I was very pleased to find out the two images I sent to the IPA's One-Shot competition on climate change were awarded three honourable mentions (water, man and earth category).
The images were taken in November 2016 during my South American trip, which saw me and my partner travelling through Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay for two months.
The image below is a self-portrait taken in the Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flats, at 3700m of height, in Southern Bolivia, at the mountainous heart of South America. Much of Bolivia suffers from limited access to water and from poor sanitation. According to recent statistics, access to water in rural areas is only 71 percent, while sanitation coverage is as low as 10 percent. This self-portrait wants to symbolise the hope and need for rain, thus sending a positive message to the Bolivian people.
A few things did not go the way I had hoped for. There was very little water and it was confined to a very small portion of the salar, which required an extra hour's drive through the blinding whiteness of the salt flats. When we finally got there, we had about 30 minutes time to shoot and then night-time would fell upon us. More than half of our beautiful red balloons which I lovingly brought with me from Italy were blown away by the very strong winds. As you might imagine, I was absolutely freezing in that white dress but adrenalin kept me going. Although the final image is a bit different from what I originally had in mind, I must say I am quite happy with the result. Needless to say, this would not have been possible without the help of my partner Andrea and our new friend Josée, who travelled through Bolivia with us. My heartfelt thank you to both of them!
The second image shows an abandoned cemetery in Southern Bolivia. Climate changes made the country one of the most vulnerable in the world. Changing rain patterns and extreme weather conditions made it impossible for many farmers to earn a decent living. They consequently had to relocate to big towns, trying to find a different job, thus abandoning many small villages.
To see all the beautiful winning images, you can see the online gallery on the IPA's website by clicking here .