Simon Móricz-Sabján was born in Kiskunhalas, Hungary in 1980. He is an award-winning photojournalist and documentary photographer living in Budapest, Hungary. Since 2016 he is the official photographer of the Hungarian daily business newspaper Világgazdaság and the monthly business magazine Manager Magazin. Between 2003 and 2016 he worked for Népszabadság, the largest Hungarian independent daily political newspaper which was closed down in October 2016.
Apart from his job Simon works on personal projects as well, dedicating a lot of time to develop his personal material, working on photo essays for years in some cases. May it be a social issue or just everyday stories, his main focus is the human being and his surroundings.
Simon’s work has been recognized by many photography awards. He has won first prizes at the China International Press Photo Contest on two occasions, as well as multiple awards from Pictures of the Year International (POYi), NPPA Best of Photojournalism, Prix International de la Photographie, PDN, iPhone Photography Awards, Ringier Photo Award, Kolga Tbilisi Photo Award and FCBarcelona Photo Award. Among other acknowledgments, he won prizes at Hungarian Press Photo competitions on 33 occasions, including two Grand Prize of the Association of Hungarian Journalists; five Munkácsi Márton Awards for the best collections; three awards for photographers under 30; the best press photographer award; and two Escher Károly Prizes for the best news photo. Three times winner of József Pécsi scholarship (for talented young art photographers), four times winner of NKA scholarship; he won the Budapest Photography Scholarship in 2012, the Népszabadság Grand Prize in 2013, and the Hemző Károly Prize in 2015.
He is a founding member of Pictorial Collective, a group of Hungarian photojournalists.
2018 - NPPA Best of Photojournalism, 2018 - 36th Hungarian Press Photo Contest, 2017 - 35th Hungarian Press Photo, 2017 - Kolga Tbilisi Photo 2017, 2017 - FC Barcelona Photo Award, 2016 - 34th Hungarian Press Photo, 2016 - 13th China International Press Photo Contest, 2016 - 73rd Pictures of the Year International ( POYi ), 2016 - NPPA Best of Photojournalism, 2015 - 33rd Hungarian Press Photo, 2015 - Hemző Károly Prize , 2015 - 12th China International Press Photo Contest, 2013 - Nepszabadsag Grand Prize, 2013 - 31st Hungarian Press Photo, 2013 - 31st Hungarian Press Photo, 2012 - Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3), 2012 - Budapest Photography Grant, 2011 - China International Press Photo Contest, 2011 - József Pécsi Fine Art Photography Grant , 2010 - József Pécsi Fine Art Photography Grant, 2009 - PDN Ultimate Music Moment Photography Contest, 2009 - Hungarian Press Photo, 2009 - Hungarian Press Photo, 2009 - József Pécsi Fine Art Photography Grant, 2008 - Ringier International Photo Award , 2008 - Hungarian Press Photo, 2007 - Ringier International Photo Award, 2007 - Hungarian Press Photo, 2007 - Hungarian Press Photo, 2007 - Hungarian Press Photo
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Closed borders - The Balkan route
The international refugee crisis of today is unique both by size and by complexity. It completely reshapes Europe and seems to be permanent. More than a million refugees crossed the borders of the European Union in 2015 fleeing from the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and other countries. The continent is struggling with a refugee crisis unheard-of since the end of World War II. In 2016, people have continued to cross the eastern Mediterranean into Europe, but in much smaller numbers. More than two-thirds of them came through Greece on their way to Western Europe. That changed in March, when an agreement between the EU and Turkey transformed Greece from an entry point to a dead end. Macedonia has closed its border on 9 March 2016 to all but a trickle of refugees and migrants, following the example of Hungary and other countries along the so-called West Balkans route to Germany. Suddenly more than 75 000 refugees and migrants are stranded in Greece and the Western Balkans.
The number of dirt roads is amazingly high in Hungary. Many people live habitually and inevitably along dirt roads in the rural areas of many counties. One of the main problems of many Hungarian villages is the state of their common roads, which also poses as an obstacle of their improvement. More than 70 percent of public roads of local governments in Hungary have no surface pavement.
The villages of Csanytelek and Tömörkény of Csongád county are representative examples of the problems „Mud Country“ must face. More than a third of the population lives along dirt roads. In rainy weather, the ground alongside the river becomes completely impassable.
Depopulated farmlands, emigration and the spreading of poverty also characterize “Mud Country”. Millions living in the deepest poverty, an extremely small middle class and more and more people who cannot provide for their family despite having a job – these are the features of Hungary. One in every three Hungarians live in poverty.