More important than just hard facts and circumstances are the traces of emotion in his photos for Spanish photographer Javier Arcenillas. These he captures in simple aesthetic outlines, limited to a few points of interest. Disembodied shadows of hands against the sides of a tent; calligraphic patterns in the sand; wide open eyes – again and again – in painted faces; in mirrors; illuminated by the flame of an oil lamp. And like a metaphor for an epic tale of woes, two children lie under a glowing cross.

They belong to the Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim group fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh due to persecution and oppression by Myanmar’s military junta. The regime does not regard them as citizens. Their fate is mostly unknown. And their future is uncertain.

Curriculum Vitae: Javier Arcenilas

UNICEF Foto des Jahres: Javier Arcenillas

© Javier Arcenillas




Javier Arcenillas, Humanist.

An award winning photographer with more than 100 international awards, among these, could be mentioned Premio Ejército, the Arts Press Award, KODAK Young Photographer, Caminos de Hierro, (young author), Scholarship of the European Social Fund, Euro Press by Fujifilm, INJUVE, the Third Award FotoPress ‘05 Prize, Médicos del Mundo ‘06 and One Vision ‘06 among others.

Along these years, he has achieved projects on Latin America like “Territorios”, in Jamaica, an assignment that approaches the “Traffic of Marihuana” or the Boxing Olympic School in La Habana. His most recent assignments are with Médicos del Mundo on the Garbage Dump Cities in Central America, resulting in teh publication of the book "City Hope". He also has a book on society portraits pictures, summarizing his daily activity in magazines, titled "REVOLUZION", besides a photographic essay on charity in India titled "Kingdom Charity".

His most complete news articles outside Spain can be read in Time, Der Spiegel, Stern, GEO, National Geographic, Le Monde 2, El periodico de Guatemala or Miami Herald Magazine as most important magazines. At the moment, he arranges Humanitarian Photographic assignments with diplomatic matters in his country.


More information on the competition and the UNICEF-Photo of the Year 2010 reportages.

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Renowned photographers from all over the world take part in the contest. An independent jury decides upon the winner.

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