the winner of a prestigious national photographic competition.
Keen photographer Maddy Turner, a student at Reepham High School and College, was the overall winner of The Bigger Picture, the Economic and Social Research Council’s 2018 photographic competition, for her image Diversity in the media.
Describing her winning photo, Maddy said: “The image highlights the lack of racial diversity in the media. I searched through every fashion magazine I could find and didn’t come across a single portrait of someone with darker skin.
“Norfolk is one of the least diverse places in the country, making people with any kind of difference stand out and face discrimination. This photograph shows how this can make people more self-conscious about their skin colour.”
Meanwhile, fellow RHSC student Cameron Lawrence won first prize in the “New world order” category for his photographs Looking Beyond The Present and Prospects.
“Coming from a rural area I have experienced the increasing pressures on our farming industry,” said Cameron. “With the uncertainty of Brexit and globalisation, where do our farmers and natural resources lie?”
Both pupils received their prizes at a special awards ceremony at the Espacio Gallery, Shoreditch, London. Their photographs will be displayed at the gallery in a special exhibition, which will run until 25 March.
The photographic competition is the fourth to be run by the ESRC. This year’s competition tasked young people aged 14–18 from across the UK to explore how social science is relevant to their lives, with a picture encapsulating how the world is changing and how it affects them, their families, friends and communities as a whole.
The photos were required to show the “bigger picture” of society today: looking at how the world is changing, be that through the rise of populist leaders or through the impact of technology. Students were asked to consider how things such as politics, education, climate change, healthcare, technology, migration and poverty affect them and others.
More than 550 images were sent in by students from 75 schools, across the UK. They shared a vast range of inspiring and thought-provoking images, taken not only with their cameras, but also on smartphones and tablets.
Alasdair Hadden, head of Art at RHSC said: “The Art Department are very proud of our students’ achievements. We believe in encouraging our students to explore themselves and their world through the use of visual literacy.”