Samuel Aranda Wins 2012 World Press Photo of the Year

By Holly Stuart Hughes

©Samuel Aranda
A woman comforts a relative during demonstrations in Yemen last October.

Spanish photographer Samuel Aranda won 2012 World Press Photo of the Year for an image of a veiled woman comforting an injured relative during demonstrations in Yemen.The World Press Organization announced the winners of the  55th annual contest at a press conference February 10 in Amsterdam.

Aranda's shot the winning photograph last October at a mosque that was used as a field hospital during the demonstrations.  The chair of the World Press Photo jury, Aidan Sullivan, vice president of photo assignments for Getty Images said of the winning photo, "[It] 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."

Aranda will receive a 10,000 Euro award and other prizes at a ceremony to be held in Amsterdam in May.

The World Press Photo Contest honors outstanding photojournalism, both single pictures and photo stories, in several categories, including Spot News, General News, People in the News, Sports, Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, Arts and Entertainment, Portraits, and Nature. 

Coverage of the Arab Spring took many of the top news prizes. Alex Majoli won General News Singles for an image from Egypt; Remi Ochlik won General News Stories for his coverage of Libya; and Yuri Kozyrev won Spot News Singles for an image he shot in Libya.

Other winners included Brent Stirton, who won two first place prizes: In Nature/Stories for his work on South African rhino poachers, and Contemporary Issues/Singles for his image of a Ukraine sex worker. Stephanie Sinclair's story on child brides won first place in Contemporary Issues/Stories. Jenny E. Ross won first place, Nature/Singles for an image of a marooned polar bear searching for seabird eggs. Donald Weber won first place, Portraits, for his image of a suspect in a Ukraine police interrogation room.

An international jury selected the winners from among 5,274 entrants from 124 countries. Sullivan stepped in as jury chair before the judging began, replacing David Friend, special projects editor at Vanity Fair, who had been advised by his doctor not travel while recovering from  surgery.

Related Story:
Jodi Bieber Wins 2011 World Press Photo of the Year

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