World Press Photo of the Year 2013: John Stanmeyer, USA, VII for National Geographic 26 February 2013, Djibouti City, Djibouti African migrants on the shore of Djibouti city at night, raising their phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia— a tenuous link to relatives abroad. Djibouti is a common stop-off point for migrants in transit from such countries as Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, seeking a better life in Europe and the Middle East.
The ninth edition of World Press Photo Montreal officially opens tomorrow at Marché Bonsecours in the Old Port and will be on display until September 28, 2014. Here are some highlights from this incredible exhibition:
1st Prize Spot News Stories: Goran Tomasevic, Serbia, Reuters 30 January 2013, Damascus, Syria Syrian rebel fighters take cover amid flying debris and shrapnel after being hit by a tank shell fired towards them by the Syrian Army in the Ain Tarma neighborhood of Damascus. On 30 January 2013, a Syrian rebel group planning an attack on government forces is hit by sniper fire in Damascus, Syria. After evacuating their comrade, who was shot in the chest and would later die from injuries, the rebels return to attack the checkpoint with rocket fire. Subsequently, government forces fired tank shells at the rebels. The rebels eventually retreated for the day to mourn the death of their comrade.
Founded in 1955, World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organization with its headquarters in Amsterdam. The foundation is committed to supporting and advancing high standards in photojournalism and documentary storytelling worldwide. During the year, the exhibition travels to more than 100 cities in over 45 countries.
1st Prize People – Observed Portraits Single: Markus Schreiber, Germany, The Associated Press 13 December 2013, Pretoria, South Africa A woman reacts in disappointment after access to see former South Africa President Nelson Mandela was closed on the third and final day of his casket lying in state, outside Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa.
This year, 5,800 photographers from 130 countries submitted a total of 98,000 images. Gathered in Amsterdam in February, the 19 members of the jury awarded prizes in nine categories to 53 photographers from 25 countries.
2nd Prize Nature Singles: Markus Varesvuo, Finland 09 March 2013 A flock of Guillemots (Uria aalgae) in a snowstorm in Vardo, Norway.
The 150 prize-winning photographs will be showcased in Montreal for the next four weeks.
This year, exhibition organizers invited the French photographer William Daniels. The World Press Photo prizewinner in 2008 and 2014 is particularly sensitive to the planet’s many social and humanitarian issues.
In March, an alliance of mainly Muslim rebel groups known as Séléka seized power in the Central African Republic (CAR). The Séléka were then disbanded, but renegade groups continued to target civilians of the country’s Christian majority. Vigilante Christian militia, known as Anti-balaka, sprung up to defend their communities. Hundreds were killed, and some 400,000 people displaced, as violence in the CAR escalated. France sent 1,600 troops to the country to protect civilians and disarm the various militias, while the United Nations warned of deepening chaos and a spiral into genocide.
He has reported from Africa, covered the tsunami in Southeast Asia and the earthquake in Haiti, and travelled to conflict zones in Libya, Kyrgyzstan, and the Central African Republic.
Daniels has exhibited his work in Paris, London, and Brussels. In addition to photographs on display in the World Press Photo space, he will also present a photo series produced for Oxfam-Québec on the mezzanine of Bonsecours Market’s De la Commune Hall.
3rd Prize Daily Life Stories: Norilsk, in northern Russia, is (after Murmansk) the second-largest city within the Arctic Circle, with a population of over 175,300. It is also one of the ten most polluted cities in the world. Rich metal and mineral deposits make the region a primary global source of such commodities as nickel, cobalt, platinum and palladium, and Norilsk maintains the biggest metallurgical and mining complex in the world. Norilsk was founded in the 1930s as a factory-city, and until 1956 operated as a Soviet Gulag. During its years as a prison camp, some 17,000 people died in conditions of intense cold, starvation, and forced labor, on the mines and during the construction of the city itself. Norilsk endures an extremely harsh climate, with temperatures dropping below -50°C in the winter, and rising into the high 20s or 30s in the brief summer months. The city is covered in snow for 250-270 days a year, and experiences polar night from December to mid-January, when the sun does not rise above the horizon.
Norilsk. Jour de Nuits – Nuits de Jour. Juillet 2012.
18 January 2013, Megève, France: Mushers compete in a stage of La Grande Odyssée sledding race, on 18 January. La Grande Odyssée Savoie-Mont Blanc is the most important stage race in the world, and is intended for experienced mushers. Some 25 mushers from around the globe compete for two weeks, covering over 750 kilometers through France and Switzerland, with overall ascents totaling more than 25,000 meters. The race includes a compulsory encampment on an open mountainside.