Press release

Wellcome Photography Prize 2019 to tell global story of dengue

Wellcome has commissioned leading photojournalist Adrienne Surprenant to create a new photography series focusing on the mosquito-borne tropical disease dengue. The new series is based on the 2019 theme for the Wellcome Photography Prize – outbreaks.

Surprenant’s series will form the centrepiece of a London exhibition in July 2019, and will be shown alongside the winning images for the Wellcome Photography Prize 2019. 

Adrienne Surprenant is a freelance and award-winning photographer, based in Cameroon. Her work documents the relationship between people and their environments. She has been published widely in international media, including Vice News, El Pais, The Globe and Mail, Al Jazeera and Le Monde, and is a member of photographers’ collective Item. 

According to the World Health Organization, around half of the world’s population is at risk of contracting dengue, with some estimates suggesting that up to 390 million people are infected every year. This mosquito-borne viral infection causes a flu-like illness which in severe cases can cause hospitalisation and possible death. It is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates and has spread dramatically across the world – now endemic in more than 100 countries.

Adrienne Surprenant said: ‘I feel honoured to have been selected by Wellcome to create a photographic commission alongside the Wellcome Photography Prize. I chose to focus on telling the impact of dengue worldwide, as well as its links to global warming and urbanisation. The series will cover five different locations in three continents. 

'For this series, I aim to show different aspects of the fight against dengue – from the individuals and communities affected, to the researchers who are developing effective solutions to stem its spread. I look forward to sharing progress on the commission over the next few months as the project develops.’ 

The commission, which is part of the Wellcome Photography Prize, will tell a broad story about the 2019 theme outbreaks. This theme has been chosen in relation to Wellcome’s work on epidemics, and its work towards a better prepared and safer world.  

Across four categories, Wellcome invites photographers to enter the prize with images that highlight the most challenging health issues of our time. Photographers, photojournalists, researchers, clinical photographers and artists are encouraged to submit images. 

The overall winner of Wellcome Photography Prize will receive a £15,000 prize, with the winner of each of the four categories receiving £1,250. Prizes will be presented at an awards ceremony in London in summer 2019. 

Entries to the Wellcome Photography Prize 2019 are being accepted on its website which contains full terms and conditions for entry. The deadline for entries is 17 December 2018. 

Wellcome Photography Prize 2019 exhibition will open at Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, from 4 to 13 July 2019. Entry will be free and open to all. 

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