This year, the Wellcome Photography Prize is exploring the human side of three urgent health challenges: mental health problems, infectious diseases and global heating. The prize is now closed for submissions.
The three health challenges affect people of all ages, in all parts of the world – although their effects are not felt equally.
But there is hope. People and communities around the world are coming up with ingenious ways to manage mental health, control the spread of infections, and adapt to the local health risks of global heating. Theirs are the voices we want to show – the inspiring stories that need to be shared.
All of our minds work differently, and sometimes in ways that can negatively affect us.
There are many ways of managing our mental health – sometimes we can do it by ourselves, and sometimes we benefit from more support to understand our mental health problems, or prevent episodes of an illness that could otherwise hold us back from living the life we want.
The Covid-19 pandemic is inescapable this year. Its spread has revealed how connected we all are. Everywhere there are now signs to wash hands, wear masks and keep a social distance.
This invisible virus has caused so many deaths and so much disruption. But it is not the only infection that needs to be brought under control. Many communities around the world are fighting other outbreaks or trying to prevent them. Has the focus on Covid-19 helped? Which other stories have been obscured by the pandemic?
Wildfires and extreme weather are the most visible signs of our changing climate, and the risk they pose to life and livelihoods is all too clear. The heat has more insidious ways to harm people’s health, too – in some cities, temperatures regularly reach 50°C, while in the fields, workers struggle to stave off dehydration day after day.
Climate change is a worldwide problem but, until we can stop global heating, it will take local solutions to protect people's health from its harmful effects.
The finalists of each category will receive £1,000.
Our single image and series winners will each receive £10,000.
Prizes will be presented at an awards ceremony in summer 2021. The winning and shortlisted entries will then go on show at a public exhibition in London.