WORLD PRESS PHOTO 15: ZÜRICH

For over 55 years the World Press Photo contest has encouraged the highest standards in photojournalism. With around 100 local exhibitions produced every year, the World Press Photo exhibition tour of prize-winning photographs is the most popular traveling photo event in the world. The winners were selected from more than 97,000 images submitted to the contest.

The contest creates a bridge linking the professionals with the general public. As the announcement of the winners makes headlines around the world, so the inspirational role of photojournalism is highlighted to an audience of hundreds of millions.

The resulting archive of winning images is not only a record of more than half a century of human history, but a showcase of successive styles in photojournalism.

Together with the leading partners Canon and Baumann & Cie, Banquiers as well as gdz AG and the media partners NZZ am Sonntag and persönlich, the Swiss photo agency KEYSTONE brings the World Press Photo exhibition to Zurich for the 8th time.

The winning image and the other awarded press photographs are exhibited at the Folium in Zurich from May 7 to 31, 2015.


WHERE Folium, Alte Sihlpapierfabrik, Sihlcity Zürich
WHEN 07 – 31 May 2015 / Monday to Sunday 11:00am – 7:00pm, Friday 11:00am – 9:00pm

www.worldpressphoto.org // folium.ch


Although it was hard to decide, we have selected (as a little appetizer) our 5 favorites:
 
BLUE SKY DAYS
In Drones We Trust
 
16 December 2013 / El Dorado County, California, USA

Students in a courtyard in El Dorado County, California, viewed from a drone. In 2006, a drone strike on a religious school in the village of Chenegai, Pakistan, reportedly killed up to 69 children.
Since 2002, the US has used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) to collect intelligence and carry out airstrikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The aircraft are guided via satellite by distant operators. The attacks have resulted in a large number of fatalities, including hundreds of civilians. The photographer bought a small drone, fitted it with a camera, and flew it in the US over the sorts of gatherings that have become habitual targets for airstrikes abroad—weddings, funerals, groups of people praying or exercising. He also used it to photograph settings in which drones are used to less lethal effect, such as oil fields, prisons, and the US-Mexico border.
 
 
RESCUE OPERATION
Operation Mare Nostrum
 
07 June 2014 / Mediterranean Sea, Italy

Refugees crowd on board a boat some 25 kilometers from the Libyan coast, prior to being rescued by an Italian naval frigate working as part of Operation Mare Nostrum (OMN). The search-and-rescue operation was put in place by the Italian government, in response to the drowning of hundreds of migrants off the island of Lampedusa at the end of 2013. The numbers of people risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea rose sharply in 2014, as a result of conflicts or persecution in Syria, the Horn of Africa, and other sub-Saharan countries. OMN involved the Italian Red Cross, Save the Children, and other NGOs in an effort not only to rescue lives, but to provide medical help, counseling, and cultural support. Naval officers were also empowered to arrest human traffickers and seize their ships. In its one year of operation, OMN brought 330 smugglers to justice, and saved more than 150,000 people, at least a quarter of which were refugees from Syria. The operation was disbanded in October, and replaced by Triton, an operation conducted by the EU border agency Frontex, focusing more on surveillance than rescue.
 
 
SIDE EFFECTS
Lake near Gdynia in autumn season.
 
29 October 2010 / 54°33’47.37”N 18°13’42.22”E

Kacper Kowalski is a pilot and a photographer. Side Effects is a documentary project about the complex relationship between humans and nature. The photos were shot either from a paraglider or a gyroplane, some 150 meters above the ground, mainly in the area around Gdynia, in Poland, where Kowalski lives. In this work, Kowalski explores answers to questions that deeply interest him: What is the natural environment for humans? Is it an untouched, virgin landscape? Or is it a landscape that has changed, adapted to human needs? Kowalski sees his work as offering a graphic and sometimes abstract portrait of how civilization came into being. For Kowalski, the content of the photo is less important than the reactions, reflections, and ideas that arise when looking at it. He would like the project to be a starting point for discussion about what is good or bad, necessary or optional, in the relationship between humans and nature. The camera is never connected to a remote control, and Kowalski never uses a drone. He wants to be up there, camera in hand. And he flies alone. That means he doesn’t have to explain anything, or rely on another person’s spatial imagination. It means he can fly precisely. Side Effects is more a method of visual storytelling than a concrete set of pictures. It is an ongoing project that will continue to be modified.
 
 
ISTANBUL PROTEST
TURKEY-UNREST-POLITICS
 
12 March 2014 / Istanbul, Turkey

A young girl, wounded during clashes near Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, on 12 March. Violence broke out between riot police and people attending the funeral procession of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan. He had been hit on the head by a teargas canister while out buying bread, during anti-government demonstrations the previous June, and died following a nine-month coma. The June protests had begun over plans to develop the city’s Gezi Park into a mosque and shopping center, and had escalated into national expressions of opposition to what was seen as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s growing authoritarianism. Elvan’s death triggered further anti-government protests across the country. Despite such opposition, Erdogan was elected as president of Turkey five months later.
 
 
JON AND ALEX (World Press Photo of the Year, Contemporary Issues, 1st prize Singles)
Mads Nissen
 
19 May 2014 / St Petersburg, Russia

Jon and Alex, a gay couple, share an intimate moment at Alex’s home, a small apartment in St Petersburg, Russia. Life for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is becoming increasingly difficult in Russia. Sexual minorities face legal and social discrimination, harassment, and even violent hate-crime attacks from conservative religious and nationalistic groups.
 


courtesy of World Press Photo