World Press Photo of the Year 2024

A Palestinian Woman Embraces the Body of Her Niece
Mohammed Salem, Palestine, Reuters

The photographer describes this photo, taken just days after his own wife gave birth, as a “powerful and sad moment that sums up the broader sense of what was happening in the Gaza Strip”.

It shows Inas Abu Maamar (36) cradling the body of her niece Saly (5) who was killed, along with her mother and sister, when an Israeli missile struck their home, in Khan Younis, Gaza.

The jury commented on how the image was composed with care and respect, offering at once a metaphorical and literal glimpse into unimaginable loss.

This photographer was awarded for the same topic over a decade ago.

Detailed background on this photo is also available from Reuters.

World Press Photo Story of the Year
Lee-Ann Olwage, South Africa, for GEO

In Madagascar, lack of public awareness surrounding dementia means that people displaying symptoms of memory loss are often stigmatized.

The jury commented: “This story tackles a universal health issue through the lens of family and care. The selection of images are composed with warmth and tenderness reminding viewers of the love and closeness necessary in a time of war and aggression worldwide.”

In this photo, “Dada Paul” and his granddaughter Odliatemix get ready for church in Madagascar. He has lived with dementia for 11 years, and is cared for by his daughter Fara.

This story is part of a longer term body of work by Olwage about dementia. 

World Press Photo Long-Term Project Award
The Two Walls
Alejandro Cegarra, Venezuela, The New York Times/Bloomberg

Since 2019, Mexico’s immigration policies have undergone a significant shift, transforming from a nation historically open to migrants and asylum seekers at its southern border to a country that enforces stringent immigration policies.

Drawing from his own first-hand experience of migrating from his native Venezuela to Mexico in 2017, photographer Alejandro Cegarra initiated this project in 2018. The jury felt that this photographer’s own position as a migrant afforded a sensitive human-centered perspective that centers on the agency and resilience of migrants. 

World Press Photo Open Format Award
War Is Personal
Julia Kochetova, Ukraine

Amidst tens of thousands of civilian and military casualties and an effective stalemate that has lasted for months, there are no signs of peace on the horizon for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

While news media updates its audience with statistics and maps, and international attention drifts elsewhere, the photographer has created a website that brings together photojournalism with the personal documentary style of a diary to show the world what it is like to live with war as an everyday reality.

This project weaves together photographic images with poetry, audio clips, and music in collaboration with a Ukrainian illustrator and DJ.

Executive director World Press Photo, Joumana El Zein Khoury said:

Each of these winning photographers is intimately and personally familiar with their topics. This helps them bring a deeper understanding to the rest of us, which hopefully leads to empathy and compassion. I am thankful for their dedication, courage, professionalism and skill.

The work of press and documentary photographers around the world is often done at high risk. This past year, the death toll in Gaza pushed the number of journalists killed to a near-record high. It is important to recognize the trauma they have experienced to show the world the humanitarian impact of the war.

Global jury chair, Fiona Shields, head of Photography at The Guardian, said:

All of the winning images have such power to convey a specific moment, while also resonating beyond their own subject and time. This is what we were hoping to find. Our Photo of the Year truly encapsulates this sense of impact; it is incredibly moving to view and at the same time an argument for peace, which is extremely powerful when peace can sometimes feel like an unlikely fantasy.

Many photographers are currently working in really challenging and almost unimaginable circumstances, so this year we wanted to ensure that we were applauding the complete breadth of work submitted.

About the contest

The awarded photographs were selected from 61,062 entries by 3,851 photographers from 130 countries. They were judged first by six regional juries, and the winners were then chosen by a global jury consisting of the regional jury chairs plus the global jury chair.

The global winners are selected from the 24 regional winners. There are also six honorable mentions. Additionally, this year, the jury made the exceptional decision to include two special mentions in the selection. The awarded stories will be shown to millions as part of our annual exhibition in over 60 locations around the world. Millions more will see the winning stories online. 

About press freedom

World Press Photo champions press freedom by showcasing some of the world’s best photojournalism and documentary photography, supporting photographers, and introducing visual literacy to a broader audience.

More than three quarters of the 99 journalists and media workers who perished worldwide in 2023 were killed in the Israel-Gaza war, making it one of the deadliest years on record, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Since the start of the war, 95 journalists and media workers have been confirmed dead: 90 Palestinian, 2 Israeli, and 3 Lebanese.

Work, for a news photographer, can be a dangerous place. Unlike other journalists, news photographers must be where the story is happening – which might be a war zone, a humanitarian disaster, or somewhere free and open media is not welcomed. Our regional model also brings us increasingly into contact with photographers who both work and live in places that are dangerous for journalists. Many are without proper support. We work alongside other press freedom organizations to help improve this.

Notes for editors

World Press Photo prohibits the use of AI images in its contest – both generative fill and fully generated images. More information.

In total, there are 33 awarded photographers this year, for 32 projects (including the two special mentions). This includes a winning team entry in the Africa region with two photographers, Felipe Dana and Renata Brito, sharing the prize.

Details about the contest are available on our website, including information about: prizes, categories, jury, and judging process.

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