Photo 2009 Winners
Starting with more than 97,000 entries, the jury for the World Press Photo
2009 awards had to whittle that mountain of visual data down to 64 winning
images (or series) that represent the best visual reporting of the past
year’s global events.
The group of winning photos is, in some ways, a visual time capsule that
touches on just a few of the noteworthy issues of the previous year. Lens
Culture is pleased to present the winning photographs here in a high-resolution
slideshow, with captions identifying each photographer, the agency
or media responsible for the image, and a brief explanation of what is
depicted in each image.
American photojournalist Anthony Suau took the top honors this year. His
black-and-white picture shows an armed officer of the Cuyahoga County
Sheriff’s Department moving through a home in Cleveland, Ohio, following
eviction as a result of mortgage foreclosure. Officers have to ensure
that the house is clear of weapons, and that the residents have moved
out. The winning photograph, taken in March 2008, is part of a story commissioned
by Time magazine. The story as a whole won Second Prize in the Daily Life
category of the contest.
Jury chair MaryAnne Golon said: “The strength of the picture is
in its opposites. It’s a double entendre. It looks like a classic
conflict photograph, but it is simply the eviction of people from a house
following foreclosure. Now war in its classic sense is coming into people’s
houses because they can’t pay their mortgages."
Fellow juror Akinbode Akinbiyi commented: “It is a very ambiguous
image. You have to go into it to find out what it is. Then all over the
world people will be thinking ‘this is what is happening to all
Juror Ayperi Ecer said: “We have something here which visually is
both clear and complex…It’s not about issues — 2008
is the year of the end of a dominant economic system. We need a new language,
to learn how to illustrate our lives.”
The jury gave prizes in 10 theme categories to 64 photographers of 27
nationalities from: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile,
China, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan,
Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, El Salvador, South Africa, South
Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and USA.
The participants represent 124 different nationalities.
The members of the 2009 jury were:
MaryAnne Golon, USA, consulting photography editor
- Akinbode Akinbiyi, Nigeria, photographer, writer and curator
- Patrick Baz, France/Lebanon, regional photo-manager, the Middle East,
- Peter Bialobrzeski, Germany, photographer Laif
- Olivier Culmann, France, photographer Tendance Floue
- Erin Elder, Canada, digital media manager The Globe and Mail
- Per Folkver, Denmark, photo editor in chief Politiken
- David Friend, USA, editor of creative development Vanity Fair
- Ayperi Karabuda Ecer, Sweden/Turkey, vice president pictures Reuters
- Volker Lensch, Germany, head of photo department Stern
- Ricardo Mazalan, Argentina, photographer The Associated Press
- Arianna Rinaldo, Italy, photo editor D La Repubblica delle Donne and
- Sujong Song, South Korea, freelance photo editor
- Daphné Anglès, France/USA, European picture coordinator
The New York Times
- Stephen Mayes, UK, managing director VII Photo Agency
Anthony Suau, the author of the World Press Photo of the Year 2008, will
receive his award during an awards ceremony in Amsterdam on Sunday 3 May
2009. The award also carries a cash prize of 10,000 euros. In addition,
Canon will donate a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera to Anthony Suau.
The awards ceremony is preceded by a three-day program of lectures, discussions
and screenings of photography. The exhibition of prizewinners will be
shown at the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam from 4 May to 28 June and will subsequently
visit over 100 locations around the world.
For a provisional exhibition schedule, and more winning images, see: www.worldpressphoto.org.