Best Work by an Emerging Photographer | Winner

Hosam Katan

Hannover / Germany

Living with War


The series „Living with War“ portraits conflicting and contrasting emotions and experiences of what life has meant to people in their hometown of Eastern Aleppo since the start of the civil war. The photos have been taken between 2014 and the end of 2015 by a photojournalist from Eastern Aleppo. Drawing from the photographer’s own experience of living in that area the series creates a nuanced view of how people have balanced the realities of war with their own personal everyday lives and routines. The pictures, thereby, give recognition to the resilience and inventiveness of people in Eastern Aleppo in the face of perilous circumstances. Moreover, the series not only intends to generate empathy but to provoke a reflection on justice, responsibility and human dignity.


Hosam Katan, was born 1994 in Aleppo, Syria. He started photography with his smartphone when he was 17 years old when the Syrian revolution started.

He started working as a photojournalist for Aleppo Media Center from October 2012.

Between 2013 and 2015, he covered the conflict in Aleppo as a freelance photographer for Reuters as well as for the German magazine “Stern”.

He is currently studying photojournalism at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover.

Awards he has received include:
the Ian Parry Special Award 2014
the Ian Parry Award 2015 category: highly commended)
the annual Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest 2015
the grand price at the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2015
the Nannen Preis for journalism 2016 (category: special award)
and the photography award at the University of Art and Design in Offenbach 2016

Nov/15 Soirée de soutien - Concert, Le tholonet / France.
Dec/15 Ian Parry Exhibition, London / England.
Feb/16 Exposition « Guerre en contraste », Aix / France.
Feb/16 Museum for modern Art Frankfurt / Germany.
Mar/16 Vernissage expo “Les enfants d’Alep”, Mareille / France.
Apr/16 Humans of Syria: Stories of daily life and survival, California / USA

Jury Statement

The poignant images by young Syrian photographer Hosam Katan let us take a look at the horrors of war through an unfamiliar window and reveal the residents of a war-torn city who, for some reason or other, remain in their homes rather than fleeing from the conflict.
The photographer is not an impartial observer; you notice that he’s at the heart of the action. He’s one of them. With the eyes of an insider, Hosam Katan reveals entirely new perspectives. The chaos is held together in formal terms by a stringency and clarity of composition that ingeniously unites elements of street photography and classical photojournalism. The photographer approaches the subjects with respect and shows their dignity and even moments of humour as they live their lives as both victims and heroes in the ruins of their city. Particularly touching are the scenes that show how life goes on – and must go on – in the city. Situations in which the residents of Aleppo can forget the war for a few precious moments and can simply get on with living their lives.

Jury impressions – Hosam Katan, Emerging Photographer Award Winner 2017