Newlands Pupil Wins Prize at National Photographic Competition

15th April 2019

Issa Berohou, a pupil at Newlands Academy in Brockley has won a prize in a prestigious national photography competition.

14 year old Issa won the Judge's Favourite category of the competition for his photograph ‘Alchemy project’, and took home a prize of £50 in vouchers at an awards ceremony held at Espacio gallery in London on 26 March. His image will be displayed in a special exhibition at the gallery between 27 and 30 March.

The ‘Better Lives’ photo competition is the fifth to be organised by the Economic and Social Research Council, and gives young people aged 14-18 the opportunity to get creative with their cameras and smartphones, and explore the real issues that impact society. This year the competition asked students to take a photograph exploring what the phrase 'better lives' means to them. Pupils were encouraged to think about how health, relationships, education, the economy and the environment all contribute to society and people’s lives.

The judges were overwhelmed by the quality of the entrants, and there were more than 506 images submitted by students from 160 schools in the UK.

Issa’s photo was chosen as the winner by judge Nick Stevens, Editor of the ESRC’s flagship magazine ‘Society Now’. His photo also came runner up in the ‘Better Education’ category.

Describing his photo, which shows a young chemist surrounded by bottles, jars and concoctions, Issa says: “The image captures the new/future generation of chemists and the learning process which transforms not just individuals and societies, but also humanity as a whole. Learning is a creative process through which our curiosity leads to improvements in our human condition.”

Gareth Howells, Principal at Newlands Academy said: “We at Newlands Academy are all tremendously proud of Issa winning an award at the ‘Better Lives’ photography competition. The photograph of Jay in Year 8 on a school visit to Richmond Park Lodge really captures the spirit of exploring a new place to learn and being able to interact with the experience. Not only is the photograph beautifully framed, Issa has managed to capture Jay’s sense of joy and curiosity in the moment. Hicham Jabrane, our child psychotherapist, has been a massive supporter of using photography to encourage our students to express themselves and we must publicly thank him. Issa has shown a real flair for photography and we hope this award continues to inspire him.”

Winners were divided across the five categories of the competition that explored important issues in the social sciences: Better Economy, Better Education, Better Environment, Better Health and Better Relationships.

Professor Jennifer Rubin, Executive Chair of ESRC said: “There were some brilliant entries to this year’s ESRC Photo Competition. My congratulations to all of our prize winners, who displayed a breadth of social science research and have helped to show how social science can contribute across a number of areas from the economy to the environment.”

The entrants came from a range of schools and colleges, which will also receive the same prize amount as each winner. All the winning photographs will be displayed at a special exhibition at the Espacio Gallery between March 27 and 30.

Issa accepts his prize from Professor Paul Nightingale.

Article written by James Dixon, Media Manager, Economic and Social Research Council.