By Candy Pilar Godoy, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – From May 17th to June 19th Rio’s own Caixa Cultural is proud to host the World Press Photo (WPP) 2011 Exhibition. The exhibit features the prestigious winners from the world’s largest and most esteemed annual press photography competition. Caixa Cultural, one of Centro’s cultural centers, hosted the event last year as well, bringing photographers and enthusiast together to marvel at some of the year’s most fascinating photography.
Founded in the Netherlands in the year 1955, WPP is an independent non-profit organization that was created to support professional press photography, stimulate and educate people globally, and fuel developments in photojournalism. Three top winners are chosen every year in each category, which include spot news, general news, portraits, people in the news, sports, contemporary issues, daily life, arts and entertainment, and nature.
This year, a record number of 108,059 images were submitted from over 5,000 different photographers representing 125 nationalities. An eclectic mix of international photo editors, photographers, curators, and press agency representatives, including Brazil’s own O Globo photographer Marizilda Cruppe, made up a panel of nineteen judges who took two weeks to evaluate entries. In the end, 55 photographers from 23 different countries were chosen as the winners.
The coveted prized of World Press Photo of the Year was given to South African photographer Jodi Bieber and her portrait of Afghan female Bibi Aisha. “It’s a terrific picture, a different picture, a frightening picture,” remarked Juror Vince Aletti, “It’s so much about not just this particular woman, but the state of women in the world.”
The cover of Time magazine in August 2010, the photograph depicts Aisha, a young female who, after fleeing an abusive household, had both ears and nose cut off by the Taliban. Aisha was later rescued by aid workers and brought to the United States for reconstructive surgery and counseling.
Among the winners circle is also Brazilian photographer Alexandre Vieira, who received an honorable mention in the spot news category. Vieira’s photos showcased a daytime shootout in the streets of Rio that left two men dead.
The impressive exhibition displays the winners, along with brief descriptions of the photos and the stories behind them. As an added bonus, a selection of Brazil’s best press photographs of the year were compiled and are presented in a slideshow loop in a separate room.
The prestigious annual press photography contest, which derives from the Netherlands, was most recently included as part of Brazil’s 2011 Year of Holland, a cultural exchange implemented by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Besides Rio, the 2011 traveling exhibition will be on display in an array of other cities, including Madrid, Zurich, Tokyo, New York, and Berlin.
Date: May 17th to June 19th, 2011
Location: Caixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, Gallery 2 & 3
Av. Almirante Barroso 25 – Centro
Time: Tuesday to Saturday from 10AM to 10PM
Sunday from 10AM to 9PM
Information: (21) 2544 – 4080 or www.caixacultural.com.br