Honorable Mention / 2018 / Press / Travel/Tourism

The Descent of the Ukukus

  • Photographer
    Chris Roche

High in the Andes at an altitude of over 5000meters a band of 'Ukukus' celebrate the
festival of Qoyllur Rit'i which is a Quechua word for Shining Snow. Following a mixture of
Catholic and Inca rituals, thousands of pilgrims ascend up to the holy glaciers carrying
large crosses where they perform initiation ceremonies before descending again at dawn.
This image form part of an ongoing project of mine that I have been working on for the last few years called 'Devotion' which explores different faith traditions around the world.

Born in Canada to Irish parents, Chris Roche grew up in Africa and around Europe. Dividing his time between working as a filmmaker and photographer he is now based in the UK.

His has won several awards including the Miramax Scriptwriting Award, the Wanderlust Photograph of the Year competition 2015, the Wild Frontiers Photo of the Year 2014 and the Sony World Photo of the Year 2016, National Award Ireland. He has had his photos published in the national press and exhibited in the Royal Geographical Society in London and United Nations Office at Geneva.

He recently published a photographic book; The Priests and Pilgrims of Ethiopia and Prestel are publishing a book of his images of Varanasi; Banaras, Holy City in April 2016.

He is currently working on a project, Devotion, exploring differing faith traditions around the world.

Awards 2017 Travel Photographer of the Year Finalist

Zeiss Photography Awards Finalist

PX3 Prix de la Photographie, Paris (Press) Honourable Mention

Sony World Photography Awards Honorable Mention

Siena International Photo Awards Finalist

Tokyo International Foto Awards (People/Culture) Bronze

2016 PX3 Prix de la Photographie, Paris (Press) 1st Place, Gold

Wanderlust Photo of the Year (People) 1st Place

Tokyo International Foto Awards (People/Culture) 1st Place, Gold

Outdoor Photographer of the Year (Spirit of Travel) 1st Place

Travel Photographer of the Year, Finalist

Sony World Photography National Award 1st Place

Moscow International Foto Awards Honorable Mention

Siena International Photo Awards Honorable Mention

2015 The Wanderlust Photo Portfolio of the Year 1st Place.

International Photographer of the Year (People, Travel) 1st Place

International Photographer of the Year (People, Portrait) Honorable Mention

International Photography Awards (Traditions and Culture) Honorable Mention

2014 Wild Frontiers Photo of the Year 2014. 1st Place.
Published two photographic books
The Priests and Pilgrims of Ethiopia and Banaras, Holy City