World Press Photo Contest 2019 – The Winners in Pictures

15 April 2019

A picture of a crying Honduran girl on the US border has been awarded World Press Photo of the Year 2019, taken by John Moore, senior staff photographer and special correspondent for Getty Images.

It is just one of the nearly 80,000 images entered into the 62nd annual World Press Photo Contest, which recognises the best contributions to visual journalism by professional photographers.

Run by the World Press Photo Foundation, the international contest awards photographers for the best single-exposure pictures from the past year, whether entered as singles or stories.  The photos are judged for their accurate, fair and visually compelling insights about our world.

Photojournalist and jury member Alice Martins said of the winning image: ‘It immediately tells you so much about the story.  And at the same time it really makes you feel so connected to it…This picture shows a different kind of violence that is psychological.’

For the first time this year, the World Press Photo Foundation introduced the World Press Photo Story prize and chose Pieter Ten Hoopen from the Netherlands/Sweden as the winner for his series The Migrant Caravan, which documents the largest migrant caravan in recent memory, traveling through Central America to the US border.

Ten Hoopen is a member of Agency VU in Paris and the founder of the company Civilian Act in Stockholm. He has followed war and humanitarian crises since 2004.

See more of the category winners and the stories behind them below.

The Migrant Caravan, © Pieter Ten Hoopen, Agence Vu/Civilian Act, World Press Photo Story of the Year
People run to a truck that has stopped to give them a ride, outside Tapanatepec, Mexico, on 30 October 2018. Some drivers charged to give travelers a lift for part of the way, but most offered services free as a sign of support.
During October and November 2018, thousands of Central American migrants joined a caravan heading to the United States border. The caravan, assembled through a grassroots social media campaign, left San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on 12 October 2018, and as word spread drew people from Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. They were a mix of those facing political repression and violence, and those fleeing harsh economic conditions in the hope of a better life.

The Cubanitas, © Diana Markosian, Magnum Photos, Contemporary Issues – Singles Category First Prize
Pura rides around her neighbourhood in a pink 1950s convertible, as the community gathers to celebrate her fifteenth birthday, in Havana, Cuba.  A girl’s quinceañera (fifteenth birthday) is a Latino coming-of-age tradition marking transition into womanhood. It is a gender specific rite of passage, traditionally showcasing a girl’s purity and readiness for marriage. Families go to great expense, often celebrating with a lavish party. The girl dresses as a princess, living out a fantasy and perceived idea of femininity.

Blessed Be the Fruit: Ireland’s Struggle to Overturn Anti-Abortion Laws, © Olivia Harris, Contemporary Issues – Stories Category First Prize
Women fold a cloth in front of a banner reading ‘Our Toil Doth Sweeten Others’, created by artist Alice Maher, at the Eva International Art Festival in Limerick, Ireland. Abortion reform campaigners used art to open conversations on topics previously considered off-limits in a conservative society.  On 25 May, Ireland voted by a large majority to overturn its abortion laws, which were among the most restrictive in the world. A 1983 referendum had resulted in an Eighth Amendment to the Irish constitution reinforcing a ban on terminations, even those resulting from rape and incest. Prior to the referendum, an estimated 3,000 women traveled to the UK annually for abortions.

Akashinga – the Brave Ones, © Brent Stirton, Getty Images, Environment – Singles Category First Prize
Petronella Chigumbura (30), a member of an all-female anti-poaching unit called Akashinga, participates in stealth and concealment training in the Phundundu Wildlife Park, Zimbabwe.  Akashinga (‘The Brave Ones’) is a ranger force established as an alternative conservation model. It aims to work with, rather than against local populations, for the long-term benefits of their communities and the environment. Akashinga comprises women from disadvantaged backgrounds, empowering them, offering jobs, and helping local people to benefit directly from the preservation of wildlife.

The Lake Chad Crisis, © Marco Gualazzini, Contrasto, Environment – Stories Category First Prize
An orphaned boy walks past a wall with drawings depicting rocket-propelled grenade launchers, in Bol, Chad. Many orphaned children, including Nigerian refugees, live in madrasas (Koran schools) and are sent to beg for part of the day.
A humanitarian crisis is underway in the Chad Basin, caused by a complex combination of political conflict and environmental factors. Lake Chad—once one of Africa’s largest lakes and a lifeline to 40 million people—is experiencing massive desertification. As a result of unplanned irrigation, extended drought, deforestation and resource mismanagement, the size of the lake has decreased by 90 percent over the past 60 years. Traditional livelihoods such as fishing have withered, and water shortages are causing conflict between farmers and cattle herders. Jihadist group Boko Haram, which is active in the area, both benefits from the hardship and widespread hunger and contributes to it. 

The Disappearance of Jamal Kashoggi, © Chris McGrath, Getty Images, General News – Singles First Prize
An unidentified man tries to hold back the press as Saudi investigators arrive at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, amid a growing international backlash to the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A critic of the Saudi regime, Khashoggi had been missing since entering the consulate on 2 October to obtain documents. After weeks of rumour and false information, Riyadh announced that Khashoggi had been killed accidentally during an altercation. Turkish authorities and the CIA claimed he had been murdered by Saudi intelligence operatives, working under high Saudi authority.

Yemen Crisis, © Lorenzo Tugnoli, Contrasto, for The Washington Post, General News – Stories Category First Prize
A woman begs outside a grocery store in Azzan, a pivotal southern crossroads town that had seesawed back and forth between government and insurgent forces in Yemen, on 22 May 2018. After nearly four years of conflict in Yemen, at least 8.4 million people are at risk of starvation and 22 million people—75% of the population—are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN. In 2014, Houthi Shia Muslim rebels seized northern areas of the country, forcing the president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, into exile. The conflict spread, and escalated when Saudi Arabia, in coalition with eight other mostly Sunni Arab states, began air strikes against the Houthis. By 2018, the war had led to what the UN termed the world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster.

Beckon Us From Home, © Sarah Blesener, Long Term Projects Category First Prize
Garett dances with his girlfriend at the Young Marines annual ball, in Hanover, Pennsylvania, USA. Young Marines, a patriotic education programme, has 10,000 students nationwide and focuses on youth development in such areas as citizenship, patriotism, and drug-free lifestyle. Patriotic education, often with a military subtext, forms the mainspring of many youth programs in both Russia and the United States. In America, the dual messages of ‘America first’ and ‘Americanism’ can be found not only as a driving force behind adult political movements, but around the country in camps and clubs where young people are taught what it means to be an American.

Falcons and the Arab Influence, © Brent Stirton, Getty Images for National Geographic, Nature – Stories Category First Prize
Rashid bin Maktoum bin Butti al-Maktoum ties a falcon to a perch at a hunting camp in the desert near Abu Dhabi, UAE. This camp uses captive-bred houbara bustards as prey. The millennia-old practice of falconry is experiencing an international resurgence, especially as a result of efforts in the Arab world. UNESCO now recognises falconry as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (ICH), a status enjoyed by no other hunting sport. Falcons bred in captivity have helped diminish the trade in captured wild birds, including some species that are listed as endangered. But some falcons in the wild continue to be at risk from capture and other anthropogenic factors such as electrocution on badly designed powerlines, habitat degradation and agrochemicals.

Dakar Fashion, © Finbarr O’Reilly, Portraits – Singles Category First Prize
Diarra Ndiaye, Ndeye Fatou Mbaye and Mariza Sakho model outfits by designer Adama Paris, in the Medina neighborhood of the Senegalese capital, Dakar, as curious residents look on. Dakar is a growing hub of Franco-African fashion, and is home to Fashion Africa TV, the first station entirely dedicated to fashion on the continent. The annual Dakar Fashion Week includes an extravagant street show that is open to all and attended by thousands from all corners of the capital.

Land of Ibeji, © Bénédicte Kurzen, Noor and Sanne de Wilde, Noor, Portraits – Stories Category First Prize
Kehinde Quadrat and Taiwo Badrat (17) stand side-by-side, as if shadows of each other, in Igbo-Ora, Nigeria. Nigeria has one of the highest occurrences of twins in the world, particularly among the Yoruba people in the southwest. In the southwestern town of Igbo-Ora, dubbed ‘The Nation’s Home of Twins’, reportedly almost every family has at least one set.

Boxing in Katanga, © John T. Pedersen, Sports – Singles Category First Prize
Boxer Moreen Ajambo (30) trains at the Rhino boxing club in Katanga, a large slum settlement in Kampala, Uganda, on 24 March.
More than 20,000 people live in Katanga, crowded together and often in extreme poverty. The boxing club receives no outside funding. Ajambo, a mother of seven, boxes in the Ugandan women’s team. Men’s boxing has a long history in Uganda, but women boxers are often frustrated by the few opportunities to compete at an international level.

Crying for Freedom, © Forough Alaei, Sports – Stories Category First Prize
Women follow the AFC Champions League Cup match between Iran’s Persepolis and Japan’s Kashima Antlers from a segregated section of a stand at the Azadi Stadium, Tehran, 10 November 2018.
In Iran, there are restrictions on female fans entering football stadiums. As football is the nation’s most popular sport, the ban has been a controversial public issue. On 1 March 2018, FIFA president Gianni Infantino met with the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, to address the issue. Social-media groups also put the president under pressure, and on 20 June a ruling allowed Tehran’s Azadi Stadium to admit selected groups of women for international matches.

Featured image: Crying Girl on the Border, © John Moore, Getty Images, World Press Photo of the Year 2019

Honduran toddler Yanela Sanchez cries as she and her mother, Sandra Sanchez, are taken into custody by US border officials in McAllen, Texas, USA, on 12 June 2018. Immigrant families had rafted across the Rio Grande from Mexico and were then detained by US authorities. Sandra Sanchez said that she and her daughter had been traveling for a month through Central America and Mexico before reaching the US to seek asylum. The Trump Administration had announced a ‘zero tolerance’ policy at the border under which immigrants caught entering the US could be criminally prosecuted. As a result, many apprehended parents were separated from their children, often sent to different detention facilities.