In Arts + Entertainment

World Press Photo Showcases The Power Of Photojournalism

Known for connecting audiences with stories that matter, The World Press Photo Foundation is a global platform championing visual journalism and storytelling. The foundation’s annual contest World Press Photo is the world’s most prestigious photography competition, now in its 61st year. With the aim to inspire an understanding of the world and our humanity, the accompanying exhibition features over 150 photographs — selected from an overwhelming 73,044 submissions.

The World Press Photo exhibition premiered in Amsterdam in April, and will be shown in over 45 countries. The exhibition arrives in Sydney at the State Library of NSW on 26 May for display through to 24 June, and admission is free.

Don’t miss the chance to view the world’s best photojournalism, and be moved by the incredible stories behind the pictures. The photographs provide a very real glimpse into what’s going on around the world from the international refugee crisis and terrorist attacks, to declining animal populations and marathons run in the Sahara Desert.

We take a look at some of the photographs making their way to Sydney soon.

Warriors Who Once Feared Elephants Now Protect Them by Ami Vitale

This photography series for National Geographic won First Prize in the Nature – Stories category. They show scenes from the community-owned Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in northern Kenya, an orphanage established in 2016 by local Samburus. In the past, the local people weren’t hugely interested in saving elephants, but efforts are shifting as locals begin to relate to the animals in new ways.

Venezuela Crisis by Ronaldo Schemidt

The winner of World Press Photo of the Year is Venezuelan photographer Ronaldo Schemidt, who captured José Victor Salazar Balza on fire during clashes with riot police amongst protests against President Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela. Captured for Agence France-Presse, it evokes strong emotion and a powerful energy.

“It’s quite symbolic, actually. The man, he has a mask on his face. He’s come to sort of represent not just himself and himself on fire, but sort of this idea of Venezuela burning,” says World Press Photo jury member and deputy director of photography, National Geographic, Whitney C. Johnson.

Boko Haram Strapped Suicide Bombs to Them. Somehow These Teenage Girls Survive. – Aisha, 14. by Adam Ferguson

ha I Here, we meet veiled 14-year-old Aisha in Maiduguri, Nigeria. After being kidnapped by Boko Haram, she was assigned on a suicide bomber mission, but managed to escape and find help. This rather harrowing portrait was captured for The New York Times, and was a Nominee for the World Press Photo of the Year.

The Battle for Mosul by Ivor Prickett

These photographs won First Prize in the General News – Stories category, and were shot for The New York Times. Together, they provide a glimpse into the war-torn city of Mosul, Iraq. On 10 July, 2017, the Iraqi government declared Mosul as fully liberated from terrorist organisation ISIS, yet conflict still persisted. Prickett’s photographs capture the civilians who remained behind, as well as the soldiers and suspected ISIS fighters involved. Two of the photographs were also Nominees for the World Press Photo of the Year award.

Waiting for Freedom by Neil Aldridge

In this heart-wrenching image, we see a young southern white rhinoceros, drugged and blindfolded in a grim setting — but it’s for good reason. This rhino is about to be released into the wild in Botswana, after being relocated away from the threat of poachers in South Africa. Southern white rhinos are increasingly under threat from poachers, depicting the huge impact of humans on our natural environment and its creatures. This photograph won First Prize in the Environment – Singles category.

Finding Freedom in the Water by Anna Boyiazis

These two photographs show young women learning to swim in Zanzibar, with the help of the Panje Project. The girls are provided with modest swimwear so that they can enter the water without compromising the beliefs of their conservative Islamic culture. They won Second Prize in the People – Stories category, and provide a beautiful break from some of the much heavier content on display.

Rohingya Crisis by Patrick Brown

If you haven’t been paying much attention to the plight of the Rohingya refugees, this photograph is proof that it’s time to start. Shot for Unicef, and one of the Nominees for the World Press Photo of the Year, it shows the bodies of refugees who drowned while attempting to flee Myanmar. This kind of photography is incredibly important, with more of a confronting and thought-provoking edge.

Published 15 May, 2018