By Rosane Rodrigues, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The World Press Photo exhibition at the Caixa Cultural, Centro, is coming to a close on Saturday, July 12th. Showcasing the talents of 53 photographers from all over the world, the annual exhibition tours over a hundred cities in more than 45 countries, and in 2014, Rio is the only city in Brazil which this prestigious worldwide competition will visit.
The competition categorizes the work of 53 photographers from 25 countries: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
This year’s winning entry, “Signal”, was shot by John Stanmeyer for National Geographic. Its powerful, thought-provoking narrative beat the other 142 shortlisted entries in the exhibition to the first prize.
“Signal” reveals the drama of African migrants in Djibouti city, capital of Djibouti, Northeast Africa. Stanmeyer told The Rio Times that he was walking on the beach, at night, when he saw a group of people holding their phones up towards neighboring Somalia.
“I asked my translator what they were doing and he said they were Somalis trying to ‘catch’ a signal on their Somali mobile phones to connect to their loved ones back home. Immediately, I felt the weight and measure of what was happening — our present day migrants in hopes for a better life and the natural desire in all of us to keep connected to our families,” explained the American photographer.
David Guttenfelder, a jury member, said, “The photo is like a message in a bottle: it is one that will last for all of us. People will bring their own life experiences to it as they stand in front of it.”
World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organization, located in Holland, which was founded in 1955. “What we’re looking for in the winning image is the same quality you would look for in a great film or in literature—the impression that it exists on more than one level, that it makes you think about things you haven’t thought about. You begin to explore the layers not only of what’s there, but of what isn’t there,” affirmed Susan Linfield, a jury member.
Since the contest began, more than 98,000 images have been submitted by 5,754 photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers from all over the world. “We are standing at a crossroads of our collective humanity where we must truly ask ourselves where are we going as fellow human beings, brothers, sisters — what is truly important for the betterment of all, not just one, as well as what’s important and balanced for the only place we can call home, earth,” added Stanmeyer.
What: World Press Photo 2014
When: until July, 12 Tuesday-Sunday, 10AM-9PM
Where: CAIXA Cultural Rio de Janeiro – Galeria 4, Av. Almirante Barroso, 25, Centro
Tel: (21) 3980-3815