Winners of the World Press Photo Contest of 2020

“We live in a time when top-quality visual journalism is needed more than ever.”—Lars Boering, Managing Director of the World Press Photo Foundation.

Earlier this year, on April 16, 2020, the World Press Photo Foundation announced the winners of the World Press Photo Contest 2020. The announcement included the World Press Photo of the Year, World Press Photo Story of the Year, as well as the winners for each of the eight categories of the photo contest.

The jury’s choice for the World Press Photo of the Year is ‘Straight Voice’ by Yasuyoshi Chiba, a photograph showing a young man, reciting protest poetry while demonstrators chant slogans in Sudan.

For the World Press Photo Story of the Year, they selected ‘Kho’, the Genesis of Revolt by Romain Laurendeau, a long-term visual account of youth struggle in Algeria. Both these photographers distinguish themselves because their visual creativity and skills produced a single image or story, which captures an event or issue of great journalistic importance in that year.

Apart from these two winners World Press Photo shows with the width of her eight categories – Contemporary Issues, Environment, General News, Long-term projects, Nature, Portraits, Sports, and Spot News – the great importance of international visual journalism where there is room for a diversity of subjects.

The World Press Photo Yearbook 2020 showcases winning photography from the 2020 Photo Contest, selected from 73,996 photographs entered by 4,282 photographers from 125 countries. In the Yearbook – this year with a completely new design – the winners of the first, second and third prize of the single image are listed first per category. This is followed by the three winners of the series within the eight categories. Finally, there is ample attention for the three winners of the long-
term projects: projects that photographers spent years of their lives with.

The world witnessed last year a ‘global protest wave’, as citizens, particularly youth, mobilised to defend their freedoms, secure their rights and activate change. Protest and the role of the youth in activating change were highlighted by the judges as one of the main themes in 2019. Of the 44 winners, 10 photographers have chosen the causes and effects of the climate crises as their subject: an international problem that is drawing worldwide attention.

This shows once again that the World Press Photo Contest not only focuses on local subjects, but that cross-border issues also have a place in this annual visual overview of photography.

“Time spent on research, reporting and representing a subject visually is what elevates a story from
the merely good to the great photography on show here,” Boering, managing director of World
Press Photo Foundation, added.

See a selection of the winners, below.

Straight Voice – Yasuyoshi Chiba

Japan, Agence France-Presse.

“A young man, illuminated by mobile phones, recites protest poetry while demonstrators chant slogans calling for civilian rule, during a blackout in Khartoum, Sudan, on 19 June 2019.”

© Yasuyoshi Chiba

Relative Mourns Flight ET 302 Crash Victim – Mulugeta Ayene

Ethiopia, Associated Press.

“A relative of a victim of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 plane crash throws dirt in her face as she grieves at the crash site, near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 14 March 2019.”

© Mulugeta Ayene

The Longest War – Lorenzo Tugnoli

Italy, Contrasto, forThe Washington Post.

“An Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) anti-mine team detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) found on the Ghazni-Kandahar highway in eastern Afghanistan, on 2 December 2019. IEDs are one of the leading causes of casualties among civilians and members of the ANDSF.”

© Lorenzo Tugnoli

Bushfire Evacuation Center – Sean Davey

Australia, for Agence France-Presse.

“Abigail Ferris (in the mask) plays with friends at a temporary evacuation centre in Bega, New South Wales, Australia, on 31 December 2019. Abigail and her family had been evacuated from a nearby camping spot during bushfires on new Year’s Eve.”

© Sean Davey

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Crash Site – Mulugeta Ayene

Ethiopia, Associated Press.

“Relatives of a victim of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 crash mourn at a ceremony for those killed, at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 17 March 2019, a week after the incident.”

© Mulugeta Ayene

Hong Kong Unrest – Nicolas Asfouri

Denmark, Agence France-Presse.

“Students cross a road to school in Hong Kong after participating in a human-chain rally, on 12 September 2019.”

© Nicolas Asfouri

Nothing Personal – the Back Office of War – Nikita Teryoshin


“A businessman locks away a pair of anti-tank grenade launchers at the end of an exhibition day, at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference(IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on 18 February 2019.”

© Nikita Teryoshin

Kho, the Genesis of a Revolt – Romain Laurendeau


“A young couple challenges a taboo as they kiss in a public space in Algiers, Algeria, on 8 December 2016.”

© Romain Laurendeau

Awakening – Tomek Kaczor

Poland, for Duży Format, Gazeta Wyborcza.

“Ewa, a 15-year-old Armenian girl who has recently woken from catatonic state brought on by Resignation Syndrome, sits in a wheelchair, flanked by her parents, in a refugee reception centre in Podkowa Leśna, Poland, on 1 June 2019,”

© Tomek Kaczor

Polar Bear and her Cub – Esther Horvath

Hungary, for The New York Times.

“A polar bear and her cub come close to equipment placed by scientistsfromPolarstern, a ship that is part of a scientific expedition investigating the consequences of Arctic climate change, in the central Arctic Ocean, on10 October 2019.”

© Esther Horvath
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