Best Work by an Emerging Photographer | Nominee

Axel Javier Sulzbacher

Hannover / DE

„Cheran“ Village of resistance.


For a long time now, organized crime has taken control of large parts of Mexico. In the south eastern state of Michoacan, not only does the civil population suffer under the reign of the cartels, but the flora and fauna as well. Large parts of what was once pine woods covered landscape has been replaced by clean cut terrain and Avocado mono plantations. The domination of corruption in police and politics paved the way for the situation.
On April 15th 2011, something unexpected happened. The indigenous Purepecha Community of Cheran didn’t want to endure the overexploitation of their woods by criminal organizations and treatment as second class citizen any longer. They rose up and revolted against the cartels. After a long fight, they managed to ban the cartels from their community. Soon after, a declaration of autonomy followed. Consequently, the corrupt police and politicians were forced to leave the community.


Born 1992 in Hannover, Germany as a son of German and Mexican parents.
he finished high school in 2012.

In 2014 he started studying photojournalism and documentary photography at the HSH Hannover.