A woman holds a wounded relative during protests against president Saleh. Sanaa, Yemen, 15 October © Samuel Aranda, Spain, for The New York Times, World Press Photo of the Year 2011.
"They called me yesterday around 7pm, and told me that I had won the World Press Photo," Samuel Aranda tells BJP in his first interview of the day. "At that exact moment, I was checking my bank account because I didn't know how I was going to pay my rent this month. I was crunching numbers to make it work."
Aranda's winning image shows a woman holding 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. Samuel Aranda was working in Yemen on assignment for The New York Times. He is represented by Corbis Images.
"I think it's really important when you receive such an award to remember that all of this work is for the people we're documenting," he says. "What I would really like is for this photo to help the people of Yemen. I think it's a country that is often forgotten."
Aranda was in Yemen for three months from October 2011, and he's planning to go back for the elections in the next few weeks, again for The New York Times. "I was lucky to work for the Times, because with all that was happening - the economical situation - I was very, very lucky to have the support of this newspaper. They were always supporting me, even when I had difficulties getting a visa to go to Yemen."
Aranda's photo was selected from among 101,254 images submitted by 5247 photographers from 124 countries.
Last year, Institute photographer Jodi Bieber won the award for her controversial photo of a mutilated Afghan woman. The image made the cover of TIME magazine on 09 August 2010, and quickly found itself at the centre of a debate about it legitimacy and the way it had been used by the magazine [read our interview with Jodi Bieber].
At the time, Bieber's image had been chosen from among 108,059 images sent by 5691 photographers.
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