Stephen Iliffe’s striking image of Zanzibari women has caught the attention of the judges for the prestigious Lens Culture Afar awards 2018.
With 20,000 entries from all over the world, Stephen is one of just 25 finalists making it this far.
As a result, Stephen’s work will have global online exposure along with other finalists from India, China, Brazil, Brazil, USA and Europe.
“In Zanzibar’s more remote areas,” says Stephen, “a lack of transport infrastructure means local women carry their groceries in large bundles expertly balanced on their heads.”
“It was early evening,” he recalls, “yet the sunlight was still intense. It picked out the women’s radiant colours while also casting long blue shadows along the street. Despite the heavy bundles, the women flashed by at great speed, as if in an Olympic walking race. I had little time to compose the shot. That’s why I always keep a camera in my bag in case the unexpected happens!”
“This image borders the edge of abstraction,” say Lens Culture Afar. “Isolation and shadow are powerful here.”
The elite judges panel includes New York Times’ Stacey Baker, National Geographic’s Ami Vitale, Magnum’s Carolyn Drake, and The Guardian’s Caroline Hunter.
Stephen’s current projects include Audiovisabilty, London’s Kings Cross district and Leicester’s Diwali celebrations.