SECOND PRIZE: Abbie Trayler-Smith

Abbie Trayler-Smith

From the series Women in war: Life after ISIS
Colour coupler print, November 2016
Second Prize: £3,000

This portrait by documentary photographer Abbie Trayler-Smith was made outside the Hasan Sham camp for internally displaced people in northern Iraq during an assignment for Oxfam. A convoy of buses had just arrived, bringing people to safety from the intense fighting in Mosul. She says, ‘I remember seeing the shock and bewilderment in the woman’s face as she looked out at the camp from the window. It made me shudder to imagine what living under ISIS must have been like.’

Abbie Trayler-Smith (b.1977) studied law at King’s College London. In her photographic career she is best known for covering stories concerning women’s rights, social development and the aftermath of conflict for national newspapers, charities and NGOs. Her work has been seen in numerous publications and in group exhibitions. She won First Prize in the Ideastap Magnum Photographic Award 31+ 2014, Second Prize Staged Portraits in the World Press Photo Awards 2014 and won Fourth Prize in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010.

Judges’ comments:  The colour and texture of the portrait has a painterly quality, created by the mud-streaked glass through which the young woman is framed. Her haunting expression quietly suggests the unimaginable horrors of life under occupation.