lunes, 14 de febrero de 2011

On World Press Photo; An infinite search for a worldwide recognition of your work or How (...)

*Original title: On World Press Photo; An infinite search for a worldwide recognition of your work or How the legends of a so-called holy grail of photography made us all lost raiders of the ark of photojournalism.

Photograph taken by Joost van den Broek / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

That´s right. Some people call it the Holy Grail of photography, some “the highest status you´ll ever get as a photojournalist”, others “a circle of friends” but recent history admits that World Press Photo is one of most respected and important contest nowadays in terms of recognition, professionalism, prestige, art and vanguard within a context of photojournalism at its finest.

Photograph taken by Seamus Murphy / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Photograph taken by Corentin Fohlen / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

It all started back in 1955 when it was founded as an independent and non-profit organization based in the Netherlands. The Dutch photojournalists´ union had a well known national contest called The Zilveren Camera, but they wanted to create an international contest to not only be able to get in touch with their colleagues around the globe but also to promote a new awareness of photojournalism that encourage other people and photographers to look at the world as it really is, with no filters whatsoever, with all the beauty, conflicts, fights, revolutions, and the growth of our societies.

Photograph taken by Ed Kashi / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Photograph taken by Andrew McConnell / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

From the beginning, the organization aimed to a higher goal. They didn´t want to become another regular photo contest, they made it clear that besides the contest itself, the exhibition and the awards, they wanted to set a new vision of what photojournalism was all about. The nature of Press photography was discussed with an opened mind and because it was built as an independent organization from the very beginning, their vision was not compromised at all.

Photograph taken by Wolfram Hahn / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

The decades of 60´s and 70´s were the time when World Press Photo took its real form as it´s known today. The contest became well known across the world and the exhibitions plans of the winning photos started to add more and more countries to the list. Today, the logistics of the prizewinning photographs is quite complex. The photographs are assembled into a traveling exhibition that is visited by over a million people in 40 countries year after year. If you´re lucky, you can buy a yearbook of the photos while you´re at it. It is published annually and in six languages.

Photograph taken by Hungarian News Agency (MTI) / Photo: MTI / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Photograph taken by the african media entrepreneur / The Fortalezza in Maputo, Mozambique / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Photograph taken by the african media entrepreneur / The Fortalezza in Maputo, Mozambique/ Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

World Press Photo entered in a new phase around 1987. They made a huge effort to stay independent but as long as the contest became more and more demanding the organization had to employ hired staff and set up an office to handle all the responsibilities of the contest and educational resources. A financial help was needed for this, and the first corporate sponsors came on board in 1987. Now I’m checking out my yearbook of WPP 2010 and I can see the logos of the TNT channel, Canon, and some kind of “super cool” printer for your photos. Adjustments were necessary, and like Bob Dylan sang years ago; the times they are a-changin´.

Photograph taken by Davide Monteleone / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Photograph taken by Stefano Unterthiner / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Besides the famous “World Press Photo of the Year”, which is the main prize fo the contest, the following categories are well appreciated: Spot News, General News, People in the News, Sports Action, Sports Features, Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, Portraits, Arts and Entertainment, and Nature.

Photograph taken by Daniele Tamagni / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Photograph taken by Omar Feisal / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Photograph taken by Gustavo Cuevas / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

This time the WPP of the year was awarded to Jodi Bieber. A photographer from South Africa that took a portrait photo of Aisha, a young woman from Afghanistan that was punished by her husband for fleeing away from home. She ran away from domestic violence and escaped to her family´s house but according to the taliban law, that simple act of betray to her husband have to be followed by a punishment, in this case, her Husband cut off her ears and noise. Aisha was rescued by a group of soldiers and they took her to a safe shelter, she now lives in US.

Photograph taken by Jodi Bieber / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

The jury decided to award this photograph with the main prize of the contest because it shows how far can go our believes within our culture and still consider them very reasonable, needless to say, it is important to show the world not only the victims of the violence againts women but it is more important to work on ways to stop this aggression.

Photograph taken by Jodi Bieber (LEFT) / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

You folks can check out the official site here and enjoy the whole gallery of winning photographs, it is worth it! I hope you enjoyed this post as much as i did, have a good day "compadres" and i hope i`ll see you on the road riders!

Take good care friends!

Bye!
Written by Jesus Rodriguez
Feel free to comment!
jrphotojournalist@gmail.com