05 The Feature Photography Award 2022

Best feature photography on an international theme published in any medium

AWARD NAME: The Feature Photography Award 2022
RECIPIENT: Laetitia Vancon
AFFILIATION: The New York Times
HONORED WORK: “Odesa is Defiant. It’s also Putin’s Ultimate Target”

A group of dancers in the middle of the road. Street salesmen sharing a glance. A woman posing in a pool for a snapshot. Each of Laetitia Vancon’s images from Odesa, Ukraine during the first year of the war feels like its own universe. Each is filled with details that emerge, layer by layer, and urge the reader to witness the beauty of humanity that perseveres through the violence and destruction.

See a slide show of the winning images:

President Vladimir V. Putin knows that Ukraine’s fate, its access to the sea and its grain exports hinge on Odesa. Without it, the country shrivels to a landlocked rump state. School graduates danced in front of the Opera Theater. Defying Russia’s aggression, the Odesa Opera staged a performance for the first time since the invasion began. Photo: Laetitia Vancon

Ukrainian soldiers spending their day off in an amusement park in Odesa. Photo: Laetitia Vancon

A couple in a jacuzzi with a view of Odesa port. Photo: Laetitia Vancon

Street vendors at the flea market “Starokonnyi” in Odesa. Despite the large number of websites and forums where people sell goods, Starokonka attracts thousands of people every weekend. Photo: Laetitia Vancon

Anna Zamazeeva, the chairwoman of the Mykolaiv regional council, stands in front of the Mykolaiv Regional State Administration building, that was destroyed by a missile strike on March 29, 2022.  Photo: Laetitia Vancon

Children standing on a memorial dedicated to Odesa’s heroic defense during World War II. Photo: Laetitia Vancon

Anna Svetlaya, 67, suffers from her injuries caused by a missile strike in Cherkasy on June 17, 2022. Photo: Laetitia Vancon

A group of young people that call themselves "bulletproof gang" prepare plates for flack jackets in an underground shelter, that was once a designer clothing store. Photo: Laetitia Vancon

Before the war, Koblevo was considered to be one of the largest and most popular resort area on the Mykolaiv coast of the Black Sea. Now, access to the beach is restricted and surrounded by paramilitary installation. Photo: Laetitia Vancon

Oksana Magey, 27, her husband Evgeniy, and their children, refugees from the Mykolaiv region, in their new apartment. Photo: Laetitia Vancon

Morning service at the St. Ilyinskiy Male Orthodox Monastery. On May 27, the leaders of Orthodox churches in Ukraine that have been affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church adopted measures to sever ties with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine in a significant move against the Russian Orthodox Church and its spiritual leader. Photo: Laetitia Vancon

The view of the deserted seashore in Arcadia, Odesa. Photo: Laetitia Vancon

Citation for Excellence:
Philip Cheung
Maclean’s Magazine
“Russian Invasion of Ukraine”