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Second finalist 2023

Eduardo Soteras

Tigray: Ethiopia’s cascade into chaos


In November 2020 long-simmering tensions between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which formerly dominated national politics, boiled over into outright conflict. Abiy, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, announced in a pre-dawn Facebook post on November 4 that he was sending troops into Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray region to detain and disarm the TPLF’s leaders.

He promised the war — or “law enforcement operation,” in his words — would be quick and would cause minimal, if any, harm to Tigray’s roughly six million people. The international goodwill Abiy had accrued during his short time in power ensured that many observers took him at his word — at least at first. It’s now more than two years since the war began, and during this time the very limited number of journalists that were allowed to cover the conflict were able to confirm a large number of atrocities perpetrated by both sides of the conflict: rape as a weapon of war, massacres, incipient famine arriving to the affected populations and thousands of people displaced in a conflict that it’s replicating into many other regions of the country.  


Eduardo Soteras Jalil is a documentary photographer. He was born in Argentina in 1975. He studied for a degree in Economics (1999) and a Master's degree in Photojournalism (2007). In 2009 he completed the project "En el camino" about the journey of Central American migrants through Mexico (Blume Book, 2010, winner of the PoY Latam Best Photobook of the year). In 2010 he started the project "Neutral Fire" about the Swiss target shooting culture. In 2011 he started the long-term project "Masafer. Life in the Inestice" about the life of the communities living in caves in the South Hebron Hills. His project "What Remains" is the result of his documentation of the last attack on Gaza during the months of August and September 2014. Also in Gaza, he is developing the project "Gaza, Mode d'Emploi", a story about common places in an uncommon place, which has been published by Le Courier International and Granta Magazine. The National Chamber of Commerce of Argentina awarded him for his artistic achievements as "Outstanding Young Artist of the Year 2014". He was awarded the Grand Prix de la Photo Varenne 2022, UNICEF Photo of the Year 2022, and first prize in the Photo Of the Year International in the 2022 International/National News Series category. He currently resides in Nairobi, Kenya.