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Bronze 2022 People / Life Style


  • Photographer
    Ildiko Tillmann
  • Prize
    Bronze in People / Life Style

These images are part of a series that documents behind-the-scenes moments of nonprofessional MMA fighting events, and the training process that precedes a fight. Rather than focusing on frames and considerations sought after by promotional companies or sports-photographers, my images center the perspective and the experience of the fighter. The photographs focus on the meaning of the activity for the individual fighters and their coaches, as opposed to showing a glorified version of the sporting event.

I am an author and self-taught documentary photographer working at the crossroads of art and documentary. My written and photographic work engages with stories that connect cultures, ethnicities and geographical areas; I focus on stories that connect, rather than separate us. Over the past three years I have been working on a freelance project in Haiti, with the goal of telling visual and written stories that take the viewer beyond news media headlines and offer an alternative to the visual imagery proliferated by the nonprofit industry.