Earlier this year, MA Photography student Asef Ali Mohammad won the prestigious Sony's World Photography Awards 2012 Student Focus competition.
Asef's winning images saw him travel to Kabul to photograph young artists in the Afghan capital to offer a different view to the war torn images usually associated with the country. The photographs helped the Middlesex student scoop first place in the competition which is part of the world's largest and most high profile student photography programme, incorporating over 220 universities with more than 20,000 students from all six continents taking part.
Asef said: "I am absolutely ecstatic. To win in front of so many prominent photographers was fantastic and great exposure – I'm so happy! Normally when photographers go to Afghanistan, they take graphic images of the problems and warzones of the country. I wanted to show a different, lighter side to Afghanistan, a side which is often forgotten."
Asef's success also means that Middlesex has received high-end photography equipment from Sony worth 35,000 euros, including Sony Alpha cameras, lenses, flashes and SD cards. Says Asef: "The photography department's move to the new art and design facilities in the Grove saw us benefit from really impressive equipment, but the new haul of equipment from Sony will provide students with further flexibility and increase the availability of equipment for students to help us become the next generation of leading photographers."
Ania Wadsworth, Student Focus Manager at the World Photography Organisation (WPO), comments "We are delighted to have discovered such great talent in student photographer, Asef Ali Mohammad, who was educated in Pakistan before moving to the UK in 2002 where he now studies at Middlesex University."
Read Asef's photography blog in The Guardian