Awards, News, Photojournalism

World Press Photo: The Winners

Refugees, and the wars many of them fled, dominate this year's World Press Photo contest.

The title of World Press Photo of the Year goes to Warren Richardson for his picture of a man and child captured by moonlight as they attempted to cross the border from Serbia to Hungary last summer. And the first places in each of the four main news categories include scenes from the shores of Lesvos, a Kurdish hospital, and the heavily bombarded suburb of Douma on the outskirts of Damascus.

Migrants crossing the border from Serbia into Hungary (c) Warren Richardson

Migrants crossing the border from Serbia into Hungary © Warren Richardson

Announced from Amsterdam this morning, following newly introduced checks to ensure the winning images met tightened codes on image manipulation, the jury gave prizes in eight categories to 41 photographers, selected from 82,951 images submitted by 5775 photographers from 128 countries.

Richardson, an Australian photographer based in Hungary, wins 1st prize in the singles category for Spot News with the same image, while the 1st prize story goes to Sameer Al-Doumy for his reportage from rebel-held Douma, which has been subject to months of heavy aerial bombardment on the back of a two-year siege.

Hasaka, Syria - August 1, 2015. A doctor rubs ointment on the burns of Jacob, 16, in front of a poster of Abdullah Ocalan, center, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, at a YPG hospital compound on the outskirts of Hasaka. According to YPG fighters at the scene, Jacob is an ISIS fighter from Deir al-Zour and the only survivior from an ambush made by YPG fighters over a truck alleged to carry ISIS fighters on the outskirts of Hasaka. Six ISIS fighters died in the attack, 5 of them completely disfigured by the explosion (c) Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

Hasaka, Syria – August 1, 2015. A doctor rubs ointment on the burns of Jacob, 16, in front of a poster of Abdullah Ocalan, center, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, at a YPG hospital compound on the outskirts of Hasaka. According to YPG fighters at the scene, Jacob is an ISIS fighter from Deir al-Zour and the only survivior from an ambush made by YPG fighters over a truck alleged to carry ISIS fighters on the outskirts of Hasaka. Six ISIS fighters died in the attack, 5 of them completely disfigured by the explosion (c) Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

In General News, Mauricio Lima, a veteran Brazilian working on assignment for The New York Times, wins 1st prize singles for a more ambiguous image of an Islamic State soldier being treated for severe, full-body burns by a Kurdish doctor in Syria, seen over by a giant poster of Abdullah Ocalan, the revered leader of the Kurdish Workers Party jailed in 1999. The 1st prize stories goes to Russian photojournalist Sergey Ponomarev, also on assignment for The New York Times (there are five stories in total shot for the newspaper in this year’s winners’ list) for his reporting on the refugee crisis, working along migrant routes from Lesbos through eastern Europe.

Migrants walked atop a dike as Slovenian riot police escorted them to a registration camp outside Dobova. War, drought and more are driving millions of people from their homelands © Sergey Ponomarev fo

Migrants walked atop a dike as Slovenian riot police escorted them to a registration camp outside Dobova. War, drought and more are driving millions of people from their homelands © Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

In fact, seven of the 12 winners across the news categories were from Syria or the refugee crisis. They included Paul Hansen, the 2013 winner, recognised this time around for an image that, like Richardson’s, captures refugees crossing frontiers under the cover of dark, this time further down the trail, as a group arrives in Lesbos. And there is horror, a reminder of what many of these refugees are running from, in Abd Doumany’s photographs of dead and wounded children, following airstrikes on Douma. He and Al-Doumy are both Syrian, working in their homeland for Agence France-Presse. Four of the agency’s photographers won awards this year.

The remaining five winners in the news categories reported the Tianjin explosion in China last August, a massive earthquake in Nepal in April, and the subsequent avalanche that fell on Everest Base Camp, demonstrations in Paris following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and gang-related violence in Honduras.

After spending two days and two nights sailing on the Mediterranean Sea on the deck of the M.S.F. (Médecins Sans Frontières - Doctors Without Borders) search and rescue ship Bourbon Argos, rescued migrants - still wrapped in their emergency blankets - catch sight of the Italian coast for the first time soon after dawn. 23 August 2015. In 2015 the ever-increasing number of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea on unseaworthy vessels towards Europe led to an unprecedented crisis. Nearly 120 thousand people have reached Italy in the first 8 months of the year. While the European governments struggled to deal with the influx, the death toll in the Mediterranean reached record numbers. Early in May the international medical relief organization Médecins Sans Frontières (M.S.F.) joined in the search and rescue operations led in the Mediterranean Sea and launched three ships at different stages: the Phoenix (run by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station), the Bourbon Argos and Dignity (c) Francesco Zizola

After spending two days and two nights sailing on the Mediterranean Sea on the deck of the M.S.F. (Médecins Sans Frontières – Doctors Without Borders) search and rescue ship Bourbon Argos, rescued migrants – still wrapped in their emergency blankets – catch sight of the Italian coast for the first time soon after dawn. 23 August 2015. In 2015 the ever-increasing number of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea on unseaworthy vessels towards Europe led to an unprecedented crisis. Nearly 120 thousand people have reached Italy in the first 8 months of the year. While the European governments struggled to deal with the influx, the death toll in the Mediterranean reached record numbers. Early in May the international medical relief organization Médecins Sans Frontières (M.S.F.) joined in the search and rescue operations led in the Mediterranean Sea and launched three ships at different stages: the Phoenix (run by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station), the Bourbon Argos and Dignity © Francesco Zizola