The World Press Photo Contest has unveiled the 2023 regional winners, with four category winners selected across six global regions.
The World Press Photo Contest adjusted the format in 2022 to include the preliminary Regional winners, which act as a finalist round before the grand prize winners are announced.
The six global regions include four categories – singles (single photo), Stories (4-10 images), Long-Term projects (24-30 images), and Open Format. Entries are allocated to a region based on where they were shot, rather than the nationality or country where the photographer is based. For example, a German photographer entering images captured in South Africa will be part of the Africa region.
Australia is part of Southeast Asia & Oceania. The five other regions are Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Central America, and South America.
Each region has its own jury composed of professionals from and/or working in the region with a range of expertise. ‘With the knowledge of the region that each jury member possesses, they were well equipped to judge the stories and be able to put them into a cultural, political and social context.’
Sydney Morning Herald managing photo editor, Mags King, is a juror in the World Press Photo Contest Southeast Asia & Oceania, along with four South East Asian-based professionals.
The purpose is to showcase ‘both prominent and overlooked stories’ from photographers across every inhabited continent. World Press Photo highlights this year’s regional winners as covering everything from ‘devastating documentation of the war in Ukraine and historic protests in Iran, to the realities in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and the many faces of the climate crisis in countries ranging from Morocco to Australia to Peru to Kazakhstan’.
‘To better live up to the word “World” that is part of our name, and in order to offer a more global and better geographic balance of perspectives, we changed the set up of our contest to a regional model.’ said World Press Photo executive director, Joumana El Zein Khoury.
The World Press Photo rolled out the format change after noting in 2021 that only seven percent of entries came from South America, five percent from Southeast Asia and Oceania, and three percent from Africa.
The Regional winners also serve as a feeder system into the grand prizes: the World Press Photo of the Year, Story of the Year, Long-Term Project Award, and Open Format Award.
Australian photographer, Chad Ajamian, won the Southeast Asia & Oceania Open Format category for his series, Australian Floods in Infared.
‘This series offers a unique perspective on the recent floods that have devastated areas in New South Wales, Australia. Aerial infrared imaging renders vegetation in pinks and reds, contrasting sharply against blues and cyans, which represent water. These images make newly flooded areas easily discernible to post-disaster emergency responders, assisting with response and recovery. The photos in this series were taken during the rounds of devastating floods in New South Wales, Australia, which forced the evacuation of 18,000 people in March 2021. The increased intensity and frequency of flooding in the region is likely an outcome of the global climate crisis.’
More than 60,000 pictures were entered into the World Press Photo Contest by 3752 photographers. The World Press Photo Contest grand prize results will be announced on April 20.
Below are the six Singles pictures in the running to win the World Press Photo of the Year. The winners’ images can be viewed here.
The Big Forget
Lee-Ann Olwage, South Africa, Bob & Diane Fund, for Der Spiegel
Nick Hannes, Belgium, Panos Pictures
Here, The Doors Don’t Know Me
Mohamed Mahdy, Egypt
Before It’s Gone
M’hammed Kilito, Morocco, VII Mentor Program/ Visura
Shireen Abu Akleh’s Funeral
Maya Levin, United States, Associated Press
The Price of Peace in Afghanistan
Mads Nissen, Denmark, Politiken/Panos Pictures
Woman, Life, Freedom
Hossein Fatemi, Iran
Anush Babajanyan, Armenia, VII Agency/National Geographic Society
Yana and Victor
Alkis Konstantinidis, Greece, Reuters
The Siege of Mariupol
Evgeniy Maloletka, Ukraine, Associated Press
Cesar Dezfuli, Spain/Iran for De Volkskrant
Simone Tramonte, Italy
North and Central America
The Dying River
Jonas Kakó, Germany, Panos Pictures
Carlos Barria, Argentina, Reuters
The Voice of New York is Drill
Ashley Peña, United States, for New York Magazine
Cristopher Rogel Blanquet, Mexico, W. Eugene Smith Grant/
National System of Art Creators FONCA/Getty Images
Oil Spill in Lima
Musuk Nolte, Peru/Mexico, Bertha Foundation
Alessandro Cinque, Italy, Pulitzer Center/National Geographic
Johanna Alarcón, Ecuador, Magnum Foundation/Panos Pictures
I Can’t Hear the Birds
Fabiola Ferrero, Venezuela
Southeast Asia and Oceania
Retrieving the Dead
Mauk Kham Wah, Myanmar
Home for the Golden Gays
Hannah Reyes Morales, the Philippines, for The New York Times
Australian Floods in Infrared
Chad Ajamian, Australia
Death of a Nation
Kimberly dela Cruz, the Philippines, W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, VII Mentor Program