Gaza photographer wins World Press Photo of the Year

Written by
Gaza photographer wins World Press Photo of the Year

Mohammed Salem, a Reuters photographer, took up the prized 2024 World Press Photo of the Year award on Thursday for his portrait of a Palestinian mother in the Gaza Strip cradling the body of her five-year-old niece.

During the Israeli bombing of a Palestinian enclave, families were searching for their relatives who had died. This photo was taken on October 17, 2023, at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza.

Inas Abu Maamar, 36, is shown in Salem’s winning photo sobbing tears as she holds Saly’s sheet-clad body in the hospital cemetery.

At the ceremony in Amsterdam, Reuters Global Editor for Pictures and Video Rickey Rogers said, “Mohammed received news of his WPP award with humility, saying that this is not a photo to celebrate but that he appreciates its recognition and opportunity to publish it to a wider audience.”

Rogers stated, “He hopes with this award that the world will become even more conscious of the human impact of war, especially on children,” as he stood in front of the picture at the Nieuwe Kerk in the capital of the Netherlands.

The Amsterdam-based World Press Photo Foundation stated at its presentation of its annual prizes that it was critical to acknowledge the risks that reporters covering conflicts face.

It said that since the Palestinian militant group attacked southern Israel on October 7 and Israel launched a military offensive in Gaza in retaliation, 99 journalists and media personnel had died covering the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The executive director of the charity, Joumana El Zein Khoury, stated that “press and documentary photographers around the world frequently work at high risk.”

“The number of journalists slain this past year reached an almost all-time high due to deaths in Gaza. To show to the world the humanitarian effects of the conflict, people must recognize the anguish they have endured.”

39-year-old Salem is a Palestinian who has been employed by Reuters since 2003. In the 2010 World Press Photo competition, he was also the winner of a prize.

Salem’s winning image from 2024, says to the magistrates, was “composed with care and respect, offering at once a metaphorical and literal glimpse into an unimaginable loss.”

“When the picture appeared in November, Salem said, ‘I felt it conveyed the broader sense of what was happening in the Gaza Strip.”

“People were confused, running from one place to another, anxious to know the fate of their loved ones, and this woman caught my eye as she was holding the body of the little girl and refused to let go.”

“Heavily impacting”

Days before Salem took the shot, his wife had given birth to their child.

Head of photography at Guardian News & Media and jury member Fiona Shields described the image as “profoundly affecting.

3,851 photographers from 130 countries contributed 61,062 images, from which the jury chose the winning images.

Photographer Lee-Ann Olwage from South Africa, who documents dementia in Madagascar for GEO, won the story of the year category.

Alejandro Cegarra of Venezuela won the long-term projects category for The Two Walls, a television series he produced for The New York Times/Bloomberg. With her project War is Personal, Ukrainian photographer Julia Kochetova won the open format prize.

Her documentary-style project combined pictures, poetry, music, and audio to represent the war in her country.

Article Categories:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.