World Press Best Photos Of The Year 2017
World Press Photo foundation has announced the winner of the annual press photography contest this independent Amsterdam-based non-profit organization is mostly known for. Working to support journalist in their daily struggles and professional difficulties, World Press Photo promotes the development of fair journalism, free exchange of information, the freedom of speech, as well as contributes to the improvement of worldwide journalism standards, spreads the word about the insights of profession and conducts a number of educational activities aimed at those, who’re enrolled in the sphere.
Every year, this organization receives photographs representing certain events and issues and honors photographers, who managed to capture the spirit or the highlights of a certain event of a great journalistic significance.
This year’s prize was awarded to Burhan Ozbilici for his unique picture documenting the impression of anger and victory on the face of a radical Islamist, a former police officer and a killer after he committed a shocking murder of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey on December 19th, 2016. The Ambassador was shot as he was giving a speech at an art exhibition in the Turkish capital city of Ankara by a person in a suit, who was allowed into the building after showing a fake police badge and who was standing behind the Ambassador the during his whole speech. Security cameras filmed the terrible assassination, as the killer (Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş) chose the spot within their operation range and even looked directly into one of them. The press cameras were all filming as well. After shooting the Ambassador 9 times, the killer wounded 3 other people and shouted “Do not forget Aleppo, do not forget Syria” and “We die in Aleppo, you die here”, obviously referring to the commonly criticized Russian military actions in that country.
The controversial circumstances of these violent developments, the fact that photographer was brave enough to raise his camera and take a picture while the man with the gun was threatening the escaping crowd and the explosive effect of this picture, which, according to one of the jury members, “really spoke to the hatred of our times” were probably the main factors why this particular photograph was picked among 80,408 pictures of 5034 photographers and the World Press Photo of the Year.
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Here is the first-prize shot and a few of other winning images:
World Press Photo of the Year, An Assassination in Turkey © Burhan Ozbilici, The Associated Press
Rhino Wars – Nature, first prize stories – © Brent Stirton
Contemporary Issues – Third Prize, Stories, Copacabana Palace © Peter Bauza
General News – First Prize, Singles, Offensive On Mosul © Laurent Van der Stockt, Getty Reportage for Le Monde
Fidel Castro’s funeral procession – Tomas Munita for The New York Times
Daily life – The silent victims of a forgotten war – Paula Bronstein for Time Lightbox
Long term projects – First prize, Black Days Of Ukraine © Valery Melnikov, Rossiya Segodnya