This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – the winners of the 2020 World Press Photo Contest. Looking at this year’s collection of winners and place-getters reaffirms the importance of visually documenting what’s happening in the world. Not just headline stories, but deep-dive investigations into stories that may not be high on the news agenda, but deserve our attention.
This year 4282 photographers from 125 countries entered more than 74,000 images in the annual contest. There were also 287 productions entered in the Digital Storytelling contest. Here are some of the winners in the photo contest.
World Press Photo Contest 2020 – And the winners are…
World Press Photo of the Year
Yasuyoshi Chiba is this year’s winner of Photo of the Year for his picture Straight Voice taken during the uprising in Khartoum, Sudan on 19 June, 2019.
Chiba is Agence France-Presse’s (AFP) Chief Photographer for East Africa and the Indian Ocean, and is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. Chiba, says of this photo: “The place was a total blackout. Then, unexpectedly, people started clapping hands in the dark. People held up mobile phones to illuminate a young man in the center. He recited a famous protest poem, an improvised one. Between his breath, everybody shouted ‘thawra’, the word revolution in Arabic. His facial expression and voice impressed me, I couldn’t stop focusing on him and captured the moment.” Chiba also took out first prize for this image in the General News category.
World Press Photo Story of the Year
This prize was awarded to French photographer Romain Laurendeau for his body of work, Kho, the Genesis of a Revolt. Kho is the colloquial word for brother in North-African Arabic.
Laurendeau says, “It was impossible for a part of me not to recognize myself in these young people. They are young but they are tired of this situation and they just want to live like everyone else.”
Contemporary Issues, Singles
Russian-born, Berlin-based photographer Nikita Teryoshin won first prize in this category for the picture Nothing Personal – the Back Office of War.
“A businessman locks away a pair of anti-tank grenade launchers at the end of an exhibition day, at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. IDEX is the biggest defense exhibition and conference in the Middle East, and one of the biggest arms trade-fairs in the world.”
Esther Horvath’s picture of a polar bear and her cub won first prize in this category. This picture was taken by Horvath on assignment for The New York Times.
This photograph by Belgian photographer Alain Schroeder won first prize. Final Farewell captures a one month-old Orangutan in the last moments of life, a victim of Sumatra’s rapacious palm oil industry.
First prize went to Warsaw-based photographer Tomek Kaczor for his picture Awakening, which depicts 15 year old Armenian girl Ewa, “who has recently woken from catatonic state brought on by Resignation Syndrome” (RS) in Podkowa Leśna, Poland.
This condition “renders patients passive, immobile, mute, unable to eat and drink, incontinent and unresponsive to physical stimulus. It affects psychologically traumatized children in the midst of lengthy asylum processes, and seems most common in Roma and Yazidi children as well as those from the Balkans. It was first noted in the late 1990s, and was thought to be confined to Sweden, though cases have since been reported in the offshore refugee detention center run by the Australian government in Nauru.”
New York-based Australian photographer Adam Ferguson took out the first prize for his project, The Haunted. This photograph pictures “Rezan (11), who was kidnapped by IS in 2014 and freed in early 2019, at the Khanke IDP Camp in Dohuk, Iraqi Kurdistan.” Ferguson took a series of “posed portraits of displaced Yazidi people and other minorities who had suffered human rights violations perpetrated by IS, in camps for displaced people in northern Iraq.” He was on assignment for the New York Times Magazine.
See all the winners here.