A young Kiwi photographer is among 10 finalists in the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards.
ELAM graduate Hannah Davey won approval from the judges for her pictures taken during a placement with The Leprosy Mission in Tikabhairab, Nepal.
"I fell in love with the generosity of the people, the incredible beauty and the Nepali tea," says 22-year-old Davey.
Her photos titled "Hope in Nepal" were selected for the Student Competition Shortlist.
In one of her photos is nineteen-year-old Saraswati, who became a fast friend of Davey. She explained the social stigma felt by sufferers of the disease in Nepal, even from their own relatives.
"It took 6 years before she was eventually diagnosed," says Davey.
Taken at the Anandaban Hospital – the pictures show a snapshot in time at the small medical centre, before it began treating outbreaks of Covid in the community.
"We came back at the end of January," says Gillian Whitley, Executive Director of The Leprosy Mission New Zealand. "On the way back, that was the start of it."
The community hospital is required to treat general patients as well as those with leprosy, and part of that work has been opening a ward for Covid patients and testing.
The programme of taking student-age New Zealanders to help in community projects around the Hospital has been running for the past 10 years. The scholarship focuses on bringing those with a mix of disciplines, from medicine, science and the arts.
"When you have someone as talented as Hannah, she captures what you don't see."
The mission has had to cancel any further youth expeditions, with Davey's expedition being the last trip to Nepal.
"2023 would be the first opportunity to go back," says Whitley.
The current state of post-pandemic travel has made Davey appreciate the opportunity further. However, she hopes that a place on the shortlist might lead her on more adventures when circumstances allow.
"My dream job is a career in photojournalism and storytelling," says Davey. "Winning this award would definitely open up more opportunities."
The annual awards selected the brief "Building a Better Future" for its 2021 competition. The body says its 10 finalists were selected for work that "engages with key contemporary issues while highlighting the efforts of individuals and organisations from across the globe."
The winner will be announced on 15 April 2021 and awarded a prize of €30,000 ($50600) in Sony imaging equipment for their school.
Other finalists in the student category captured poignant moments from the past year. These include "Justice for George Floyd in New York City" by Thomas Hengge and Gosha Bergal's "Protest for Fair Elections to the Moscow City Duma".
The competition shortlists come following an announcement by the competition that their London awards ceremony and exhibition would be cancelled, "due to latest UK government guidance" on public gatherings during the Covid pandemic.
The Sony World Photography Awards say that prizes and awards will still be presented online in April, with the aim to hold their winners' exhibitions later in the year, should health guidelines permit.