Alvaro Ybarra Zavala (born 1979) is based in Spain.

My training as a photographer began when I was a child, thanks to my grandfather. When I was very young, I already spent most of my time playing with photo cameras and developing the film in the darkroom. Photography was like walking to me, it has always been present in my life, and I grew with a camera in my hands.

My only formal training experience took place thanks to the World Press Photo Foundation, which selected me to participate at the Joop Swart Masterclass.

Currently, I am proud to be a Represented Photographer with Reportage by Getty Images, having joined in early 2009. This is a project with which I feel completely identified, and where I am lucky enough to share the experience with an exceptional team of photographers.

Formerly, early in my career, I had the opportunity of being invited to become a member of the VU Agency where, thanks to the support provided by Christian Canjoulle I was able to grow, both as a photographer and as an individual.

Since the very beginning, a particular concept left a lifelong impression on me, and has simultaneously become the backbone of all my work, as well as the way in which I understand photography. It is the contradiction shown in the behaviour of humans, who at times are able to become wolves and turn against their fellow man. This represents the foundation on which my whole career as a photographer is laid. It is a search intended to reflect the darkest side of ourselves, which regretfully is often repeated through generations, and to confront our true values.

This body of work I have produced has seen me photograph some tragic chapters of our recent history, including the wars in Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Congo, Uganda, Colombia, Lebanon and Darfur, the terrible episodes of the Haiti Earthquake and the dark legacies of the tsunamis in Japan and Indonesia, the social movements in Latin America, the hidden face of new emerging world powers like India or China, or the horrible legacy of the AIDS epidemic.

This work has been published worldwide in magazines including Time, Newsweek, the Sunday Times, Vanity Fair, Le Monde, L´Espresso, and El País Semanal, which have represented a strong support during my nearly fifteen years of professional career. I have also cooperated with organisations like Human Rights Watch, the International Committee of the Red Cross and UNHCR.

Awards, grants and honours:

2011
-Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography - Colombia in the Eternity of Sorrow.
-Visa Pour L’Image – VISA D’Or - Finalist.
-POY Finalist in the Best Book of the Year category for Apocalipsis.

2010
-Overseas Press Club of America - Olivier Rebbot Award

2009
-World Press Photo - Joop Swart Masterclass
-Photographers Giving Back - Picture Story of the Year & General News Picture of the Year
-Anthrophographia - Finalist

2008
-POYi - Issue Reporting Story
-Lumix Festival Hanover - Finalist
-Cirilo Rodriguez Award

2007
-PDN 30
-Prix Bayeux for War Correspondents - Finalist
-Visa Pour l’Image - Young Reporter of Perpignan - Finalist


Exhibitions and photographic essays:

2012
-Exhibition WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Photographs of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath. Houston, November 11, 2012, subsequently travelling to the Annenberg Space for Photography, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum.
-Exhibition: APOCALIPSIS. Vitoria 21 September, Periscopio Festival.

2011
-Exhibition Visa pour l´image - Colombia in the eternity of Sorrow
-Exhibition: International Year for People of African Descent 2011. UNHCR - Colombia
-Exhibition: War and Peace – Anniversary of the Bombing of Guernica
-Exhibition: Cries of Freedom – Bar Association of Madrid

2010
-Publication of the Book Apocalipsis - Editorial TURNER
-Screening of the Apocalipsis proyect in Visa pour l´Image, Perpignan
-Screening of Los guardianes de la Revolución in Visa pour l´Image, Perpignan
-Exhibition: Apocalipsis, at the Madrid Photo Festival
-Exhibition: A metro y medio sobre el suelo – Madrid Bar Association
-Exhibition: La hora del recreo. Museo del Prado, Madrid. – Telefónica Foundation
-Publication of the Book La hora del Recreo - Lunwerg

2009
-Publication of the Book Darfur - Editorial TURNER
-Exhibition: Darfur - Centro de las artes de Sevilla – ICAS

2008
-Exhibition: Colombia, el conflicto olvidado - LUMIX FESTIVAL, Hannover
-Screening of Afghanistan - in Visa Pour l’Image, Perpignan

2007
-Exhibition: Los hijos del desconsuelo - Vitoria Periscopio Photo Festival
-Screening of one year of work - in Visa Pour l’Image, Perpignan

2006
-Exhibition: Los hijos del desconsuelo - in Visa Pour l’Image, Perpignan
-Exhibition: Los hijos del desconsuelo - Madrid
-Publication of the Book Los hijos del desconsuelo – UNHCR

2005
-Exhibition: The Voices of Darfur. London, Royal Albert Hall - UNHCR