Sony’s World Photography Awards Youth Winner Disqualified for Falsifying Age

© Borhan Mardani, Iran, Disqualified Entry, Culture, Youth Award, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

© Borhan Mardani, Iran, Disqualified Entry, Culture, Youth Award, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

Well, if it isn’t another tale of a photo contest scandal. Earlier this year, it was the World Press Photo winner, now it’s the Sony World Photography Awards — Youth Award. You would think that after a while people would learn, but it doesn’t seem that way.

According to a report by Photocritic, after being announced as the winner of the Culture category in the Youth World Photography Awards, Borhan Mardani has been disqualified due to lying about the age he was when he took the award-winning photograph.

He needed to be 19 or younger when he captured the photograph, but it turned out Mardani falsified his age in his written declaration. And while Sony hasn’t said how they determined this information to be true, a simple background check would reveal his birthday while the metadata would reveal the day the shot was taken.

Cached version of winners announcement page

Cached version of winners announcement page

Current version of winners announcement page

Current version of winners announcement page

As a result of being disqualified, his prize has since been taken away and given to 19-year-old Anastasia Zhetvina of Russia for her photograph, “Young Talent”, pictured above. Joined by Paulina Metzscher and Turjoy Chowdhury, fellow finalists in the Youth Photographer of the Year award, the three will be taking a trip to London to enjoy their time at the Sony World Photography Awards party next month.

(via Photocritic)

  • James

    I wonder how old he was?

  • Kayden

    One would assume he probably had his birthday this year from 19-20 and the photo was taken after rather than before. Unless someone missed something significant when he signed up

  • Maree Cardinale

    They should start checking these things BEFORE they announce winners.

  • harumph

    He says he was born Feb 7, 1994.

  • LLamaRama

    One of the biggest issues into Photography today is ageism.
    There is this incredible barrier in photography where you seem to only be able to get grants, or invested in, if you are aged 30 or below. Yet more and more people discover photography (beyond their mobile phone) later in life.

    It shouldn’t matter how old someone is for a competition or grants/education support, Photography should be one community supporting each other to improve the level of quality beyond the iphone/samsung stock photo’s that corporations buy these days.

  • ThatGuy

    Watch that metadata, it’ll get you every time.

  • LeShann

    Still a great picture, at least.

  • Dover

    Cheating on big photo contest seems to be fairly frequent. It seems to me that winning by cheating would be a hollow victory.

  • tttulio

    So what? His picture is great and he’s got enough exposure from the whole thing.

  • agour

    It’s a competition trying to get young people involved in the art. I see no problem with it being based on age.

  • seoras

    Yes an interesting picture but if he falsified his name in something competitive what else might he be tempted to falsify – photographically.

  • oscario1

    I can’t agree. In his seat, all I’d think would be “damn, I’ve got this great photo, and I’m 19 now. Why should it matter? I’ll go for it.”

    Really don’t see how what age he was when he took the photo matters at all.

  • tama

    Sony is known to be a crap in the crappines crappier camera dep. in the crap world

  • David C

    It’s also just one category in the competition and nothing to do with iphoneography. Though I suspect you just needed somewhere to put your soapbox.

  • seoras

    Rules are Rules (ignoring the rules are there to be broken argument), so it should matter or else why have any, He would/should have been aware of the criteria, instead he entered rather than saying “damn; I’m too old, shall just have to try my luck, elsewhere another time”.

  • David C

    Because it’s a rule of the competition. If the photograph is as good as he thinks then it’d do well in the other age category.

    What you’re basically saying is “cheat to win”

  • seoras

    Meant to say ‘age’ rather than name in top post. opps.

  • James

    I think I would have called that close enough.

  • clair estelle

    such great photography!

  • Dover

    Assuming you are in no way handicapped, would you compete in the Special Olympics just to get a ribbon?

  • MWLindstrom

    Winning by someone else’ disqualification for a small age discrepancy in an art competition may also make winning by that kind of margin a hollow victory just the same.

  • MWLindstrom

    Unfortunately it’s also bad exposure.

  • David Vaughn

    I think some of what they were talking about is ageism in general. I’ve never read a title for an article that read “Amazing photos from a 45 year old family man!”

    If the person is under…about 20-23, then it’s apparently a huge deal. And if you’re older than that – nobody could care less about your age because your age no longer holds any novelty.

    “Wowee wow, amazing, mind-blowing (most likely surreal) photos taken by a 17 year old.”

    It’s almost like the age itself upstages the quality of the work.