Don’t hesitate!

We have asked a selection of Ian Parry alumni to reflect on what it meant to them to win the Ian Parry Scholarship. This week acclaimed photographer Marcus Bleasdale reveals how it changed his life.

IPS: With which work did you win the Ian Parry Scholarship?

MB: I worked in Sierra Leone during the war and documented the plight of the amputees who had suffered at the hands of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). Many of them had lost limbs as the RUF hacked them off in the political statements they were trying to make against the then government.


 Amputees of Sierra Leone. Abbas, amputed at the age of 3, playing in the MSF camp. © Marcus Bleasdale. Abbas, amputed at the age of 3, playing in MSF camp.

Amputees of Sierra Leone. Abbas, amputed at the age of 3, playing in the MSF camp.
  © Marcus Bleasdale

IPS: How did winning affect your professional career?

MB: Winning the Ian Parry changed my life completely. I was immediately working and taken seriously by the international press and magazines and assignments started almost immediately too. It made me as a photographer.

IPS: What are you working on right now?

MB: I am working on a long-term project on the Central African Republic for National Geographic Magazine and I am trying to set up a philanthropic foundation in Norway.

IPS: What advice do you have for young people that are entering this year?

MB: If you have work you think is appropriate for the award, don’t hesitate, enter. It can change your life too!

For more of Marcus’ winning work, click here. To view Marcus’ current work, have a look at his website.


Marcus Bleasdale (b.1968, UK) works on human rights and conflict has been shown at the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, the UN and the Houses of Parliament in the UK. He shoots for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Telegraph, Stern, TIME, Newsweek and National Geographic. He has won numerous other awards including the Unicef Photographer of the Year, the Alexia Foundation Award and several POYis.