By World Press Photo
#Russia #LGBT #discrimination #GMABlog
The jury of the 58th annual World Press Photo Contest has selected an image by Danish photographer Mads Nissen, a staff photographer for Danish daily newspaper Politiken, as the World Press Photo of the Year 2014.
The picture shows Jon and Alex, a gay couple, during an intimate moment in St Petersburg, Russia. Life for lesbian, gay, bisexual or 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.
One of the jurors for the competition, Pamela Chen (editorial director for Instagram), said they were looking for an image that would matter tomorrow, not just today:
“The winning image demonstrates what a professional photographer can do in a daily life situation, setting a professional standard for story-telling in life. This is a contemporary issue, it is daily life, it is news, it has spot news resonance, it has general news resonance, but it also brings up the issue in a very deep and challenging way. It is quite universal.”
Another juror, Alessia Glaviano (senior photo editor for Vogue Italia), highlighted how the photo demonstrates a broader message about the persecution of minority groups:
“The photo has a message about love being an answer in the context of all that is going on in the world. It is about love as a global issue, in a way that transcends homosexuality. It sends out a strong message to the world, not just about homosexuality, but about equality, about gender, about being black or white, about all of the issues related to minorities.”
The contest drew entries from around the world: 97,912 images were submitted by 5,692 press photographers, photojournalists, and documentary photographers from 131 countries. The jury gave prizes in eight themed categories to 42 photographers from Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, China, Denmark, Eritrea, France, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.
The prize-winning pictures are presented in an exhibition visiting around 100 cities in about 45 countries. The first 2015 World Press Photo exhibition opens in Amsterdam in De Nieuwe Kerk on 18 April 2015.
World Press Photo organizes the leading international contest in visual journalism. The foundation is committed to supporting and advancing high standards in photojournalism and documentary storytelling worldwide. Its aim is to generate wide public interest in and appreciation for the work of photographers and other visual journalists, and for the free exchange of information.