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World Press Photo 2022 highlights the most significant crises of our time

World Press Photo is an installation of the finest work done in press photographing during the year, and 2022 is no exception. 

Each year thousands of international photographers submit their work to the contest, and the selected photographs illustrate a bleak truth about our time. This year’s finalists and winners illustrate a world going up in flames – literally.

Wildfires and natural disasters across the globe as a result of climate change and conflicted nations at war seem to be the main issues caught by the photographers.

From the entrance to the exhibition the guests can stare down a deep hallway, looking straight at a big print of Konstantinos Tsakalidis’ photograph, which won the European Singles Photo. A dramatic picture capturing the distress and grief of a elderly woman, as she flees her home threatened by wildfires in Greece. 

World press photo 2022 barcelona

Konstantinos Tsakalidis won the European Singles Photo.

World Press Photo rearranges

The drama of the photographs is complemented by captivating quotes written on walls around the exhibition.

“The stories and photographs of the global winners are interconnected. All four of them, in their own unique ways, address the consequences of humanity’s rush for progress, and its devastating effects on our planet”, a quote from Rena Effendi, President of the global jury, states on one of the walls.

This year World Press Photo decided to change the installation. Therefore they arranged all photographs into six regions of the world: Nord and Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Southeast Asia and Oceania. 

The set-up makes the guests walk though the world, region by region, while diving into critical crises of the area. 

World Press Photo 2022 Barcelona

Guided tours at the exhibition are popular. This is a group of students visiting the CCCB.

Variery of winners

The exhibition shows a big variety of winners, however, one of the main topic is climate change.

For example Brazilian Lalo de Almeida, who is the winner of the World Press Photo 2022 award for Long-term Project with his work “Amazonian Dystopia”.

He is one of the most prominent winners. In his image, he shows the deforestation of the Amazon and calls for a change before it is too late.

De Almeida believes that with the victory of Lula da Silva in Brazil the forest will be saved. He believes that Lula has another perspective on the Amazon, and that this gives him hope.

Contest rules prohibit posting fake photos. Except in the open format category where Jonas Bendiksen won with ‘The Book of Veles’, a series of images created with a computer.

One of the winners is an anonymous photographer, who does not say his name for fear of ending up in jail. The image, which entered the contest through ‘The New York Times’, shows protesters in Myanmar protesting against the military coup in February 2021.

Read also: Could Covid be the new Polio?

In this edition of the photojournalism contest, 4,066 photographers from 130 countries presented 64,823 images. Among the 24 winners from 23 countries,  just seven of them are women.

Furthermore to the exhibition The World Press Photo will have a debate on the 30th November. The debate will discuss the photojournalism in Ukranian War. Photojournalists and previous winners Santi Palacios and Ricardo García Vilanova will also attend the event.

The 65th annual World Press Photo Contest is until the 2. December on show in the dark halls of The Center of Contemporary Culture in Barcelona (CCCB). Tickets are 6 euros, although if you go on sundays it is free.

Mikkel Østrup-Jeppesen, Angel Lemus

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