Aussie wins global World Press Photo award
Recognizing the best photojournalism and documentary photography of the previous year, Australian photojournalist Matthew Abbott has been named winner of the World Press Photo Story of the Year with a body of work he shot for National Geographic/Panos Pictures, Saving Forests with Fire.
A total of four global winners of the 65th annual World Press Photo Contest have recently been announced across the categories of World Press Photo of the Year, Story of the Year, Long-Term Project Award, and Open Format Award. The winners were selected by an independent jury of visual journalism professionals chosen from 64,823 photographs and open format entries, by 4,066 photographers from 130 countries.
The winning entries from the global winners appears below.
Amber Bracken, Canada, for The New York Times.
Kamloops Residential School
Red dresses hung on crosses along a roadside commemorate children who died at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, an institution created to assimilate Indigenous children, following the detection of as many as 215 unmarked graves, Kamloops, British Columbia, 19 June 2021.
Global jury chair Rena Effendi about this image: “It is a kind of image that sears itself into your memory, it inspires a kind of sensory reaction. I could almost hear the quietness in this photograph, a quiet moment of global reckoning for the history of colonization, not only in Canada but around the world.”
Matthew Abbott, Australia, for National Geographic/Panos Pictures.
Saving Forests with Fire.
Indigenous Australians strategically burn land in a practice known as cool burning, in which fires move slowly, burn only the undergrowth, and remove the build-up of fuel that feeds bigger blazes. The Nawarddeken people of West Arnhem Land, Australia, have been practicing controlled cool burns for tens of thousands of years and see fire as a tool to manage their 1.39 million hectare homeland. Warddeken rangers combine traditional knowledge with contemporary technologies to prevent wildfires, thereby decreasing climate-heating CO2.
Global jury chair Rena Effendi about this story: “It was so well put together that you cannot even think of the images in disparate ways. You look at it as a whole, and it was a seamless narrative.”
Lalo de Almeida,Brazil, for Folha de São Paulo/Panos Pictures
The Amazon rainforest is under great threat, as deforestation, mining, infrastructural development and exploitation of other natural resources gain momentum under President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmentally regressive policies. Since 2019, devastation of the Brazilian Amazon has been running at its fastest pace in a decade. An area of extraordinary biodiversity, the Amazon is also home to more than 350 different Indigenous groups. The exploitation of the Amazon has a number of social impacts, particularly on Indigenous communities who are forced to deal with significant degradation of their environment, as well as their way of life.
Global jury chair Rena Effendiabout this story: “This project portrays something that does not just have negative effects on the local community but also globally, as it triggers a chain of reactions on a global level.”
Isadora Romero, Ecuador
Blood is a Seed
Through personal stories,Blood is a Seed (La Sangre Es Una Semilla) questions the disappearance of seeds, forced migration, colonization, and the subsequent loss of ancestral knowledge. The video is composed of digital and film photographs, some of which were taken on expired 35mm film and later drawn on by Romero’s father. In a journey to their ancestral village of Une, Cundinamarca, Colombia, Romero explores forgotten memories of the land and crops and learns about her grandfather and great-grandmother who were ‘seed guardians' and cultivated several potato varieties, only two of which still mainly exist.
Global jury member (and chair of the North and Central America jury), Clare vander Meersch on this project: “There are so many layers to this narrative in terms of her use of audio, video, stills and sequencing.”
Every regional winner receives €1,000, inclusion in the annual worldwide exhibition, inclusion in the annual yearbook, publication and a personal profile on the World Press Photo website, promotion on World Press Photo platforms, an invitation to the Winners’ Program, and a physical award. In addition to their regional prizes, global winners also receive an additional €5,000.
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