Each year World Press Photo holds one of the largest and most prestigious press photo contests in the world. This year 98,671 images were submitted by 5,703 photographers of 130 different nationalities. The best picture award went to the American photographer John Stanmeyer, an associate of the VII photo agency. Last year Stanmeyer made a photographic documentary for National Geographic of African migrants gathering in the capital city of Djibouti, a regular stop-off point for migrants traveling from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea to Europe. From this series the jury selected one image in which migrants can be seen with their mobile phones at night on the shore of Djibouti trying to pick up a signal from Somalia.
“This is probably the most hopeful image that has ever won in the history of the World Press Photo”, says British photographer and chairman of the jury Gary Knight. “Anyone looking at this photo doesn’t see the end but the beginning of a story. These people are on their way to a better life and are trying to contact other people using their cell phones. The image also says a lot about the modern world in which there are more mobile phones than people.”
The winning photos have been brought together in a travelling exhibition that will be held in more than a hundred cities in the world. During the summer months this exhibition will be held in St. Peter’s Abbey in Ghent.
Photo John Stanmeyer (VS) / VII for National Geographic