After months of simmering tensions, brought on by a severe economic crisis that led to shortage of essentials including food and fuel, Sri Lanka descended into chaos in early 2022, with an unprecedented wave of protests breaking out across the island nation of 22 million people. The initial phase of street protests in Sri Lanka’s main city of Colombo were led by students but as political leaders vacillated and shortages worsened, tens of thousands of ordinary Sri Lankans – from all sections of society – took to the roads. In early July, a massive show of public dissatisfaction in Colombo, which included clashes with armed police and military soldiers, led to the storming and then subsequent occupation of Sri Lanka’s presidential palace and other government buildings, ending with the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who also temporarily fled the country. It was the first time in Sri Lankan history that an elected executive president had been forced to quit because of public unrest.

Award of Excellence

Sri Lanka Economic Crisis

Adnan Abidi

Born in New Delhi, India in 1980, Adnan Abidi is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist with a career spanning over two decades of covering breaking news and documentary photography. Adnan started his career in 1997 as a dark room assistant and soon afterwards picked up a camera and taught himself how to take photographs. Before starting with Reuters in 2005, Abidi worked for the Pan-Asia News Agency, Indo Photo News, and the Press Trust of India. Adnan’s reportage on the Rohingya exodus won him a team Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography in 2018. The following year, his coverage of Hong Kong citizens protesting the infringement of their civil liberties while defending autonomy from China earned him the 2020 team Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Photography and his coverage of second wave of COVID-19 in India earned him the 2022 team Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography. Adnan is currently based in New Delhi, India, from where he covers national and global stories.

[ ISSUE REPORTING PICTURE STORY ] A long-term project on a single topic. It could focus on science, news, politics or any number of topics, ranging from coverage of a single person to an entire community. The project must convey a deep understanding of the subject. Each submission consists of 10 to 40 images. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 3 submissions. All images must be taken in 2022.

Judges for Issue Reporting Picture Story
Jilson Tiu
Uma Bista
Takaaki Iwabu
Parisa Azadi
Nathan Tsui
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