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World Press Photo of the Year

Photography award

The World Press Photo of the Year award is part of the World Press Photo Awards, organized by the Dutch foundation World Press Photo.

In addition to the World Press Photo of the Year, the jury composed of 10 members also assigns the World Press Photo Story of the Year award to the story that in that edition of the competition was most distinguished by photographic intensity and importance of the content. The creators of the 2 main awards receives a cash prize corresponding to €5,000.[1]

In addition to the two main prizes, 3 single photo prizes and 3 story prizes are also awarded in each of the eight categories.[2]

The World Press Photo of the Year is awarded to the image that "... is not only the photojournalistic encapsulation of the year, but represents an issue, situation or event of great journalistic importance, and does so in a way that demonstrates an outstanding level of visual perception and creativity."[3]

Instead, the World Press Photo Story of the Year is awarded to the photographic story that explores a theme of social importance.

World Press Photo of the Year Intro articles: 2

List of Press Photos of the Year

The following is a list of all winners of the Press Photo of the Year, and information on the respective images.

Contest year Photographer Subject Description Web link
1955 Mogens von Haven Motorcycle racing On 28 August 1955, at Volk Mølle Racetrack in Assentoft, Denmark, a motorcyclist crashes during a competition. Image
1956 Helmuth Pirath Coming home from the war A German World War II prisoner is released by the Soviet Union and reunited with his 12-year-old daughter in West Germany, who has not seen him since infancy. Image
1957 Douglas Martin Racial segregation in the United States Accompanied by violence and harassment, Dorothy Counts becomes one of the first African American students at Harry Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. Image
1958 No award given.
1959 Stanislav Tereba Football During a football game between the teams Sparta Praha and Červená Hviezda Bratislava, Sparta's goalkeeper Miroslav Čtvrtníček stands on the football field in pouring rain. Image
1960 No award given.
1961 Yasushi Nagao Assassination of Inejirō Asanuma On 12 October 1960, the 17-year-old extreme right-wing student Otoya Yamaguchi kills the socialist politician Inejiro Asanuma with a sword during a speech in Tokyo's Hibiya Hall. Image
1962 Héctor Rondón Lovera [es] El Porteñazo uprising in Venezuela During the El Porteñazo military rebellion, a dying soldier clings to a priest with sniper fire all around them. Image
1963 Malcolm Browne Suppression of Buddhists in Vietnam The Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Duc sets himself ablaze in protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the government of President Ngo Dinh Diem. Image
1964 Don McCullin Cyprus Conflict A Turkish woman mourns her dead husband, victim of the Greek–Turkish civil war. Image
1965 Kyōichi Sawada Vietnam War A mother and her children wade through a river in Loc Thuong in the South Vietnamese province of Binh Dinh to escape US bombing. Image
1966 Kyōichi Sawada Vietnam War On 24 February 1966, American troops drag the body of a Viet Cong fighter behind their M113 Armored Personnel Carrier for burial, after he was killed in a fierce night attack by several Viet Cong battalions against Australian forces during the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966. Image
1967 Co Rentmeester Vietnam War The commander of an M48 Patton looks through his lens. This was the first colour photograph to win the award. Image
1968 Eddie Adams Vietnam War On 1 February 1968, the South Vietnamese police chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan summarily executes Viet Cong prisoner Nguyễn Văn Lém on a street in Saigon with a bullet to the head. Image
1969 Hanns-Jörg Anders The Troubles An Irish Catholic wearing a gas mask stands in front of a wall with the graffiti we want peace, moments before teargas is thrown by British troops. Image
1970 No award given.
1971 No award given.
1972 Wolfgang Peter Geller Bank robbery in Saarbrücken After a bank robbery in Saarbrücken, a shootout takes place between police and the bank robbers. Image
1973 Nick Út Vietnam War The young Phan Thị Kim Phúc and other children flee with severe burns caused by napalm, mistakenly dropped by South Vietnamese planes. Image
1974 Orlando Lagos Coup in Chile On 11 September 1973, president Salvador Allende appears shortly before his death in the presidential palace La Moneda during General Pinochet's military coup. Lagos's identity as the photographer was not revealed until February 2007, a month after his death. Image
1975 Ovie Carter Sahel famine, Niger A small child suffers during a drought in Niger. Image
1976 Stanley Forman Fire Escape Collapse During a fire in a Boston apartment building, the fire escape collapses and a woman falls down with her goddaughter. The woman died at the scene of impact. Image
1977 Françoise Demulder Lebanese Civil War In January 1976, a group of Palestinian refugees flees civil war in Beirut. Image
1978 Leslie Hammond Apartheid The South African police tear-gas a group of demonstrators in Modderdam, near Cape Town. Image
1979 Sadayuki Mikami Sanrizuka Struggle After years of protests against the construction of Narita Airport, which is ready to open when on 26 March 1978 serious clashes break out between demonstrators and Riot Police Unit. Image
1980 David Burnett Fall of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia In November 1979, in a refugee camp in Sa Keo near the ThaiCambodian border, a woman holds her child in her arms. Image
1981 Mike Wells Famine in Karamoja, Uganda In April 1980, a white missionary in northeastern Uganda holds the comparatively tiny hand of a starving African boy. Image
1982 Manuel Pérez Barriopedro 23-F coup attempt in Madrid On 23 February 1981 Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero speaks with a gun in his hand before the Spanish Congress of Deputies, holding hostage the government and MPs. Image
1983 Robin Moyer 1982 Lebanon War On 18 September 1982, Palestinian corpses lie in the street in the aftermath of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, when Phalangist Maronite Christian militias killed Palestinian refugees. Image
1984 Mustafa Bozdemir Earthquake in Turkey On 30 October 1983, following a devastating earthquake in the vicinity of Erzurum and Kars, Kezban Özer finds her five children buried alive. Image
1985 Pablo Bartholomew Bhopal disaster The body of a child, killed in a chemical accident at the plant of US chemical company Union Carbide Corporation, is buried. Image
1986 Frank Fournier Omayra Sánchez Sánchez, a victim of the Armero volcanic disaster, died after being trapped in a mud hole for 60 hours. Image
1987 / Alon Reininger AIDS American AIDS patient Ken Meeks sits in a wheelchair. On his arms are numerous lesions caused by Kaposi's sarcoma. Image
1988 Anthony Suau Election in South Korea On 18 December 1987, a desperate mother in Kuro, South Korea leans against a riot policeman's shield and begs for mercy for her son, arrested during a demonstration. After the November election there were protests against the government, accused of electoral fraud. Image
1989 David Turnley Earthquake in Armenia In Leninakan, Boris Abgarzian grieves for his 17-year-old son, a victim of the Armenian earthquake. Image
1990 Charlie Cole Tiananmen Square Massacre A protester, later dubbed Tank Man, stops a group of People's Liberation Army battle tanks during the massacre in Tiananmen, Beijing. Image
1991 Georges Merillon Kosovo conflict The family of Nashim Elshani grieves around his deathbed; he was killed while protesting for Kosovar autonomy. Image
1992 David Turnley Gulf War US Sergeant Ken Kozakiewicz mourns the death of fellow soldier Andy Alaniz, killed by friendly fire. Image
1993 James Nachtwey Famine in Somalia A Somali mother lifts up the body of her child, killed by malnutrition. Image
1994 Larry Towell Palestinian territories Palestinian children raise their toy guns in the air. Image
1995 James Nachtwey Rwandan genocide Hutu man mutilated by the Hutu Interahamwe militia, who suspected him of sympathizing with the Tutsi rebels. Image
1996 Lucian Perkins First Chechen War A boy peers out of a refugee-packed bus fleeing fighting near Shali, Chechnya and heading for Grozny. Image
1997 Francesco Zizola Angolan Civil War Young land mine victims play in the Angolan city of Kuito. Image
1998 Hocine Algerian Civil War A woman mourns the victims of a massacre in Bentalha, Algeria. Image
1999 Dayna Smith Kosovo conflict Relatives and friends comfort the widow of a KLA fighter, shot dead while on patrol the previous day. Image
2000 Claus Bjørn Larsen Kosovo War A wounded Kosovar Albanian refugee walks the streets of Kukës, Albania. Image
2001 Lara Jo Regan Immigration to the United States A Mexican immigrant works in order to feed her children. Image
2002 Erik Refner Refugee disaster in Afghanistan In the Jalozai refugee camp, the body of an Afghan boy is prepared for burial. Image
2003 / Eric Grigorian Earthquake in Iran A boy holds the trousers of his dead father, killed in the 22 June 2002 earthquake. Image
2004 Jean-Marc Bouju Iraq War An Iraqi prisoner of war with a hood over his head comforts his son at a holding centre. Image
2005 Arko Datta Indian Ocean earthquake Two days after the tsunami, a desperate Indian woman mourns a relative killed in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. Image
2006 Finbarr O'Reilly Niger food crisis A mother and her child wait for food in an emergency center in Tahoua, Niger. Image
2007 Spencer Platt Lebanon War Five young Lebanese ride in a convertible through the rubble of a bombed South Beirut.[4][5] Image
2008 Tim Hetherington Afghanistan War An exhausted American soldier leans against a wall and keeps his eyes covered. Image
2009 Anthony Suau Subprime mortgage crisis An armed officer moves through a home following residents' eviction as a result of mortgage foreclosure. Image
2010 Pietro Masturzo 2009 Iranian presidential election An Iranian woman shouting from a rooftop in Tehran in protest against the result of Iranian presidential elections held in 2009. Image
2011 Jodi Bieber Taliban treatment of women Bibi Aisha, 18, was disfigured as retribution for fleeing her husband's house in Oruzgan province, in the center of Afghanistan. At the age of 12, Aisha and her younger sister had been given to the family of a Taliban fighter under a Pashtun tribal custom for settling disputes. Image
2012 Samuel Aranda Protests in Yemen, Arab Spring A woman holds a wounded relative in her arms, inside a mosque used as a field hospital by demonstrators against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen on 15 October 2011. Image
2013 Paul Hansen Victims of Operation Pillar of Defense Grieving men carry to their funerals two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her three-year-old brother Muhammad, killed by an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City that killed their father, Fouad, and critically injured their mother. Taken 20 November 2012. Image
2014 John Stanmeyer African migrants Migrants on the shore of Djibouti City raise their cell phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia. Image
2015 Mads Nissen[6][7][8] Homophobia in Russia The photo shows a gay couple during an intimate moment, reminding the beholder that life for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people is becoming increasingly difficult in Russia. Image
2016 Warren Richardson European migrant crisis A nocturnal image showing a man passing a baby through a barbed wire fence on the Serbia-Hungary border, namely between Horgoš (Serbia) and Röszke (Hungary). Image
2017 Burhan Ozbilici Assassination of Andrei Karlov The photo shows police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş standing next to Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, moments after he shot him in the back. Altıntaş shot Karlov to protest Russia's involvement in the Syrian Civil War. Image
2018 Ronaldo Schemidt Crisis in Venezuela José Salazar, 28, catches fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against president Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela. Salazar was set alight when the gas tank of a motorbike exploded. He survived the incident with first and second-degree burns. President Maduro had announced plans to revise Venezuela's democratic system by forming a constituent assembly to replace the opposition-led National Assembly. Image
2019 John Moore Immigration policy of Donald Trump A Honduran toddler cries as she and her mother are taken into custody by US border officials in McAllen, Texas. Image
2020 Yasuyoshi Chiba Sudanese coup d'état The photo shows a young man reciting protest poems during a nightly power cut in Khartoum on 19 June 2019. He is surrounded by numerous people who illuminate him with their mobile phones and chant slogans for the restoration of civilian rule. In a time of violence and conflict, the jury chairman deliberately chose a photo that symbolises hope and does not depict war and violence. Image
2021 Mads Nissen The First Embrace The image shows the first hug Rosa received in five months due to the Coronavirus. In March, nursing homes in Brazil closed their doors to all visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing millions of Brazilians from visiting their elderly relatives. Assistants were ordered to keep physical contact with vulnerable people to a minimum. Image
The list below contains all the winners of the World Press Photo Story of the Year award and information on their respective photo projects.
Contest year Photographer Subject Description Web link
2019 Pieter Ten Hoopen The Migrant Caravan During October and November, thousands of Central American migrants joined a caravan heading to the United States border. The caravan, assembled through a grassroots social media campaign, left San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on 12 October, and as word spread drew people from Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. Story
2020 Romain Laurendeau Kho, the Genesis of a Revolt Young people make up more than half of Algeria’s population, and according to a UNESCO report 72% of people under 30 in Algeria are unemployed. Pivotal moments in Algerian history, such as the ‘Black October’ revolt of 1988, have had angry youth at their core. Black October was harshly suppressed—more than 500 people were killed in five days—and was followed by a ‘black decade’ of violence and unrest. Story
2021 Antonio Faccilongo Habibi Habibi, which means ‘my love’ in Arabic, chronicles love stories set against the backdrop of one of the longest and most complicated conflicts in modern history. The photographer aims to show the impact of the conflict on Palestinian families, and the difficulties they face in preserving their reproductive rights and human dignity. Story

World Press Photo of the Year List of Press Photos of the Year articles: 225