Tavakolian, who was born in Tehran in 1981, was awarded the €50,000 prize for her report on Iran’s lost generation – young people who are caught between an increasingly modern society, and religious and cultural traditions of old.
The Award, which was founded by the Carmignac Foundation in 2009, has a different theme each year. For the 5th edition, photographers were asked to submit portfolios about Iran.
The aim of the Award is to support and promote photography of lesser known areas of conflict, by providing funding to a photographer to produce an in-depth photographic report.
Past winners include Panos Pictures photographer Robin Hammond, who won in 2012 for his work about life in Zimbabwe under the rule of Robert Mugabe, and Italian photographer Davide Monteleone, who won last year’s edition for his work in Chechnya. Monteleone’s resulting body of work, Spasibo, will be on show at the Saatchi Gallery in London from 11 October to 9 November.
Tavakolian, who began shooting professionally at the age of 16, has been published in Time Magazine, The New York Times,Le Monde, and National Geographic among others.
Her winning work will be exhibited in Paris, at the Chapelle des Beaux-Arts, from 7 November to 7 December 2014. The exhibition will also tour to London, Frankfurt and Milan. A book will be published to coincide with the exhibition.
BJP: What does winning this award mean to you?
NT: The Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award has given me the freedom, time and resources to dig deeper into a subject I feel passionately about. It was the first time I’d applied for the Award. I was travelling with a commission from the Qatar Foundation when I found out I’d won. It was very exciting.