Andrei Liankevich announced as winner of the This is Gender photography competition
Selected from 400 submissions, from over 50 countries, in all 7 regions of the world, we are thrilled to announce the winner of the #thisisgender photography competition is Andrei Liankevich for his image Markevich Volha Fedarauna poses at the house.
A widowed woman sits at her home in Belarus. Surrounded by flowers, embroidery and teddy bears, she dries grain on her carpeted floor. Although the decor may be unique, the woman’s situation is not. In Belarus, as in every other country in the world, women outlive men. There are 1.5 times more women than men after the age of 65 in Belarus, and twice as many women as men after the age of 74. As a result of this disparity, many elderly women live alone and, often for the first times in their lives, must be independent.
In Andrei’s intimate and arresting image, the absence of a man is rendered visible. The sole figure of the woman dominates the frame. She sits pensively, her hands carefully positioned in the peace sign. Around her, the dapes, throes, cushions and wallpaper echo the floral motifs of her smock and headscarf. The space is undeniably her own, designed to her particular taste and preference.
Through Andrei’s lens the standard portrayal of old age is subverted. Although alone, the woman doesn’t appear to be vulnerable but rather self-composed. We’re drawn into her little room, invited to witness the blossoming of colour, character and life, and ultimately to see old age as an opportunity for women to take ownership of their lives – proud, vibrant and loaded with personal significance.
Andrei Liankevich is a photographer from Belarus.
The image will appear on the front cover of the 2020 Global Health 50/50 report and will be featured online and in the London exhibition of This is Gender. Congratulations Andrei!