Source: worldpressphoto.org

The inde­pen­dent non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion World Press Pho­to recent­ly announced the results of its 63rd annu­al com­pe­ti­tion. Last Thurs­day the win­ners were announced in the nom­i­na­tions Pho­to of the Year, Sto­ry of the Year plus win­ners in 8 cat­e­gories. In total, about 74 thou­sand works from 4,282 pho­tog­ra­phers were sent. As a result, 44 win­ners were select­ed (30 of which received these prizes for the first time) from 24 coun­tries.

A jury of 17 pro­fes­sion­als from 6 coun­tries select­ed Yasuyoshi Chiba’s “Straight Voice” as Pho­to of the Year.

“This was the only peace­ful group of pro­test­ers that I met dur­ing my entire stay. I felt their invin­ci­ble sol­i­dar­i­ty, like burn­ing coals that con­tin­ue to flare up again and again,” says Chi­ba about his pho­tog­ra­phy.

Romain Loren­do’s “Kho, the Gen­e­sis of a Revolt” pho­to essay, cap­tur­ing the dis­con­tent of Alger­ian youth, which led to the largest protests in the entire pre­vi­ous decade, was cho­sen as Sto­ry of the Year.

“Part of me could not help but rec­og­nize myself in these young peo­ple. They are young, but tired of this sit­u­a­tion and just want to live like every­one else,” says Loren­do.

The works of all win­ners of the con­test can be found on the World Press Pho­to page.

The pho­tographs and mul­ti­me­dia projects of the win­ners will be exhib­it­ed at the World Expo held every year in Ams­ter­dam. The launch date has been delayed due to the cur­rent pan­dem­ic. Those plan­ning to attend events can reg­is­ter in advance on the World Press Pho­to event cal­en­dar.

Pho­to of the year: Straight Voice — Yasu­oshi Chi­ba (Japan), Agence France-Presse.

Descrip­tion: A young man illu­mi­nat­ed by mobile phones reads a poem as pro­test­ers shout slo­gans call­ing for civ­il rule dur­ing a pow­er out­age in Khar­toum, Sudan, on June 19.

Sto­ry: The protests began in the city of Atbara in Decem­ber 2018. The rea­son was report­ed­ly a tripling in the price of bread, but then the focus expand­ed and the protests quick­ly spread through­out the coun­try. By April 2019, pro­test­ers staged a sit-in close to the army head­quar­ters in the cap­i­tal Khar­toum demand­ing an end to Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year rule.

On April 11, al-Bashir was removed from office in a mil­i­tary coup and a tran­si­tion­al mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment was installed. The protests con­tin­ued with the demand for the trans­fer of pow­er to the civil­ians. On June 3, gov­ern­ment forces opened fire on unarmed demon­stra­tors. Many peo­ple were killed and many more suf­fered in the ensu­ing vio­lence. Three days lat­er, the African Union sus­pend­ed Sudan’s activ­i­ties in the union in the midst of wide­spread inter­na­tion­al con­dem­na­tion of the attack.

Author­i­ties sought to stop the protests by cut­ting off pow­er and block­ing Inter­net access. Pro­test­ers com­mu­ni­cat­ed via text mes­sages, word of mouth and mega­phones, while resis­tance to the mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment con­tin­ued. Ulti­mate­ly, the pro-democ­ra­cy move­ment suc­cess­ful­ly signed a pow­er-shar­ing agree­ment with the mil­i­tary on 17 August.

His­to­ry of the year: “Kho, the Gen­e­sis of a Revolt” (Kho, the Gen­e­sis of a Revolt) — Romain Loren­do (France).

Descrip­tion: Foot­ball fans gath­er out­side and sing on the day of a match played behind closed doors due to vio­lent out­breaks in Algiers, Algiers on Novem­ber 22, 2014.

Sto­ry: Young peo­ple make up half of Alge­ri­a’s pop­u­la­tion, and accord­ing to a UNESCO report, 72% of peo­ple under 30 in Alge­ria are unem­ployed.

At key moments in Alge­ri­a’s his­to­ry, such as the Black Octo­ber upris­ing of 1988, angry youth were the dri­ving force behind change. Black Octo­ber was bru­tal­ly sup­pressed — more than 500 peo­ple were killed with­in 5 days, fol­lowed by a “black decade” of vio­lence and unrest.

Thir­ty years lat­er, the effects of that decade are still being felt. High unem­ploy­ment leaves many bored and frus­trat­ed with every­day life, and young peo­ple feel dis­con­nect­ed from the state and its insti­tu­tions. In poor work­ing-class neigh­bor­hoods like Bab el Oued in Algiers, young peo­ple often seek refuge and escape from the pover­ty of every­day life in “wilds” — pri­vate spaces that become “bub­bles of free­dom”, away from social over­sight and con­ser­v­a­tive val­ues. How­ev­er, a sense of com­mu­ni­ty and sol­i­dar­i­ty is usu­al­ly not enough to cope with all the com­plex­i­ties of a poor life.

In Feb­ru­ary 2019, groups of young work­ers once again filled the streets, and became a real nation­al chal­lenge to the long-term rule of Pres­i­dent Abde­laz­iz Boute­fli­ka.

Kho (a word mean­ing “broth­er” in col­lo­qui­al North African Ara­bic) is about the begin­ning of a rebel­lion. It is a sto­ry of deep anx­i­ety among young peo­ple who, dar­ing to defy the author­i­ties, inspired the rest of the pop­u­la­tion to join their action, spawn­ing the largest protest move­ment in Alge­ria in decades.

Con­tem­po­rary Issues, Pho­tog­ra­phy, First Place: Noth­ing Per­son­al — the Back Office of War — Niki­ta Tereshin (Rus­sia).

Descrip­tion: A busi­ness­man hides anti-tank grenade launch­ers at the end of an exhi­bi­tion day at the Inter­na­tion­al Defense Exhi­bi­tion (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates, Feb­ru­ary 18.

Sto­ry: IDEX is the largest mil­i­tary exhi­bi­tion in the Mid­dle East and one of the major arms fairs in the world. No offi­cial atten­dance fig­ures are released, but the event attract­ed 1,200 defense pro­fes­sion­als, 1,300 exhibitors and over 105,000 vis­i­tors, accord­ing to UAE state media.

Vis­i­tors include defense min­is­ters, chiefs of staff and key gov­ern­ment deci­sion mak­ers who inter­act in con­fer­ence rooms, var­i­ous events dur­ing the show and at back office meet­ings. Com­bat actions are demon­strat­ed on screens and dum­mies, as well as out­door demon­stra­tions and dai­ly per­for­mances of water bat­tles.

Mod­ern prob­lems, pho­to essay, first place: The Longest War — Loren­zo Tag­no­li (Italy) for The Wash­ing­ton Post.

Descrip­tion: A dem­i­ning team from the Afghan Nation­al Defense and Secu­ri­ty Forces (ANDSF) det­o­nates an impro­vised explo­sive device found on the Ghazni-Kan­da­har high­way in east­ern Afghanistan Decem­ber 2, 2019. Impro­vised explo­sive devices are one of the main caus­es of casu­al­ties among civil­ians and ANDSF.

Sto­ry: In 2019, the Tal­iban recap­tured sig­nif­i­cant ter­ri­to­ries and increased their influ­ence in Afghanistan. Eigh­teen years after the US inva­sion and five years after the ANDSF became respon­si­ble for the defense of Afghanistan, the Tal­iban con­trol or com­pete with troops for near­ly half of the coun­try, oper­at­ing as a shad­ow gov­ern­ment in some areas.

Peace talks that began in Jan­u­ary seemed to be mov­ing towards an agree­ment in August, but were thwart­ed by US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in Sep­tem­ber. Fight­ing inten­si­fied dur­ing the talks as both sides tried to gain lever­age, while on the ground the talks gave the Tal­iban more polit­i­cal legit­i­ma­cy. The spread of Tal­iban vio­lence has over­bur­dened the ANDSF and result­ed in a large num­ber of casu­al­ties.

The esca­la­tion of the con­flict has also had a severe impact on the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion: high casu­al­ties, forced dis­place­ment, extreme secu­ri­ty inse­cu­ri­ty, lack of access to edu­ca­tion, and a weak­ened pub­lic health sys­tem. A report pub­lished in June 2019 by the Insti­tute for Peace and Eco­nom­ics named Afghanistan as the “least peace­ful” coun­try in the world, edg­ing out Syr­ia, although in ear­ly 2020 it seemed that a peace deal was once again pos­si­ble.

Envi­ron­ment, pho­tog­ra­phy, first place: “Polar Bear and her Cub” — Esther Horváth (Hun­gary) for The New York Times.

Descrip­tion: A polar bear and her cub approach equip­ment installed by sci­en­tists from Polarstern, a ves­sel that is part of a sci­en­tif­ic expe­di­tion inves­ti­gat­ing the effects of cli­mate change in the Arc­tic, in the cen­tral Arc­tic Ocean.

Sto­ry: AT The Arc­tic is home to one of the fastest retreat­ing sea glac­i­ers on the plan­et, with a heat­ing rate twice the glob­al aver­age. This will have a strong impact on the glob­al cli­mate in terms of tem­per­a­ture rise and sea lev­el rise, how­ev­er, the process­es occur­ring in the Arc­tic cli­mate sys­tem are poor­ly rep­re­sent­ed in cli­mate mod­els. This sit­u­a­tion is explained by the fact that, until now, sci­en­tif­ic mis­sions could not pen­e­trate the region dur­ing the Arc­tic win­ter, when the semi-annu­al night falls on the Arc­tic.

The Polarstern is the mis­sion ship of the Mul­ti­pur­pose Drift­ing Obser­va­to­ry for the Study of the Arc­tic Cli­mate (MOSA­iC) expe­di­tion, designed specif­i­cal­ly to with­stand extreme low tem­per­a­tures and break through thick ice. The team has up to 100 peo­ple who can work year-round. Infor­ma­tion from MOSA­iC will be used in glob­al cli­mate mod­els.

Nature, pho­tog­ra­phy, first place: “Last Farewell” (Final Farewell) — Alan Schroed­er (Bel­gium).

Descrip­tion: The body of a one-month-old orang­utan lies on a res­cue team’s sur­gi­cal sheet, near the city of Sub­u­lus­salam, Suma­tra, Indone­sia. She died short­ly after being found with her wound­ed mate­ria on a palm oil plan­ta­tion.

Sto­ry: Oran­tu­tans live on only two islands in the world, Suma­tra and Bor­neo, and are grad­u­al­ly being dis­placed from their usu­al habi­tats in the rain­forests, as palm oil plan­ta­tions, log­ging and min­ing expand. Accord­ing to the World Wildlife Fund, there are only 14,000 orang­utans left in Suma­tra. Since female orang­utans devote eight to nine years to rais­ing each cub before hav­ing anoth­er, pop­u­la­tions are eas­i­ly at risk of decline and extinc­tion. The moth­er of the cub in the pho­to, which res­cuers have named Hope (trans­lat­ed from Eng­lish as Hope), was found com­plete­ly blind, with a bro­ken col­lar­bone and 74 wounds from pneu­mat­ic weapons. She was shot by the vil­lagers after she stole fruit from their gar­dens.

Por­trait, pho­tog­ra­phy, first place: “Awak­en­ing” — Tomek Kachor (Poland), for Duży For­mat, Gaze­ta Wybor­cza

Descrip­tion: A 15-year-old Armen­ian girl who recent­ly woke up from a cata­ton­ic state due to Res­ig­na­tion Syn­drome sits on a wheel­chair, accom­pa­nied by her par­ents, at a refugee recep­tion cen­ter in Pod­kowa Lesna, Poland.

Sto­ry: Patients with with­draw­al syn­drome are pas­sive, immo­bile, unable to speak, unable to eat or drink, incon­ti­nent, and unre­spon­sive to phys­i­cal stim­uli. It appears in trau­ma­tized chil­dren dur­ing the long asy­lum process, and most often occurs in chil­dren from the Balka­ns, Roma and Yezi­di chil­dren.

It was dis­cov­ered in the late 1990s and was thought to be lim­it­ed to Swe­den, although cas­es have since also been report­ed at the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment-run refugee deten­tion cen­ter in Nau­ru. Remis­sion and a grad­ual return to nor­mal func­tion­ing occurs after an improve­ment in life cir­cum­stances. An Armen­ian girl devel­oped the syn­drome while her fam­i­ly was seek­ing asy­lum in Swe­den, but did not recov­er until eight months lat­er, after they were deport­ed to Poland.

Sports, pho­tog­ra­phy, first place: “Leonard’s three-point­er after the siren in Game 7» (Leonard’s Game 7 Buzzer Beat­er) – Mark Blinch (Cana­da) for NBAE

Descrip­tion: Kaui Leonard (crouch­ing, cen­ter) of the Toron­to Rap­tors watch­es as his “buzzer-beat­er” game-win­ner hits the net dur­ing Game 7 against the Philadel­phia 76ers in the Nation­al Bas­ket­ball Asso­ci­a­tion’s East­ern Con­fer­ence Play­off Semi­fi­nals at Sco­tia­bank Are­na, Toron­to, Cana­da.

Sto­ry: “Buzzer-beat­er” — a throw that flies into the bas­ket imme­di­ate­ly after the final beep, announc­ing the end of the peri­od or the entire match. Leonard’s ball hit the rim as the final horn sound­ed and bounced off the rim four more times before hit­ting the net. It was the first buzzer-beat­er in NBA his­to­ry to win in Game 7 (the decider of a sev­en-game series dur­ing the play­offs). The Toron­to Rap­tors and the Philadel­phia 76ers have each won three games in a sev­en-game series so far. After that, the Toron­to Rap­tors became the first team out­side the Unit­ed States to win the NBA Finals.

Break­ing News, Pho­to, Win­ner: Farouk Batish (Alge­ria), for Deutsche Presse-Agen­tur

Descrip­tion: Stu­dents against the police dur­ing an anti-gov­ern­ment demon­stra­tion in Algiers, Algiers, May 21.

Sto­ry: Alge­ria has been involved in protests since Feb­ru­ary. Ini­tial­ly, the protests were aimed at over­throw­ing Pres­i­dent Abde­laz­iz Boute­fli­ka, an 81-year-old vet­er­an of the inde­pen­dence strug­gle who was in poor health and had not been seen in pub­lic for some time. Boute­fli­ka resigned in April, hand­ing over pow­er to an inter­im mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment, but demon­stra­tions con­tin­ued.

The pro­test­ers demand­ed the can­cel­la­tion of the pres­i­den­tial elec­tions sched­uled for July 4 and a return to civ­il democ­ra­cy. They also called for the res­ig­na­tion of gov­ern­ment offi­cials asso­ci­at­ed with the Boute­fli­ka admin­is­tra­tion, includ­ing the inter­im pres­i­dent and prime min­is­ter. The protests con­tin­ued into 2020 with­out a suc­cess­ful res­o­lu­tion.

The full list of win­ners and final­ists can be found on the World Press Pho­to page.

* when prepar­ing the arti­cle, mate­ri­als from worldpressphoto.org, dpreview.com, onfoto.ru resources were used.