Gay Space Agency, Butterflies in Karabakh. Best World Press Photo

Gay Space Agency, Butterflies in Karabakh. Best World Press Photo
Gay Space Agency, Butterflies in Karabakh. Best World Press Photo

Israel’s war with Hamas, protests by German activists against coal mines, rising ocean levels in Fiji, a family’s battle with cancer and dementia. The world’s best photographs once again show our world today in the full breadth of its problems, worries and joys.

For the third time, instead of nominations, the World Press Photo competition has adopted a format where the jury selects winners in six world regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, North + Central America, South America and Southeast Asia + Oceania. The new system helps eliminate the criticized disproportionality of nominations: in 2021, only seven percent of new entrants came from South America, five from Southeast Asia and Oceania, and just three percent from Africa.

“The selected works are a tapestry of our contemporary world. We believe that the photographs were created with a respect and integrity that speaks universally and will resonate far beyond where they were taken,” said Fiona Shields, head of photojournalism at the UK’s Guardian newspaper, on behalf of the jury of the current regional winners.

“It is an opportunity to appreciate the work of journalists and documentary photographers and to emphasize the importance of the stories they describe; often in unimaginable situations. Their work is created with courage, intelligence and ingenuity,” added the judge.

A total of 33 photographers were awarded this year. The organizers consistently point out that the competition does not include photos created with the help of artificial intelligence. “We would detect artificial or edited photos using a multi-layered investigation. We verify the professionalism of all contestants and the facts of every story shown. The images are evaluated by experts and the original files are then examined by two independent digital analysts,” they explain.

The four global winners will be announced on the morning of Thursday, April 18. And that includes the World Press Photo of the Year. The ceremonial announcement is planned in Amsterdam, where a traditional traveling exhibition heading to more than sixty world capitals will be launched right away. The photos will be viewed by visitors in London, Berlin, Rome, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Taipei, Sydney, Toronto and Tunis. Prague does not yet appear in the list of planned exhibitions.

Last year, the photo of the year was a picture documenting the terrible moment when Ukrainian rescuers carry out an injured woman in a high stage of pregnancy from a bombed-out hospital in Mariupol. Its author was the Ukrainian photographer Jevhen Maloletka, who personally launched the previous year’s Czech Press Photo in the Czech Republic.

All photos can be found in the gallery above. Below we attach three more videos that were part of the winning projects in the Free Format category:

AFRICA REGION WINNER – Free format – Adrift © Felipe Dana and Renata Brito, for the Associated Press: In May 2021, a Mauritanian ship full of corpses landed off the Caribbean island of Tobago. Who were these men and how did they get here across the Atlantic? The project tries to find answers to these questions and uncovers the fate of migrants from West Africa who are heading to Europe. Many of them never make it here, because their ships get caught in dangerous currents that take them all the way to the Caribbean.

SOUTH AMERICA REGIONAL WINNER – Free Format – Hidden Crimes © Marco Garro, Pulitzer Center: The project focuses on the forgotten stories of discrimination against the LGBTQI community in the Peruvian Amazon. Its members were terrorized for twenty years by local left-wing revolutionary groups, such as Světlá stezka and MRTA.

EUROPE REGION WINNER – Free format – War is personal © Julia Kochetova: While the media informs the public with the latest statistics and maps related to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the photographer created a page that shows the private face of war and how it is lived in everyday reality.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Gay Space Agency Butterflies Karabakh World Press Photo


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