“Ideally a [World Press Photo] Picture of the Year would be surprising, unique, relevant, memorable,” says Whitney C. Johnson, vice president, Visuals and Immersive Experiences, at National Geographic, and jury chair for World Press Photo’s 2019 contest.
This year John Moore has won that top spot, with an image showing Honduran toddler Yanela Sanchez crying as she and her mother, Sandra Sanchez, were taken into custody by US border officials in McAllen, Texas, USA, on 12 June 2018.
This year World Press Photo also added a Story of the Year to its awards, and that prize has also been won by a project on immigration, which was shot by Sweden-based, Dutch photographer Pieter Ten Hoppen. His series shows people travelling with the largest migrant caravan in recent history, which left San Pedro Sula, Honduras on 12 October and gathered as many as 7000 people on its way to the USA, according to UN agencies – including at least 2300 children. Shot in soft colours, it focuses in on individuals in the caravan, and moments of beauty in their lives.
Our pick of the key stories from the past week, including the World Press Photo and MACK First Book Award nominees, and interviews with Iain McKell, Tommaso Rada, and Mona Kuhn
“I consider myself a son of the European project,” says Tommaso Rada. “I am part of a generation that lived through the opening of the borders between many different countries, the introduction of the euro, and all the new cultural and linguistic mixing that the European project meant. The feeling of being Italian as well as European is the reason why I am interested in the European Union.”
Rada is now based in São Paulo, but was born in Biella in northern Italy and lived in his home country until he was 25. He watched as the policies of the EU evolved, and as the meaning of the Union began to change. His ongoing series Domestic Borders frames a number of different projects he has made, evoking the varying perspectives of those living along the borders of the member countries.
Back to South, the most recent chapter, focuses particularly on the countries that would be affected if a ‘two-speed’ Europe was implemented – a proposal in which certain members, perhaps those in better economic positions and political situations, would integrate at a faster pace, leaving the others on the periphery. Visiting the areas that would be ‘left behind’, Rada hopes to show the “challenges of living in a unique space with a different passage of time”.
Nikolas Ventourakis hit on the idea for Defining Lines while shooting in Cyprus, not far from the Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign Base Areas, two military sites under British jurisdiction. He’d taken a few shots on his iPhone and, when he uploaded them on to his laptop, discovered that some of the images had been geotagged United Kingdom and others Republic of Cyprus, despite being shot metres apart. It got him thinking about the notions of territory and borderlines. “I’m attracted to the abstract concept of a border, which is arbitrary in every sense,” he says. “There are no border barriers or custom posts between the SBA lands and the Republic. Normal civilian day-to-day life takes place along the peninsula, right next to and inside the border. It is hard to tell if you have crossed into UK land. [But] using devices such as iPhones and services like Google Maps, the border becomes apparent and real.” Ventourakis shot for about a month in August 2014 but spent two years before that planning and researching the area. Using Google Maps …