Photo credit: Ezra Böhm
Ezra Böhm, a young student photographer, has been named the Sony World Photography Awards’ Student Photographer of Year 2022 for his photo series “The Identity of Holland.”
The annual competition, which has been going on for 15 years now, awarded titles to impressive photographs by artists such as Adam Ferguson, who won the Photographer of The Year. Other awards were given in different categories like the Student, Youth, and Professional categories.
Böhm was fascinated by the fact that these traditional costumes are still being worn today, even when they are from a hundred years ago — this only means that these people valued their culture greatly.
Böhm said in an email, “After a while, I came into contact with some people who are still wearing the costumes today. Once I had (established) contact with them, things went quickly. There are only a few people who wear traditional clothing, and they often know each other.”
In his photographs, Böhm captures the subjects wearing traditional outfits from the Netherlands. The people he shoots are unsmiling and dressed in clothes that date back years ago, but they still use them to preserve their cultural history. They attend church or choir performances wearing these old-fashioned garments.
Böhm said that “The goal was to celebrate and cherish the old culture of the Netherlands.” He further explained, “But apart from all the beauty, these communities have something valuable in common that we often miss in modern society: togetherness, security and pride.”
“Many people today have lost their cultural roots and can feel alienated in a society full of global citizens. By showing these communities to the world, I hope that people start to look at their own cultural roots again,” Böhm added.
Böhm spent over a year researching, visiting and taking photographs of his subjects.
Böhm’s award has granted him 30,000 euros or $33,000 worth of Sony equipment for the school. Currently, he is a student at the Nederlandse Academie voor Beeldcreatie in Eindhoven.
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