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Azelda Olivier wins SA National Award for Sony World Photography Awards 2021

Azelda Olivier has won the South African National Award for the Sony World Photography Awards 2021. The National Awards programme is an initiative set up by the World Photography Organisation and Sony to support local photographic communities around the world, with 53 countries taking part this year.
Over 330,000 images from 220 territories were submitted to the Sony World Photography Awards 2021 and over 165,000 were entered to the Open competition (from which the National Awards winner was selected).

© Azelda Olivier, South Africa, National Award Winner, Sony World Photography Awards 2021

Olivier’s photograph was shot for a project that studied colour theory and uses a warm colour palette. The image further explores colour by analysing its socially constructed meaning – using the colour pink, which is often associated with femininity, to blur the lines between gender stereotypes.

Olivier is a 22-year-old second-year visual communications student at the Open Window Institute for Arts and Digital Sciences, South Africa. She never took art in school and only began her creative journey in 2020, when she left her studies in finances to study graphic design. She considers this a big leap of faith that led to her finding her true passion.

Commenting on her win, she said: “This award truly means the world to me. I shot this photograph at the very beginning of my photography studies, so the recognition from this award will unquestionably help me trust my creative instincts and to be more self-confident. I'm filled with gratitude for the opportunity to showcase my work and to receive a voice through this wonderful platform. I hope that this photograph inspires at least one individual.” 

As the South African National Award winner, Azelda Olivier receives Sony digital imaging equipment.

The overall winners in the Student, Youth, Open and Professional competition of the Sony World Photography Awards 2021 will be announced on 15 April 2021 via the World Photography Organisation’s digital and video platforms. 

For more information about winners and shortlists, visit



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