Mehmet Aslan, hardship of life, Siene International Photo Awards,2021

Turkish photographer Mehmet Aslan is the winner of the Siena International Photo Awards 2021. He took the winning photo in Syria. The Siena International Photo Awards is one of the photography events with the highest number of participants. In fact, 48000 images of photographers from 156 countries competed in 2020.


Mehmet Aslan on Instagram

Mehmet Aslan lives in the south of Turkey. He won the 2021 Photographer of the Year award with a photograph taken a few kilometers from his home. The photo taken has great communicative power and emotional impact indeed his photos tell real stories.


‘Hardship of Life’ is the name of the photo. The characters in the photo are Munzir and his son Mustafa. Munzir lost a leg to a bomb. An attack in Syria caused Mustafa’s mother to inhale a nerve gas and she had to take drugs. Her son was born with a congenital disease and therefore without upper and lower limbs. In the photo father and son hug and smile as if overcoming the difficulties of war and disability. Numerous newspapers published the photo. The jury of the Siena International Photo Awards chose the photo from among many others by photographers from 163 countries.


To help Mustafa and his family, Siena Awards started a fundraiser on GoFoundMe. As a consequence of this fundraiser reached more than 62,000 euros in just a few days. The fundraiser is born with the aim of being able to buy electronic prostheses for Mustafa. Many donations of various amounts arrived, including the considerable sum from an US donor. The donor has sought more fundraising contacts too.


Shirley Wung, Green Light Forest, Wufeng Township, Hsinchu (Taiwan)

The winners will receive the “Pangea Prize”, a prestigious crystal award. The award ceremony will be in Siena in October at the “Teatro dei Rinnovati”. The winners of the 12 categories will be on show from 23th October to 5th December in Siena. The exhibition is at the international visual arts festival Siena Awards with 8 photographic exhibitions. Taiwan Shirley Wung won the ‘Nature’ category with her photo Green Light Forest. Taiwan Shirley Wung took the photo on a path lit by fireflies.

Giulia Antonelli

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