Spanish freelance photographer Samuel Aranda won the World Press Photo Award for his portrait of a woman in Yemen cradling a wounded relative (pictured). The photo, which ran in the New York Times, came to symbolise the Arab Spring.
AFP - Spanish freelance photographer Samuel Aranda has won the coveted World Press Photo Award for his moving portrait of a veiled woman cradling a wounded relative in Yemen, judges said Friday.
Three AFP photographers also won prizes in the 55th edition of the contest, with Yasuyoshi Chiba winning first place in the People in the News -- Stories category for his pictures of the aftermath of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster.
AFP's Massoud Hossaini won second prize in the Spot News -- Singles category, while Pedro Pardo came in third for Contemporary Issues -- Stories.
The picture by Aranda for The New York Times, taken inside a mosque used as a field hospital during clashes between police and protesters against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule, came to represent the Arab Spring, a statement released in Amsterdam said.
"It is a photo that speaks for the entire region. It stands for Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, for all that happened in the Arab Spring," said one of the judges, Koyo Kouoh of Cameroon.
"But it shows a private, intimate side of what went on. And it shows the role that women played, not only as care-givers, but as active people in the movement," Kouoh added.
Aranda worked anonymously in Yemen's capital Sanaa several weeks during the demonstrations and for a while was the only western news photographer working there, The New York Times said in a blog post.
"In the western media, we seldom see veiled women in this way, at such an intimate moment," added another jury member Nina Berman.
"It is as if all the events of the Arab Spring resulted in this single moment -- in moments like this."
Aranda, also a former AFP photographer now represented by Corbis Images, will receive a prize of 10,000 euros ($13,000) and a Canon camera at a ceremony in Amsterdam on April 21, organisers said.
Chiba was honoured for his pictures of the aftermath of Japan's earthquake and tsunami. One of his pictures shows a tsunami survivor holding up her daughter's graduation certificate found in the debris at Higashimatsushima, Miyagi prefecture, north of Fukushima.
Hossaini's second-placed picture in the Spot News -- Singles category, won by Russia's Yuri Kozyrev, was shot after an explosion at a religious ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Taken on December 6, it shows a young blood-stained Afghan girl surrounded by bodies shortly after the explosion.
The same picture also won the prestigious US-based Pictures of the Year International (POYI) award for Spot News on Thursday night in Columbia, Missouri.
Third in the Contemporary Issues -- Stories category, won by Stephanie Sinclair of the US, Pedro Pardo's pictures tell the horror story of the impact of violence related to Mexico's drug trade in Acapulco.
The same series won Pardo second prize in the Prix Bayeux-Calvados for war correspondents in October last year.
He was also given an award of excellence at Thursday's POYI awards.
The World Press jury this year also decided to give a special mention to still picture taken from a video shot in Sirte, Libya on October 20.
It shows an image of a rebel National Transitional Council member deposed Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi onto a military vehicle.
"The photo captures a historic moment an image of a dictator and his demise that we otherwise would not have seen," chair of the jury Aidan Sullivan said.
Date created : 2012-02-10