World Press Photo 2021 rewards the “hopeful” image of the pandemic

The winning photograph of the ‘World Press Photo of the Year’ of 2021 is ‘The first hug’. The image captures the story of Rosa Luzia Lunardi, an 85-year-old woman, who is embraced by nurse Adriana Silva for the first time after a five-month pandemic. “The jury chose this photo because it gives a lot of hope”, highlighted the representative of the World Press Photo Foundation, Marika Cukrowski.

The author of the winning entry is Danish photojournalist Mads Nissen. This is his second award, since in 2015 he was awarded for the photo ‘Jon and Alex’.

As reported by Cukrowski at a press conference in Madrid, in this new edition there have been three main topics: human rights, with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement; climate crisis and, “perhaps less surprising”, the pandemic.

To this year’s edition, 74,470 photographs sent by 4,315 authors from 130 different countries have been submitted, competing in eight categories: ‘Contemporary Issues’,’ General News’, ‘Environment’, ‘Long-term Projects’,’ Nature ‘,’ Current News’, ‘Sports’ and’ Portraits’.

“Every year the jury changes, it is the way to diversify. That is very noticeable from one year to the next, suddenly one year you find that all the photographs are bloody, and the following year all the photographs are subtle”, explained the co-director of the ‘World Press Photo’ in Madrid, Elena Vergara, also present at the wheel.


Among the winners of this edition are several Spanish photographers: Luis Tato, Jaime Culebras, Aitor Garmendia and Claudia Reig.

Luis Tato has been the winner of the third prize in the category of ‘Nature’ (in the form of graphic reports), with a report “on a plague of locusts that occurred in Kenya last year”. “One of the consequences of climate change is that it affects the reproductive cycles of animals. Lobsters have been affected by shortening generations: if before they reproduced three times a year now they are five times. In Kenya it has been devastating, between 40 and 80 million lobsters per square kilometer, with its consequent impact on the local economy but also abroad, “said Vergara.

Meanwhile, Jaime Culebras has been the winner of the third prize in the ‘Nature’ category (in the individual photography modality), for the image of a glass frog at the Yanayacu Biological Station in Napo, Ecuador.

In the case of Aitor Garmendia, he takes bronze in the Environment category (in the form of graphic reports) with a story about animal abuse in the Spanish pig industry.

As for Claudia Reig, she has been the winner in the digital narrative contest with the Interactive Project of the Year award for her documentary ‘Parir en el Siglo XXI’.

The headquarters of the Official College of Architects of Madrid (COAM) will host from November 6 to December 8 (from Monday to Friday, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; and from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; thus like Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.) this new edition of the international photojournalism contest.

By Editor

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