Maltese photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi has won the Yannis Behrakis international photojournalism award for an emotional project of his late 15-year-old daughter’s fight with cancer.
The project, entitled ‘The first photo I ever took of my daughter and the last’, was published by Reuters in April and contains photos of Zammit Lupi and his daughter Rebecca (known as Becs) as she battled an aggressive form of bone cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Becs sadly died last January.
Zammit Lupi’s acceptance speech starts at 47:20 in the above video
“It’s an impossibly huge honour for me, and when I received the news I was shocked and it took me a few moments to realise it wasn’t a prank call,” Zammit Lupi said in his acceptance speech.
“Winning this prestigious award is deeply moving but also extremely bittersweet. It’s a story I wish I never needed to tell, a facet of the human condition that I wish my family and I never had to endure.”
He said he started photographing Becs’ battle with cancer when he still believed she would make it, “when there was still such a thing as hope”.
“I never imagined it would have such a tragic and heartbreaking ending.”
Zammit Lupi beat out French photographer Jérémy Lempin, who worked on a project about a horse with the unique brainpower to identify tumours, and Spanish photographer Emilio Morenatti, whose project focused on the devastation that COVID-19 caused on Spain’s elderly people.
Cover photo: Marisa Ford via Reuters
Well done Darrin!