The list of nominees for the prestigious World Press Photo Award for the photo of the year has finally been unveiled. Since 1955, this contest has been rewarding a "photo reporter" whose creativity and skills have made an image that captures or represents an event or subject of great journalistic importance over the past year. This year, 4,548 photographers from 125 countries submitted 73,044 photographs to the jury, chaired by the director of photography of Geo France, Magdalena Herrera. Here are the 6 photos selected this year for the grand prize.
"Boko Haram Strapped Suicide Bombs”
This portrait was taken by Adam Ferguson for the New York Times in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. After being kidnapped by Boko Haram, Aisha, the girl in the photo, was assigned to a suicide mission by the terrorist organization. She and other girls, against all odds, managed to escape and find help before the detonation of the bombs.
Rohingya refugee bodies found after the boat in which they tried to flee capsized. These refugees were trying to leave Maynmar (Burma). Of the 100 people on the boat, only 17 survived. This shot by Patrick Brown for Unicef perfectly captures the dread of the situation.
"Witnessing the immediate aftermath"
Toby Melville captured this moments after Khalid Masood had driven his car into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge in London last year. The terrorist attack left 5 dead and 50 wounded.
"The Battle for Mosul"
Ivor Prickett captures the line up of civilians waiting to receive humanitarian aid in the Mamun neighborhood. The battle was a military operation to regain power of the 2nd largest city from the Islamic State (IS). The city, which 800,000 of its inhabitants fled, was completely ravaged by the clashes.
“The Battle for Mosul"
Ivor Pickett’s second nomination for the photo of the year award depicts a young unidentified boy being carried out of the devastated Old City area, Mosul. Iraqi Special Forces soldiers are shown surrounding him searching for survivors.
This photo was taken by Ronaldo Schemidt for AFP during the violent protests against President Nicolas Maduro last May. The protest comes from the economic difficulties that the country is experiencing following the collapse of oil prices. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets and violent clashes erupted between protesters and police. 28 year old, Jose Victor Salazar Balza is shown running ablaze during these ghastly protests. A photo of a rare depth that illustrates the instability that wins the country.
The power of photography helps us reveal, relate and protect the history being captured. These photos demonstrate the importance of photo reporters and the risks they take in order to provide us with their witnessing in images where words just aren’t enough.
The winners (1st, 2nd & 3rd place) will be announced on Thursday, April 12th at the World Press Photo Awards Show in Amsterdam.