Opening doors


We have asked a selection of Ian Parry alumni to reflect on what it meant to them to win the Ian Parry Scholarship. This week talented photographer Sebastián Liste shares how winning put him on the map. 

IPS: With which work did you win the Ian Parry Scholarship?

SL: I received the Ian Parry Scholarship in 2010 and a year after I started my project ‘Urban Quilombo’ in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

Children playing on the beach inside an abandoned chocolate factory on December 10, 2009 in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. © Sebastian Liste/Reportage by Getty Images

Children playing on the beach inside an abandoned chocolate factory on December 10, 2009 in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. © Sebastian Liste/NOOR

IPS: How did winning affect your professional career?

SL: Firstly, the Ian Parry Scholarship allowed me to continue and finalise ‘Urban Quilombo’ by working in the field for several months. Ian Parry’s good reputation also positively affected my career by putting my work in front of picture editors around the world and allowing me to reach a global audience. So the impact was immense. It is a career changing opportunity.

IPS: What are you working on right now?

SL: Right now I´m developing two major projects. One is ‘Opening Veins’, which is a seven-year documentation of the historical roots and links between power, natural resources and violence in Latin America. When it finishes it will be presented as a transmedia project which will include: a web documentary, an Instagram-based project, a multimedia piece, an app, a street installation and a printed photo book. The second project is a 13-year lyrical and visual journey with my girlfriend’s family who lives in the Spanish countryside. The place where they live has always been where I returned to after every trip documenting social conflicts around the world. There I always found my family, my love and my refuge. I’m working on an experimental and intimate photography book to illustrate this body of work.

IPS: What advice do you have for young people that are entering this year?

SL: Go for it! It´s not a matter of winning but of putting your work in front of influential and experienced people in our industry. Even if you don´t win, you have the chance to start collaborating with magazines, have your work exhibited and get great feedback. You have nothing to lose! Good luck.

For more of Sebastián’s winning work, click here. To view Sebastián’s current work, have a look here or here.