Published: Nov. 30, 2022

Masood Sarwar’s winning photo titled 'The endless dance of erosion'

“The endless dance of erosion” by Masood Sarwer. November 2021. Malda, West Bengal, India.

Photography 4 Humanity, in partnership with United Nations Human Rights and CU Boulder, has announced the winning photograph of the 2022 Photography 4 Humanity Global Challenge.

Top 10 finalists

A girl surveys her submerged home. In place of a green forest, a garbage dump rises. A mother brings her children to safety in floodwater that stranded 6 million. Due to a recent flash flood, a family is finding it difficult to both walk on the flooded roads as well as move their cart. Women work during a sandstorm in a garden being stolen by drought. An 88-year-old man gazes at his TV screen showing a high temperature red-alert that has been going on for 70 days - a first for him. Coastal mangrove forest in Quang Ngai, Vietnam. Yamina Kotit shields her children from the strong winds that are sweeping the area in Morocco. The decreasing border between Iran's sands and villages. Remnants of the coastal town of Mananjary, Madagascar, destroyed by an unusually fierce cyclone.

Click the images to enlarge 

Masood Sarwer’s photo titled “The endless dance of erosion” was selected from thousands of entries by photographers from across the globe as the winning entry.

The contest, which seeks to highlight the impacts of climate change through a human rights lens, culminated with the unveiling of the winning photo and more than 30 finalists and honorable mentions at CU Boulder as the university is set to host the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit Dec. 2–4.

The winning photograph, which depicts a house in India tipping precariously into the Ganges River, is accompanied by a description by Nurul Islam, one of the subjects in the photo, who says, “Last week my wife died due to cardiac arrest and the following week we started dismantling our house when we heard the Ganges started eroding the land again.”

Sarwer, the winning photographer, is based in New Delhi and focuses his work on documenting the profound changes in culture and society and the contemporary issues in the Murshidabad district region where he grew up.


“The reason I took this photograph is to show the slow violence of the region and how it has created a permanent impact on the socioeconomic conditions and demographic dislocation,” said Sarwer. “The slow and steady riverbank erosion has not only given birth to a class of environmental refugees but also has denied the right to rehabilitation.”

The images in the contest highlight the challenges caused by the climate crisis to vulnerable populations around the world—a theme that will be at the center of Global Climate Summit taking place this weekend.

“The selected photographs in this exhibit show both the devastating humanitarian impacts of climate change and the urgency with which we must act to prevent further harm,” said David Clark, founder and CEO of the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance. “These images have the power to shape our understanding of this global crisis in ways that words cannot.”

The photos will remain on display at NEST Studio for the Arts throughout the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit in an exhibit that is free and open to the public. They will then move to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City for UN Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.

Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance Founder and CEO David Clark, right, and RHRNGCA Chief Impact Officer Bill Stark  talk at unveiling of exhibit

Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance Founder and CEO David Clark, right, and RHRNGCA Chief Impact Officer Bill Stark at the exhibit opening this week.