The winner of the World Press Photo of the Year 2012 is a picture by Paul Hansen of Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter. The image (above) shows a group of men in Gaza City carrying the bodies of two children, two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and his older brother Muhammad, who were killed when their house was hit during a missile strike, according to information from World Press Photo. The father of the boys was also killed in the strike, and his body is being carried by a group of men behind those carrying his sons. The bodies are being carried to a mosque for a burial ceremony. The photograph was taken on 20 November 2012 in Gaza City.
“The strength of the picture lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children. It’s a picture I will not forget,” said jury member Mayu Mohanna of Peru, in a statement accompanying the announcement of the awards on Friday.
Hansen, a Swedish photojournalist, has worked for Dagens Nyheter since 2000, and received many awards, including being named Photographer of the Year by POYi in 2010 and 2013, as well as Photographer of the Year in Sweden seven times, according to his bio information on the World Press Photo website.
54 photographers awarded in nine categories
World Press Photo also announced that the jury awarded prizes in nine categories, including spot news, general news, contemporary issues and daily life, to 54 photographers from the following 33 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Palestinian Territories, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA, and Vietnam.
“When I look at the results, as chair of the jury, I think that the World Press Photo of the Year, and all the other photos that were given prizes, were solid, stellar examples of first-rate photojournalism that is powerful, that is lasting, and that will reach whoever looks at them,” said Santiago Lyon, Vice President and Director of Photography at The Associated Press, quoted in the statement about the prizewinners.
According to the organization, judging was conducted at the World Press Photo office in Amsterdam, and “all entries were anonymously presented to the jury, who discussed their merits over a two-week period. The jury operates independently and a secretary without voting rights safeguards the fairness of the procedure.”
For this year’s contest, a total of 5,666 photographers from 124 countries entered 103,481 picutres, which represents a solid increase over last year's contest when 5,247 photographers from 124 countries entered 101,254 pictures.