Tsunamis in Japan, political demonstrations in Libya and drug wars in Mexico are all in the spotlight when the 55th annual World Press Photo contest exhibition comes to Brisbane Powerhouse from 2 – 24 June 2012 for its Australian premiere before heading to the State Library of NSW in Sydney as part of its international tour.
The World Press Photo contest draws entries by professional press photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers from across the world, with 5,247 photographers from 124 countries participating this year with 101,254 pictures submitted by the mid-January deadline.
The World Press Photo Photographer of the year for 2011 is Spain’s Samuel Aranda for his images of Fatima Al-Qaws cradling her son Zayed (18) after he was tear-gassed during a political demonstration in Yemen.
According to Chair of the jury Aidan Sullivan, "The winning photo shows a poignant, compassionate moment, the human consequence of an enormous event, an event that is still going on”.
“We might never know who this woman is, cradling an injured relative, but together they become a living image of the courage of ordinary people that helped create an important chapter in the history of the Middle East."
The jury also awarded a Special Mention to an image of a Libyan National Transition Council fighter pulling Muammar Gaddafi on to a military vehicle. The still image was taken from a video shot in Sirte, Libya, 20 October 2011.
Sullivan commented: "The photo captures an historic moment, an image of a dictator and his demise that we otherwise would not have seen, had it not been photographed by a member of the public”.
The jury gave prizes in nine themed categories to 57 photographers of 25 nationalities from: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the USA.
Australian sports photographer Adam Pretty was also honoured with a 2nd place in the Sports stories for his series on the World Aquatic Championships held in Shaghai, China.
Pretty’s career has led from a role at the Sydney Morning Herald in 1997 to an international career in sports photography which has taken him to five Olympic games on assignments for Getty Images, Sports Illustrated, Life, Time, Marie Claire and Harper's Bazaar.
Brisbane Powerhouse is Brisbane City Council’s leading arts performance venue helping to deliver a vibrant and creative city.