18 April 2020
18 April 2020 - Written by PhMuseum
Japanese photographer Yasuyoshi Chiba was awarded the World Press Photo of the Year. Among the other prize recipients were former PHmuseum Grant Awardees Nikita Teryoshin and Sabiha Çimen.
2020 Photo Contest, World Press Photo of the Year - A young man, illuminated by mobile phones, recites protest poetry while demonstrators chant slogans calling for civilian rule, during a blackout in Khartoum, Sudan © Yasuyoshi Chiba
Japanese photographer Yasuyoshi Chiba is the recipient of the World Press Photo of The Year. His image was taken during the protests in Sudan that began in December 2018 and spread rapidly throughout the country. By April 2019, protesters were staging a sit-in close to army headquarters in the capital Khartoum, and demanding an end to the 30-year rule of dictator Omar al-Bashir. On 11 April, al-Bashir was removed from office in a military coup, and a transitional military government was established. Protests continued, calling for power to be handed to civilian groups. On 3 June, government forces opened fire on unarmed protesters. Scores of people were killed and many more subject to further violence. Three days later the African Union suspended Sudan, in the midst of widespread international condemnation of the attack. The authorities sought to defuse protests by imposing blackouts, and shutting down the internet. Protesters communicated by text message, word of mouth and using megaphones, and resistance to military rule continued. Despite another severe crackdown on 30 June, the pro-democracy movement was eventually successful in signing a power-sharing agreement with the military, on 17 August.
2020 Photo Contest, World Press Photo Story of the Year - Kho, the Genesis of a Revolt © Romain Laurendeau
The Story of the Year first prize was assigned to Kho, the Genesis of a Revolt by French Photographer Romain Laurendeau. Kho (the word means ‘brother’ in colloquial North-African Arabic) is about the genesis of a revolt. It is the story of the deep unease of youth, who, by daring to challenge authority, inspired the rest of the population to join their action, giving birth to the largest protest movement in Algeria in decades. Young people make up more than half of Algeria’s population, and according to a UNESCO report 72% of people under 30 in Algeria are unemployed. Pivotal moments in Algerian history, such as the ‘Black October’ revolt of 1988, have had angry youth at their core. Black October was harshly suppressed—more than 500 people were killed in five days—and was followed by a ‘black decade’ of violence and unrest. Thirty years on, the effects of that decade are still present. In a traumatized country, high unemployment leads to boredom and frustration in everyday life and many young people feel disconnected from the state and its institutions. Football, for many young men, becomes both an identity and a means of escape, with quasi-political groups of fans known as ‘Ultras’ playing a large and sometimes violent role in protests. In neglected working-class neighborhoods such as Bab el-Oued in Algiers, young people often seek refuge in diki—private places that are ‘bubbles of freedom’ away from the gaze of society and from conservative social values. But the sense of community and solidarity is often not enough to erase the trials of poor living conditions. In February 2019, thousands of young people from working-class neighborhoods again took to the streets in what became a nationwide challenge to the reign of long-time president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
See all the awarded stories here.
2020 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, Singles, 1st Prize - 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 © Nikita Teryoshin
Among the winners, we were happy to see two familiar names to the PHmuseum's Audience: Nikita Teryoshin and Sabiha Çimen.
Nikita, who won the PHmuseum 2019 Photography Grant 1st Prize receives the first prize in the category Contemporary Issues, Singles with a photo from his project Nothing Personal. The image was shot at IDEX, the biggest defense exhibition and conference in the Middle East, and one of the biggest arms trade-fairs in the world. No official attendance figures are released, but according to UAE state media, the event was expected to draw 1,200 global defense specialists, 1,235 exhibitors and more than 105,000 visitors. Attendees include defense ministers, military chiefs of staff and key government decision-makers, who interact in conference halls, social events and back-office meetings. War is staged in an artificial environment where mannequins and screen images take the place of real people, and with outdoor demonstrations and daily choreographed battle displays on water.
Sabiha, who was awarded the PHmuseum PHmuseum 2018 Women Photographers Grant 3rd Prize, received the Long-Term Projects, Stories, 2nd Prize thanks to her work KKK (Quran School For Girls). The photographer attended a Qur’an school with her twin sister when they were 12, and so is able to reveal a world unknown to many. Her project follows the daily lives of students at Qur’an schools and shows not only their journey to become hafızes, but also how they retain the dreams and adventurous nature of young women their age, as well as the rule-breaking practices and the fun of school life when they are not studying.
Our best congratulations to this year awarded photographers, see all the awarded stories here.
Sisters Gülnur (left) and Havvanur (right) graduate from a Qur’an school in Kars, Turkey © Sabiha Çimen