Each year the World Press Photo brings these all together and this year was no different.
(KualaLumpur=Koreanpress) by Ramani Rathir = Today the news of happenings in the world comes not only in newspapers but also on computers with all its configurations – laptop, tablets, iPad, iPod. Even the handphone now can have you connected to the net.
But though out the technological and innovative advancements of these materials, one age-old edict still stands – that a picture is worth a thousand words!
Giving recognition to the visual power of photographs that also tell a story is the World Press Photo. An independent non-profit organisation, it was founded in 1955 and has its headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its aim is to create wide public interest and appreciation for the work of photographers and other visual journalists. This is done by organising annual photojournalism and multimedia contests, that include global exhibitions. The free exchange of information in also incorporated into the organisation’s activities. Furthermore, with the establishment of the World Press Photo Academy, a high standard of visual journalism through educational programs, grants and publications is promulgated.
Last month, the winners of the 56th annual World Press Photo Contest were announced. An international jury judged on nine themed categories that were sent in by 54 photographers from 33 countries. These were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Palestinian Territories, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam.
All entries were anonymously presented to the jury, who deliberated over a two-week period. They had to sift through 103,481 images, submitted by 5,666 photographers from 124 countries. Entries came in from professional press photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers.
The ultimate winner was Paul Hansen of the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter , His work won the World Press Photo of the Year 2012. The picture shows a group of men carrying the bodies of two dead children through a street in Gaza City. They are being taken to a mosque for the burial ceremony while their father’s body is carried behind on a stretcher. Two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and his older brother Muhammad were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. Their mother was put in intensive care. The picture was taken in Gaza City, Palestinian Territories.
Commented Mayu Mohanna, the jury member from Peru, “The strength of the picture lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children. It’s a picture I will not forget.”
And so will a lot of other people too!