Review: Pretty And Political Photography From Around The World

Sony World Photography Awards, Somerset House ★★★★★

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 31 months ago
Review: Pretty And Political Photography From Around The World Sony World Photography Awards, Somerset House 5
Julien Mauve stages astronauts taking a selfie on an alien world. Humorous, but who knows it may happen in the future. Copyright: Julien Mauve

Every year we look forward to the Sony World Photography awards at Somerset House. It's a fantastic and vast photography competition featuring the best in amateur and professional photographers from around the world. This year there were over 230,000 entries from 186 countries, with around 500 of these images selected for the exhibition.

It's not just about the best composed or aesthetically pleasing photographs; the selection here focuses on the varying themes and narratives photography can embody. We see the aftermath of an ultra-violent underground wrestling match in Mexico, monkeys being experimented on in a lab and the strange and intimate relationship a man has with a sex doll.

The winner of the prestigious L'iris d'Or is a series of heartbreaking shots of victims of acid attacks in Iran. It's impossible to imagine how a person's life would be affected from acid thrown on their faces and bodies, largely due to petty fallings out.

This exhibition is huge, high quality and every fan of photography should see it. But it's only on for two weeks so you will have to get a hurry on.

The 2016 Sony World Photography Awards is on at Somerset House until 8 May. Tickets are £9.50 on the door, discounts apply when booked in advance.

Photography fans should also visit this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year before it closes. Art fans should check out our most talked about exhibitions.

A forest full of fireflies. Copyright: © Kei Nomiyana
A victim of an acid attack in Iran. This series won the prestigious L'iris d'Or award. Copyright: © Asghar Khamseh
A surreal landscape made from meat. Copyright: © Hiroshi Watanabe
A rhino caked in salt from the Namibian saltpans. Copyright: © Maroesjka Lavigne
A polar bear looks serene as it shakes off some water. Copyright: © Michaela Šmídová

Last Updated 24 April 2016