On April 11, the World Press Photo Foundation, which runs one of the most coveted photo contests for photographers and photojournalists, announced the winners of the 62nd annual World Press Photo Contest and the 9th annual World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest. The news was broadcast from its annual awards show in Amsterdam.
“Crying Girl at the Border” by U.S. photographer John Moore of Getty Images won the 2019 World Press Photo of the Year, the foundation announced yesterday, which was also selected as first prize for Spot News/Singles. The caption for the winning image by Moore reads, “A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. They had rafted across the Rio Grande from Mexico and were detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents before being sent to a processing center. The following week the Trump administration, under pressure from the public and lawmakers, ended its controversial policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Although the child and her mother remained together, they were sent to a series of detention facilities before being released weeks later, pending a future asylum hearing.”
“I think that this image touched many people’s hearts as it did mine because it humanized a larger story,“ said John Moore.
The foundation also announced the winner of the World Press Photo Story of the Year: Photographer Pieter Ten Hoopen, of the Netherlands and Sweden, won for his project “The Migrant Caravan”, which “documented the largest migrant caravan in recent memory, with as many as 7,000 travelers, including at least 2,300 children, according to UN agencies.” According to the foundation, the caravan traveled from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in October and November, drawing additional travelers from Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, which headed to the United States border. “They were a mix of those facing political repression and violence,” said the photographer, “and those fleeing harsh economic conditions in the hope of a better life.”
“I wanted to cover what it means to be on the road to a new life,” said Ten Hoopen. “Or what people hope to become a new life. I wanted to focus on the human aspects, on relations between the people and how they handle it.”
There were prizes for the eight categories of the 2019 Photo Contest as well, which were announced at the awards show, including one for American photojournalist and documentary photographer, Sarah Blesener, who won first place in the long-term photography project category for her “Beckon Us From Home” project.
Also, it’s the first time the World Press Photo Foundation introduced awards for World Press Photo Interactive of the Year and World Press Photo Online Video of the Year. “The Last Generation”, by FRONTLINE/The GroundTruth Project, as World Press Photo Interactive of the Year and the Legacy of the “’Zero Tolerance’ Policy: Traumatized Children With No Access to Treatment”, by Univision News Digital, was selected as World Press Photo Online Video of the Year.
Submissions to the contents included 78,801 photographs, 4,738 photographers, 43 nominees from 25 countries and included 14 female nominees. For more on the contest, go to worldpressphoto.org/collection/photocontest/winners/2019