American photographer Anthony Suau won the World Press Photo award for his picture of an armed sheriff moving around a home whose inhabitants have been evicted as a result of the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
AFP - American Anthony Suau won the World Press Photo award for a picture of a home being seized in the US sub-prime crisis while Agence France-Presse took two first prizes for work during Kenya's turmoil last year.
AFP's Chiba Yasuyoshi won the People In The News award for a photo of inter-tribal conflict in western Kenya, while Walter Astrada won the Spot News first prize for a photo illustrating post-electoral violence in the African nation.
Suau's black and white image taken for Time magazine shows an armed sheriff moving through a home in Cleveland, Ohio, in March 2008 following the eviction for mortgage foreclosure.
The officer has to ensure the inhabitants have moved out and left no weapons behind.
"The strength of the picture is in its opposites," said jury chairman MaryAnne Golon.
"It's a double entendre. It looks like a classic conflict photograph, but it is simply the eviction of people from a house following foreclosure. Now war in in its classic sense is coming into people's houses because they can't pay their mortgages."
"It is a very ambiguous image," said fellow juror Akinbode Akinbiyi. "You have to go into it to find out what it is. Then over the world people will be thinking 'this is what is happening to all of us.'"
Prizes were given to 64 photographers of 27 nationalities in 10 theme categories. On top of the two first prizes, AFP's Olivier Laban-Mattei won third prize in general news for an image of the aftermath of the cyclone in Myanmar.
Date created : 2009-02-13