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Poignant Shot From Gaza Wins World Press Photo Of The Year 2024

Mohammed Salem won the World Press Photo Award of the Year

Reuters photographer, Mohammed Salem, has won 2024 prestigious World Press Photo of the Year award with a depiction of loss in Gaza.

The heartrending photo depicts a Palestinian woman cradling the body of her young niece.

The photograph, taken on 17 October 2023 at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, shows 36-year-old Inas Abu Maamar holding five-year-old Saly, who was killed along with her mother and sister when an Israeli missile struck their home.

Salem, 39, who is Palestinian, described this photo filed on 2 November last year, as a “powerful and sad moment that sums up the broader sense of what was happening in the Gaza Strip.”

“I felt the picture sums up the broader sense of what was happening in the Gaza Strip,” Salem said when the image was first published in November.

“People were confused, running from one place to another, anxious to know the fate of their loved ones, and this woman caught my eye as she was holding the body of the little girl and refused to let go.”

Read Also: Journalists Injured In Attack On Gaza Refugee Camp

The jury said Salem’s 2024 winning image was “composed with care and respect, offering at once a metaphorical and literal glimpse into unimaginable loss.”

This is not the first time Salem has been recognized for his work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; he received a World Press Photo award more than a decade ago for another depiction of the human toll of conflict in the Gaza strip.

In the three other global categories announced today (Thursday 18 April, 2024), South Africa’s Lee-Ann Olwage won Photo Story of the Year for her touching series “Valim-babena,” featured in GEO magazine.

The project focused on the stigmatization of dementia in Madagascar, a topic she explored through intimate portraits of “Dada Paul” and his family.

Lack of public awareness surrounding dementia means that people displaying symptoms of memory loss are often stigmatized.

In the series, “Dada Paul,” who has lived with dementia for 11 years, is tenderly cared for by his daughter Fara. One of the standout images in the series shows him preparing for church with his granddaughter Odliatemix, capturing moments of normalcy and warmth amidst the challenges of dementia.

Photographer Alejandro Cegarra, a Venezuelan native who migrated to Mexico in 2017, won the Long-Term Project award for “The Two Walls,” published by The New York Times and Bloomberg.

Cegarra’s project, initiated in 2018, examines a shift in Mexico’s immigration policies, which have moved from being historically open to enforcing strict regulations at its southern border.

The jury said the photographer’s perspective as a migrant gave it a “sensitive,” human-centered perspective, according to a press release.

Julia Kochetova of Ukraine won the Open Format award for “War Is Personal.”

The project stood out from coverage of the ongoing conflict by offering a personal look at the harsh realities of war.

On a dedicated website, she merged traditional photojournalism with a diary-like documentary style, incorporating photography, poetry, audio clips and music.

The Associated Press won the Open Format award in the regional Africa category with the multimedia story “Adrift,” created by Journalists Renata Brito and Felipe Dana.

The story investigates the fate of West African migrants who attempted to reach Europe via a treacherous Atlantic route but ended up on a ghost ship discovered off Tobago.

The Associated Press’ Ebrahim Noroozi won the Asia Stories award for his series “Afghanistan on the Edge,” which documents the country since the Taliban took over in August 2021.

World Press Photo is an independent, nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands, founded in 1955. — Euronews

Source: Euronews via SG.

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