Heartbreaking wartorn goodbye wins Siena International Photo Awards

Siena International Photo Awards 2023
Overwall winner of the Siena International Photo Awards 2023 (Image credit: Salwan Georges)

Salwan Georges, an esteemed Iraqi-American photojournalist, has been named the overall winner of the Siena International Photo Awards 2023 for his powerful documentation of the devastating realities of war. 

His winning photograph, Georgy, captures the heartbreaking moment that George Keburia put his family on a train to evacuate their home of Odesa as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia escalated. Filled with sorrow and apprehension but underpinned with love, George’s capture is a striking reminder of how the innocent are affected by war.

• These are the best mirrorless cameras, from APS-C models perfect for amateurs to top-spec cameras for pros

Overall winners and category winners were officially announced at an awards ceremony held at the Teatro dei Rinnovati in Siena, Italy. It marked the opening of the Siena Awards 2023, an annual celebration of visual arts that runs until November 19. 

Showcasing some of the biggest names in the photography world, this year William Albert Allard presents a body of work from his 50-year career with National Geographic, Brian Skerry will share his specialist underwater environmental photography, and Gabriele Galimberti documents the intricate and topical relationship between the US and firearms. 

Arctic Forest (Image credit: Marek Biegalski)

Over the next two months, winners and runners-up from the Creative Photo Awards will have their work exhibited at the Magazzini del Sale as part of the I Wonder If You Can exhibition. The winning works from the Drone Photography Awards will also be shown in an outdoor group exhibition at the San Galgano Abbey, in an exhibition titled Above Us Only Sky

Split into 12 categories, the Siena Photo Awards is open to a diverse range of photographers with different specialist backgrounds. US photographer Matt McClain was awarded first place in the Fascinating Faces and Characters category for his photo, Shooting Range Participant. Shyjith Onden Cheriyath prevailed with the image Following their Tradition (below) in the Journeys & Adventures category, while Fabio Savini’s captivating shot New Generation was crowned the winner in The Beauty of Nature category. 

Following their tradition (Image credit: Shyjith Onden Cheriyath)

Other categories and their worthy winners include Animals in their Envoronment (Torie Hilley), Sports in Action (Samuel Barnes), Street Photography (Segalen Benoit), Underwater Life (lillian Koh), Storytelling: General News (Siegfried Modola), Storytelling: Nature, Environment and Conservation Issues (Morgan Heim), Storytelling: Daily Life and Contemporary Issues (Laetitia Vançon) and Best Author was awarded to Wolfgang Schwan. 

Amy Vitale’s powerful video piece Remembering Sudan, which pays tribute to the Sudanese Rhino, landed her first place in the video category. 

This incredible collection of powerful and thought-provoking images is available to view at the Sinea Photo Awards exhibition on November 19. Alternatively, head to the online gallery to view the winners, runners-up, and honorable mentions for each category. 

Lions in Lines (Image credit: Torie Hilley)

Women's dance (Image credit: Mobin Shahvaisi)

Jute Processing (Image credit: Md Tanveer Hassan Rohan)

A La Station Balneaire (Image credit: Benoit Segalen)

Look to the Future (Image credit: Anna Biret)

No matter you're preferred genre of photography, we've got guides on the best cameras for portraits, the best cameras for landscapes and the best cameras for street photography.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.