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Balazs Gardi
Balázs Gárdi
Alma mater MÚOSZ Journalism School [hu]

Balazs Gardi is a Hungarian-born, American-based photographer. In 2008, Gardi received two 1st Prizes in the World Press Photo Awards and won the Photojournalism prize in the Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents for his work from Afghanistan.


Gardi first studied photography under József Hefelle at the Budapesti Komplex SZC Kézművesipari vocational high school before attending the MÚOSZ Journalism School [hu] in Budapest and later the University of Wales, Cardiff.

Photography career

Gardi started working as a photographer for the daily newspaper Népszabadság around 2000. In the mid-2000s, he spent two years documenting the Roma (Gypsy) minorities, photographing the often impoverished and discriminated peoples throughout a dozen Eastern European countries. His photographs have appeared publications including Harper's Magazine, National Geographic, The New York Times, Wired, Time, Outside, The Atlantic, Newsweek, and The Guardian.

His series titled "Thirst," depicts human civilization in water stressed areas. The Thirst series is part of Facing Water Crisis, Gardi's project documenting the impact of human population growth on water scarcity.

In 2010 and 2011, he documented the First Battalion, Eighth Marines, throughout their deployment in southern Afghanistan’s war-torn deserts, in collaboration with Basetrack Live. In Afghanistan, Gardi also experimented with using an iPhone as his primary camera, publishing a photo essay in Foreign Policy titled "The War in Hipstamatic".

In 2011, Gardi travelled to rural KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa to document the communities who live there. His work there was supported by a Magnum Foundation Fund grant.

In 2021, Gardi photographed the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol on assignment for The New Yorker. Gardi's photographs accompanied an article titled "The Storm" by Luke Mogelson in the print edition of the January 25, 2021, issue.


  • 2005: Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography to continue his work with the Roma community
  • 2006: Alexia foundation professional prize, for his series Afghanistan - Between War And Peace
  • 2008: Winner, Photojournalism prize, Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents, for photographs from the war zones in Afghanistan.
  • 2008: 1st Prize, General News, Stories category from World Press Photo
  • 2008: 1st Prize, General News, Singles category, World Press Photo
  • 2009: Winner, Global Vision Award, Pictures of the Year International, for his "Thirst" series
  • 2018: A Sony World Photography Award for his work featuring Afghani Buzkashi players.
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