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Capturing the magic of childhood during the pandemic

Carp captured the magical moments of everyday life with her two girls confined to the four walls of their house at the height of the pandemic. Swiss Press Photo / Sarah Carp

During the partial lockdown last year, photographer Sarah Carp documented her world as a single mother with two young children. Her photo essay “Parenthèse” (Parenthesis) has won her the 2021 Swiss Press Photographer of the Year award.

This content was published on May 2, 2021 - 10:14

The photographer from Yverdon-les-Bains in the French-speaking part of Switzerland captured everyday life with her two girls confined to the four walls of their house at the height of the pandemic.

On her websiteExternal link, Carp writes that “living alone with two little girls in a small space isn’t easy. I used photography to get away from reality, play with my girls and bring out the magic of childhood. The moment was lived with a touch of innocence, connection and moments of frustration." Carp also took home the top award in the daily life category.

Swiss Press Photo / Sarah Carp
Swiss Press Photo / Sarah Carp
Sarah Carp

Born in 1983, the press photographer Pablo Gianinazzi from the Italian-speaking region of Ticino won the news category for his reporting from a hospital in Locarno. This area, bordering Italy, is where the first coronavirus case was reported and where the first Covid-19 hospital was set up. Gianinazzi’s photos take viewers where no one wants to be, in the middle of a struggle for survival, in the hands of nurses who are doing everything they can to help their patients.

Swiss Press Photo / Pablo Gianinazzi
Swiss Press Photo / Pablo Gianinazzi
Swiss Press Photo / Pablo Gianinazzi

In the world category, Niels Ackermann took the top spot for his photos of Simonetta Sommaruga in Ukraine while she held the rotating Swiss presidency. Ackermann has lived in Ukraine for five years and took home the Swiss Press Photo Award back in 2016 for his work “The children of Chernobyl have grown up”.

Swiss Press Photo / Niels Ackermann
Saint Sophia / Niels Ackermann
Swiss Press Photo / Niels Ackermann

The press photographer Alexandra Wey won first prize in the sports category for her photo of cardboard figures in a football stadium in Zurich emptied of fans during the pandemic.

Swiss Press Photo / Alexandra Wey

With his work about the Extinction Rebellion “XR”, the Swiss-Brazilian photographer Dom Smaz won in the Swiss stories category. The XR activists want to put pressure on politicians to take effective action against habitat destruction. Smaz captures a crash course in civil disobedience in his pictures.

Swiss Press Photo / Dom Smaz
Swiss Press Photo / Dom Smaz
Swiss Press Photo / Dom Smaz

Karin Hofer was the winner in the portrait category for her series on Christian Hug, who lived as a man for 40 years and decided to undergo a sex change. The former army officer changes names from Christian to Christine and this also has consequences for his wife and children. 

Swiss Press Photo / Karin Hofer
Swiss Press Photo / Karin Hofer
Swiss Press Photo / Karin Hofer

Swiss Press Photo Award

The Swiss Press Photo Awards are given out by the Reinhardt von Graffenried Foundation. The foundation promotes journalistic reporting and press photography in Switzerland. It was founded in 2009. The prize is awarded every year and the top award winners receive CHF25,000 ($27,400).

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