Vietnamese Photographer Wins 2013 CGAP Photo Contest

November 18, 2013


2013 CGAP Grand Prize: Rainy Afternoon

Truong Minh Dien/CGAP

Washington, D.C., 18 November 2013 - The winner of the 2013 CGAP Photo Contest is Truong Minh Dien of Vietnam. A panel of four judges selected his photo, “Rainy Afternoon,” out of a record number of 3,890 entries from professional and amateur photographers in 91 countries. The winning photo depicts a woman transporting potatoes to a local market in Vietnam during a downpour. The woman’s earnings help feed her husband and two children.

Four other entries from Vietnam also featured prominently among the winners and finalists. The photo “The Gold Life” by Vo Chi Trung was selected as the Regional Winner for East Asia and the Pacific. Three other entries by Van Bang Vo, Tran Bao Hoa and Vao Giang Tran were among the finalists.

The judging panel appreciated Truong Minh Dien’s “Rainy Afternoon” for the way it thoughtfully depicted the resilience of low-income entrepreneurs in Vietnam. “The photo really captured a great moment,” said Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, the 2010 CGAP Photo Contest Winner and guest judge for 2013.

In addition to the compelling story behind the winning image, the judges felt that it was technically excellent. “It takes a disciplined photographer to step back and take a picture like this,” said Stelios Varias, a senior photographer and editor from Thomson Reuters and one of the four judges. “It’s incredibly hard to get a good shot in the rain.”

A full gallery of the 30 winning photos is available here.

For the second consecutive year, a popular vote on determined a People’s Choice winner. Voters chose “Talented Nesma,” submitted by Mohamad Gouda of Egypt, which depicts a woman who used a microfinance loan to build a painting and embroidery business. The photo received 1,236 votes, nearly 400 more than the next most popular photo.

The 2013 Grand Prize is a $2,000 gift certificate for photography equipment. The judges also selected other photos from around the world as regional winners, finalists, and special mentions, which were chosen for both technical excellence and depiction of the stories and faces behind financial inclusion. Of particular note was the South Asia regional winner, “Brick Worker,” submitted by Moksumul Haque of Bangladesh. The photo captures bricks tossed in mid-air, leaving the viewer wondering what happened immediately after the picture was taken.

Photographers from over 90 countries made this the most competitive year for the CGAP Photo Contest, which just finished its eighth consecutive competition. The 2013 panel of judges consisted of Suzanne Lemakis, Director of the Department of Fine Art at Citigroup, Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, the 2010 CGAP Photo Contest winner and professional photographer from Bangladesh, Stelios Varias of Thomson Reuters, and Indira Williams, the Senior Manager of Visual Resources at the Newseum. At the conclusion of the judging session, held on 1 November 2013, Williams noted, “This was an incredible collection of photos and I was impressed by the quality of them.” “The quality of the pictures was really outstanding this year,” added Lemakis.

The annual CGAP Photo Contest aims to highlight stand-out professional and amateur photographers depicting financial inclusion around the world. Through strong photography, CGAP showcases the different ways in which poor households manage their financial lives and how financial inclusion can make the lives of people at the base of the economic pyramid better. “Photos of society and social inequality can help eliminate poverty by creating social awareness,” said Mohammad Rakibul Hasan.

About CGAP

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) works toward a world in which everyone has access to the financial services they need to improve their lives. CGAP develops innovative solutions for financial inclusion through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy makers, and funders. Established in 1995 and housed at the World Bank, CGAP combines a pragmatic approach to market development with an evidence-based advocacy platform to advance poor people’s access to finance. Our global network of members includes over 30 development agencies, private foundations, and national governments that share a common vision of improving the lives of poor people with better access to finance. More at

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