Amsterdam, 20 April 2023
This year’s World Press Photo Contest global winners, chosen from thousands of entrants, highlight the climate crisis, community, war’s impact on civilians, and the importance of press photography around the world.
The four World Press Photo Contest global winners are:
With Russia’s war in Ukraine constantly in the news, the Photo of the Year goes to Evgeniy Maloletka for his confronting image from the siege of Mariupol for perfectly capturing the human suffering caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a single image.
The Story of the Year, nine haunting but beautiful photos by Mads Nissen, refuses to let us forget the people of Afghanistan living now under the Taliban and with a lack of international aid.
The Long-Term Project Award goes to Anush Babajanyan, for her work spanning years to highlight a story not often covered outside Central Asia about water management impacts after the end of the Soviet Union made worse by the climate crisis – but most importantly, showing the powerful spirit of people forced to adapt to new realities.
The Open Format Award goes to Mohamed Mahdy, who is collaborating with neighborhood residents of Al Max, in Alexandria, Egypt, to preserve the memory of their fast-disappearing fishing village and has invited the whole world to participate through an interactive website.
The four global winners were selected from 24 regional winners, which were chosen from more than 60,000 entries (still images and multimedia) submitted by 3,752 entrants from 127 countries. The entries were judged first by six regional juries and all winners chosen by a global jury consisting of the regional jury chairs plus the global jury chair.
Global jury chair, The New York Times photo editor and co-founder of Diversify Photo, Brent Lewis said:
“Our four global winners represent the best photos and stories from the most important and urgent topics of 2022. They also help to continue the tradition of what it is possible to do with photography, and how photography helps us to see the universality of the human condition.
The haunting image from the siege of Mariupol was unanimously chosen as the winner of the World Press Photo of the Year. With the vote being decided on the first anniversary of the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the jury mentioned the power of the image and the story behind it, as well as the atrocities it shows. The death of both the pregnant woman and her child summarized so much of the war, as well as the possible intent of Russia. As one juror put it: “It’s like they are trying to kill the future of Ukraine.”
Executive Director of the World Press Photo Foundation, Joumana El Zein Khoury, said:
“Millions of people around the world will look at these photos and see death, despair, loss, and crisis. My wish is that they also see what I see. The hope that through documentation there is a chance of justice and a better future, through remembering we honor what is lost, and through the courage and dedication of these photographers we are inspired.
By highlighting these global winners, we hope to help people understand the world we all share a little bit more. I find myself thinking about how the people in these photos are not so much different from myself, bringing me to care more about what is happening to them. That is the indispensable benefit of photojournalism and documentary photography that I hope everyone who views these stories will also appreciate.”
These stories, alongside the other winners, will be shown to millions of people as part of our annual exhibition in over 60 cities around the world – including Amsterdam (opening 22 April), Rome, Berlin, Barcelona, Zurich, Tel Aviv, Taipei, Singapore, Mexico City, Jakarta, Sydney, and Toronto, and will be seen by millions more online.
The 24 winners are also invited to a program of events in Amsterdam, Netherlands, from 9 to 13 May. In addition to the awards celebration, the program will consist of networking events (with photo editors, curators, and festival directors), workshops, presentations, and a tour of their winning images on display. This will also include The Stories that Matter – a public event reflecting on today’s pressing topics through the eyes of photojournalists, documentary photographers and critical thinkers.