Wellcome Photography Prize 2020 Shortlist Beckons


By Yinka Olatunbosun

The shortlist for the Wellcome Photography Prize 2020 is set to be announced at 12 noon on Thursday 23 July 2020. Comprising five categories, the shortlist will be chosen by Chair of Judges Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome and a panel of six judges: Siân Davey (photographer), MaryAnne Golon (Washington Post), Dr Aiysha Malik (World Health Organization), John Moe (The Hilarious World of Depression podcast), Dr David Nott (David Nott Foundation), Azu Nwagbogu (African Artists’ Foundation and Lagos Photo Festival).

The prize tells provocative visual stories about the health challenges of our time, combatting health taboos, bringing complex health issues to life and showing how health affects society. With a special focus on mental health, an issue that has become even more urgent due to COVID-19, the prize aims to transform preconceptions and address how people affected are represented through the camera’s lens.

The five categories are social perspectives which provide insight into the impact of health and disease on society; Hidden worlds which reveal details hidden in plain sight, or combat health taboos; Medicine in focus that explore healthcare delivery up close or from behind the scenes; Mental health – single image which dispels the visual clichés of mental illness and Mental health, a series parading up to five images which tell a story through related images across the spectrum of mental health.

The overall winner will receive a £15,000 prize, with the winner of each category receiving £1,250. The winner will be announced at an online event at 5pm on Wednesday 19 August 2020. Wellcome believes a radical new approach is needed to transform the science of mental health. The prize hopes to challenge preconceptions and stereotypes, and provide a more authentic look at peoples’ experiences of mental health.

Wellcome Photography Prize is an initiative of Wellcome, an independent charitable foundation supporting research to improve health and one of the world’s biggest funders of mental health research. Recently, the organisation committed an additional £200m to develop a new generation of approaches and treatments for anxiety and depression.