12TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS HONORS PHOTOGRAPHER Matilde Simas from the United States in LOS ANGELES on March 9th. Matilde Simas, photographer was presented with the 12th Annual International Color Awards in the category of Wildlife and Portrait at a prestigious Nomination & Winners Photo show streamed Saturday, March 9, 2019.
The live online gala was attended by 11,829 photography fans around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the industry's most important event for color photography. 12th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Sotheby's, New York; Benetton, Ponzano Veneto; The Art Channel, London; Kolle Rebbe, Hamburg; Droga5, New York; Preus Museum, Norway; Art Beatus, Hong Kong; Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg; Wieden & Kennedy, Portland; Fox Broadcasting Network, Los Angeles; Gallery Kong, Seoul; and Phillips, New York who honored Color Masters with 761 title awards and 1,032 nominees in 37 categories.
"It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 7,241 entries we received this year," said Basil O'Brien, the awards Creative Director. "Matilde's "Growing up Female in Maasai Society," an exceptional image entered in the Portrait category, represents contemporary color photography at its finest, and we're pleased to present her with this award."
INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in color photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in color photography. www.colorawards.com
"Growing up Female in Maasai Society" is part of a series named “A Centuries Old Maasai Custom: Female Genital Mutilation" which documents an unlawful Maasai Female Genital Mutilation ceremony in Makuta, Kenya, on November 2016. “FGM” is a rite of passage thought to elevate a girl from childhood to the status of adulthood. The belief is it has the ability to reduce a woman's desire for sex, making her less likely to engage in pre-marital sex or adultery. The procedure, clitoridectomy, ranges from snipping off a piece of the clitoris to the removal of all external genitalia. In a dimly light mud hut, an elderly woman performs the procedure with an instrument, known as an "ormurunya."
Kenya’s abandonment of female genital mutilation (FGM) was written into federal law in 2011, yet the practice remains widespread in remote areas of the country. “If I do not accept the ‘cut,’ I will be forced to leave,” says one Maasai girl from a remote village. “Where can I go? Girls are cast out from their communities if they’re not ‘cut.’ ”She explains that many girls undergo the process due to familial and community pressures. Maasai society represses the voices of women, and the costs are high for girls who reject the traditional way.
Male orangutan sits in a tree with soulful eyes, in Gunung Leuser National Park, Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. It is easy to feel a kinship with orangutans when looking into their soulful eyes and observing their socially complex behavior. Perhaps that’s because orangutans and humans share 97 percent of their DNA.
The Sumatran orangutan is at extreme risk of becoming the first great ape to go extinct in the wild. The last major stands of habitat for the Sumatran orangutan are found in the Leuser Ecosystem, which supports about 75 percent of the world’s remaining population.
The Leuser Ecosystem is both spectacular and globally unique. Ranging from coastal mangrove swamp to high altitude cloud forests, it is one of the largest continuous expanses of forest in Asia and the only place in the world that is home to Sumatran orangutans, tigers, rhinoceros, and elephants.
As the destruction of Sumatra’s rainforests push the Sumatran orangutan to be classified as critically endangered species. According to the Orangutan Information Center, there are fewer than 6,600 individual Sumatran orangutans left in the wild today. The main threat is international need for products such as palm oil. Scientists estimate that converting a forest area into an industrial palm oil plantation results in the death or displacement of over 95 percent of the orangutans who originally lived in the area.