'Young Talent' - © Anastasia Zhetvina, Russia
 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.

Scandal and drama at the Youth World Photography Awards as a winner is disqualified

March 20 , 2014 by: Daniela Bowker Events, News

Here’s a life lesson: if you think that you can get away with submitting an image to an age-restricted photography competition, a competition in which you’re subsequently named as a winner, when you’re actually older than you’re supposed to be, you should probably think again. The chances are that you’ll be found out. Then you’ll be stripped of your prize and you’ll be plastered across the Intergoogles for all the wrong reasons.

This is precisely what happened to Borhan Mardani, who was named as the winner of the Culture category of the Youth Sony World Photography Awards on Tuesday.

Mardani, it turns out, wasn’t 19 when he took his ‘winning’ image, as he stated in his written declaration. Now that he’s been found out, his prize has been removed from him and instead awarded to 19 year old Anastasia Zhetvina, from Russia, for her image Young talents.

'Young Talent' - © Anastasia Zhetvina, Russia  2014 Sony World Photography Awards.

‘Young Talent’ – © Anastasia Zhetvina, Russia
2014 Sony World Photography Awards.

Anastasia will now join Paulina Metzscher and Turjoy Chowdhury, the two other Youth finalists, in winning a Sony A5000 and the chance to be named Youth Photographer of the Year and flown to London to celebrate at the Sony World Photography Awards’ party at the end of April.

About Daniela

This post was written by Daniela Bowker, who has written 1393 articles for Photocritic

Daniela has written three books on photography, contributed to several others, and acted as the editorial consultant on many more.

Her newest book, Social Photography, is currently available as a digital download as well as in bookshops in the UK and US.

You might also want to check out her exploration of other-worldly photographic creations, Surreal Photography: Creating the Impossible, and Photo School Fundamentals, for which she contributed the section on composition.


  • […] to a report by Photocritic, after being announced as the winner of the Culture category in the Youth World Photography Awards, […]

  • How old was he?

    • I’m waiting on a comment from the WPO.

  • And I wanted to see his original submission and decide which one I liked best…I know I could look but I’m busy and you’re my gurl with this one Daniela, I love this ‘people enter contest but cheat’ stuff!

    • Sorry, Saul. We were asked to take down the offending image, which seemed fair so that it didn’t draw attention away from Anastasia’s gorgeous black and white.

  • […] to a report by Photocritic,  the winner of the Culture category in the Youth World Photography Awards, Borhan Mardani was […]

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