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Fine Art student shortlisted for Sony Award

Date Released: Thu, 9 February 2012 13:00 +0200

Nina Grindlay of Rhodes University has been shortlisted for the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus. Student Focus has established itself as the world’s most high-profile student photography award and is open to universities worldwide that run a photography programme.  

The 2012 competition has attracted entries from over 200 institutions across six continents, having grown from just ten European universities in 2007, its inaugural year.

This year’s student competition brief was based on the philosophy of the haiku poem.  The photographers were asked to take on a role similar to that of a haiku poet and create and submit one image that depicts a ‘fleeting moment’, or ‘the decisive moment’.  This resulted in some of the most impressive and professional student images yet of a perfectly captured brief moment in time.

Ten burgeoning photographers from each of the shortlisted institutions have now been chosen to take part in the final competition with the winner announced at the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony at London’s Park Lane Hilton Hotel on 26 April 2012.  All shortlisted photographers will also take part in World Photo, London at Somerset House, London.  Students will receive lectures, talks and masterclasses led by industry figureheads and Academy members and their images will be exhibited as part of World Photo, London.

The ten shortlisted institutions are:


Russia, St Petersburg State University of Film and TV, Nikita Baranov

Denmark, Danish School of Media & Journalism, Nikolai Linares Larsen 

Spain, Institut d’Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya (I.E.F.C), Montse Balañá Verges

UK, London College of Communication, Thamyres Matarozzi

UK, Middlesex University, Asef Mohammad


New Zealand, AUT University, Ivan Liang                                                 

North America         

USA, Rochester Institute of Technology, Jenny Magruder

South America          

Argentina, Escuela Motivarte, Abente Lila Maia                             


China, The Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Gong Zhe

Africa/Middle East   

South Africa, Rhodes University, Nina Grindlay

The shortlist was selected by a prestigious judging panel comprising WPO Academy members including: 

Carl de Keyser (Belgium) Photographer and Co-Founder & Director of the XYZ Photography Gallery; Sarah Toplis (UK) Commissioning Editor for Young Tate and Virginia Morrison (US) Executive Director of the Society for Photographic Education.

Photo: Nightclub Portrait Series (the dance)