“Throughout my decade of coverage, the goal has always been to humanise this complex issue of immigration,” says John Moore, who’s nominated image from June 2018, Crying Girl on the Border, became a symbol of the families pulled apart by Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
In Catalina Martin-Chico’s World Press Photo of the Year-nominated image, former guerilla fighter Yolanda is photographed with her husband Michael in their home in the Colombian jungle. It is their sixth pregnancy, but for the first time, Yolanda will be delivering a baby.
Until three years ago, when a peace deal was signed with the Colombian government, Yolanda was a member of the country’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc). Pregnancy was forbidden, so many female members underwent abortions. Yolanda has had five abortions – her last pregnancy terminated at six months. “She feels that now, she deserves this baby,” says Martin-Chico.
Born in Parma, Italy, in 1976, Marco Gualazzini began his career as a photographer in 2004, at the age of 28, for his towns local paper La Gazzetta di Parma. Since then he has covered topics such as microfinance in India, freedom of expression in Myanmar, and the discriminations of Christians in Pakistan, which have published in The New York Times, Al-jazeera, The Sunday Times, among many others.
Over the last few years he has been working extensively in Africa, documenting the desertification of what was once one of Africa’s largest lakes, and a lifeline to 40 million people on the continent. Gualazzini’s work has been double nominated for both World Press Photo of the Year and World Press Story of the Year.
“Normally people don’t get set on fire during the protests, but there were many barricades on fire and the demonstrators use Molotov bombs,” says Ronaldo Schemidt. “I got the photo when a National Guard motorcycle exploded during a clash between demonstrators and government forces. It was lying on the floor, on fire, surrounded by young people. One of the protestors hit the tank, generating an explosion. Then the guy in the photo caught fire. I was standing a few meters away with my back to him, but when I felt the heat of the flames, I got my camera and turned around to start shooting whatever had just happened. It all took just a few seconds, so I didn’t know what I was shooting. I was moved by instinct, it was very quick. I didn’t stop shooting until I realised what was going on. There was somebody on fire running towards me.”
“It’s crazy, I can’t believe it,” says Ivor Prickett, of his two nominations for the World Press Photo of the Year award. “Out of a line up of six, to have two images seems insane considering the amount of great work being produced last year. I can’t quite believe it.” He’s on the phone from Iraq where he’s headed back back to Mosul, the city he’s been photographing for well over a year. Iraq’s second biggest city, Mosul was taken by ISIS militants in June 2014; in October 2016 Iraqi troops began a major offensive to regain the city, the largest military operation since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and Prickett joined them right away. Originally from Ireland, he’s been based in the Middle East since 2009 and says that “as a reporter in the region, I couldn’t help but cover it”.
Born in Australia in 1969, Patrick Brown lived in the Middle East and Africa before his family settled in Perth, Australia. Drawn to documentary photography, and influenced by the images of war and civil unrest from the 1980s and 90s, he returned to Africa and spent six weeks documenting the work of an Australian surgeon in Malawi. Brown joined Panos Pictures in 2003, and has shown his work in institutions such as the International Center of Photography in New York, and Visa Pour l’Image in France; he works for organisations such as The New Yorker, TIME, Newsweek, National Geographic, GEO Germany, OXFAM, Human Rights Watch, and The Red Cross. Brown focuses on documenting issues across Asia, and has been nominated for the World Press Photo of the Year for an image showing the bodies of Rohingya refugees laid out after the boat in which they were attempting to flee Myanmar capsized about eight kilometers off Inani Beach, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. BJP: Your image is quite oblique, you have to look again to see what’s actually being shown. Why …
Born in Australia in 1978, Adam Ferguson studied photography at Griffith University. He first won recognition for his work in 2009, when his photographs of the war in Afghanistan won awards from World Press Photo and Photo District News. Since then he has worked all over the world, for clients such as The New York Times, TIME Magazine, National Geographic, The Financial Times Magazine, WaterAid, UNICEF, and Human Rights Watch. Ferguson has been nominated for the World Press Photo of the Year for his shot of Aisha, a 14-year-old girl who was kidnapped by Boko Haram and wired for a suicide bombing, but managed to escape. The image comes from a series of portraits shot on commission for The New York Times, which has been nominated in World Press Photo’s People category. BJP: Your image is very different to a hard-news style shot. Why did you choose to shoot a portrait (and in fact a series of portraits) in this way? How did you do so? Where did you take the shots, and how did you set …
“If you are asked to think what is the photo of the year, you have to try to have something about the events of that year, and that sends you to a news or documentary photography,” says Magdalena Herrera, director of photography for Geo France and chair of the jury for the 2018 World Press Photo Contest. “But we were looking for a point of view, the photographer’s point of view. We weren’t looking for an opinion, but for images in which someone had been able to take the photographic tool to envisage their part. Even if you are a documentary photographer, you choose the moment when you take the shot. YOU are the one reporting.
I met a gay guy. He was a gentle, soft young man in his early twenties. We met in a bar and we talked about his life. Suddenly, another young guy very aggressively got into his face and asked him if he was a faggot. And my friend just very gently answered him: “Yes, I’m a homosexual.” So the guy just jumps right in and starts punching him. I was speechless. You read about it, you talk about it. But seeing homophobia right in front of you, and seeing a modern country openly attacking someone for being gay… I didn’t know whether to cry or get into the fight. I started to document the different aspects of homophobia in Russia. I met men who pretend to seduce gay men, capture them and torture them on video before putting it online – and there’s more than a hundred of these videos. I photographed a young lesbian couple who have three children and are facing up to losing them, just because they’re gay. I photographed the leaders of the church. I’ve …