ÅSA SJÖSTRÖM, SWEDEN

MOLDOVA: BORN IN THE BORDERLANDS

In Moldova, the poorest country in Europe, childhood looks like it might have looked in Western countries in the 1950s. Scooters on dusty roads, roller skates that look like they were bought in an antique shop, children playing with tires and chasing rats. Lots of brothers and sisters on the sofa.

And their parents? There’s hardly another country in Europe that saw so many mothers and fathers leaving to make a living abroad. Some villages literally turned into ghost towns with closed schools and barred windows. And since the Russian occupation of Crimea, people in Moldova are afraid that Russia could also extend its influence to their country. Just as it already happened with the breakaway republic of Transnistria.

Click on a picture to enlarge.

A childhood in the villages of Moldova: according to UNICEF estimates, this means that more than 150,000 boys and girls have to grow up without their father or mother. And even during moments of joy, everything seems to be wrapped in a faint veil of melancholia.

Since 2003, Åsa Sjöström, born in Gothenburg in 1976, has worked as a freelance photographer for various newspapers. She is a member of Moment agency and lives in Malmo.

Curriculum Vitae: Åsa Sjöström (Moment Agency)

UNICEF Photo of the Year Åsa Sjöström

Photojournalist Åsa Sjöström was born 1976 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Her work focus on social documentary, and especially in documenting women and children.

Her photographic work has been given several awards such as first prize in World Press Photo and Swedish Picture of the year Awards. She has also recieved several grants.

Åsa Sjöström is represented by Momentagency and Institute.

Grants and Awards

2013: 3rd prize Swedish picture Story, Swedish Picture of the Year Award

2012: Unicef Photo of the Year Award, Honorable Mention, for Witchcamp story

2012: Honorable Mention, Swedish Red Cross journalist award, for reporting from Horn Of Africa

2012: 1st prize Swedish Daily Life, Swedish picture of the year

2012: 2nd prize, Foreign Daily Life, Swedish picture of the year

2011: Cancer- and Traffick Associations Journalist Award for reporting of cancer

2011: Bonnier journalism Grant

2010: 2nd prize Portrait, Swedish picture of the year award

2008: 2nd prize feature picture, Swedish Picture of the year award

2008: Nominated Swedish Red Cross journalist award, for reporting of boat refugees in Senegal

2007: Nominated Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo

2006: 1st prize Arts and Entertainment stories, World Press Photo

2006: 1st prize Sport Feature, Swedish Picture of the year award

2006: 3rd Prize, Foreign Daily Life, Swedish Picture of the year award

2006: 3rd Prize, Swedish picture story, Swedish picture of the year award

2006: Anna Lindh Memorable fund scholarship for reporting of trafficking victims in Moldova

2004: 2nd prize Sport stories, Swedish picture of the year award

Exhibitions/Shows

2014: Insights, Institute Gallery Kingsland Road, London

2014: Noorderlicht International Photofestival 2014 Sextrimism, Gallery David Hall, Malmö

2009: Folkets Park, Vadstena

2008-2009: Moldova, Galleri Kontrast Stockholm

2008: Moldova, Halmstads Stadsgalleri

2008: Fotogalleriet Visby

2007: Moldova, Nordic Light Photo Festival, Kristiansund Norway

2006: Moldova Ballet, Galleri Format in Malmö

PHOTO OF THE YEAR 2014

More information on the competition and the UNICEF-Photo of the Year 2014 reportages.

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PREVIOUS YEARS

More information on the competition and the winners of the previous years.

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