World Press Photo winners revealed

April 16, 2021

The World Press Photo Foundation has announced the winners of the World Press Photo of the Year, World Press Photo Story of the Year, World Press Photo Interactive of the Year, and World Press Photo Online Video of the Year.

Photo of the Year
The jury selected Mads Nissen’s photograph The First Embrace as the World Press Photo of the Year. In the image, Rosa Luzia Lunardi (85) is embraced by nurse Adriana Silva da Costa Souza, at Viva Bem care home, São Paulo, Brazil, on 5 August 2020.

“This iconic image of COVID-19 memorialises the most extraordinary moment of our lives, everywhere,” said jury member and photographer, Kevin WY Lee. “I read vulnerability, loved ones, loss and separation, demise, but, importantly, also survival—all rolled into one graphic image. If you look at the image long enough, you’ll see wings: a symbol of flight and hope.”

Story of the Year
The jury chose Habibi by Antonio Faccilongo. The series chronicles love stories set against the backdrop of one of the longest and most complicated contemporary conflicts, the Israeli-Palestinian war. The story shows the impact of the conflict on Palestinian families, and the difficulties they face in preserving their reproductive rights and dignity.

“This is a story of human struggle in the 21st century: a story about those unheard voices that can reach the world if we, the jury, act as a medium,” said Ahmed Najm, jury member and Managing Director of Metrography Agency. “It shows another side of the… conflict between Israel and Palestine.”

Interactive of the Year
The jury went for Reconstructing Seven Days of Protests in Minneapolis After George Floyd’s Death by Holly Bailey/The Washington Post and Matt Daniels, Amelia Wattenberger/The Pudding, as the World Press Photo Interactive of the Year.

The piece makes clever use of user-generated content and combines this with 147 live stream videos.

“It shows that the situation was more complicated and nuanced than people initially understood,” said Muyi Xiao, reporter and video producer in The New York Times Visual Investigations team and chair for this category. “What stands out the most is how they utilise user-generated content to provide accountability.”

Online Video of the Year
The jury chose Calling Back From Wuhan by Yang Shenlai/ Tang Xiaolan. Told through a series of recorded phone conversations, Calling Back From Wuhan gives an account of one family at the first epicentre of COVID-19.

Category winners get a prize of 5000 euros and this year for the first time, the annual World Press Photo Festival will be held online, from 15-17 April 2021. See the full programme here.

Further reading
Sony World Photography Awards winners announced

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