2019 World Press Photo Winners Announced

April 12, 2019 at 3:20 pm  •  Posted in Awards and Contests, Exhibitions, News & Events by

Crying Girl on the Border © John Moore, Getty Images // Honduran toddler Yanela Sanchez cries as she and her mother, Sandra Sanchez, are taken into custody by US border officials in McAllen, Texas, USA, on 12 June 2018.


World Press Photo
has announced the results of its 2019 photo contest. The World Press Photo of the Year is John Moore’s Crying Girl on the Border. For the first time, the organization recognized a World Press Photo Story of the Year, and the winner is Pieter ten Hoopen’s The Migrant Caravan. Canadian Finbarr O’Reilly received First Prize, Singles, in the Portraits category for his image Dakar Fashion.

The winning photographs will be featured in a touring exhibition that will stop at about 100 cities in 45 countries, starting at De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam, on April 13. This year the exhibition will visit the Canadian cities of Montreal (August 28-September 29), Toronto (October 1-23), and Saguenay (October 18-November 10).

World Press Photo of the Year: John Moore’s Crying Girl on the Border

Immigrant families had rafted across the Rio Grande from Mexico and were then detained by US authorities. Sandra Sanchez said that she and her daughter had been traveling for a month through Central America and Mexico before reaching the US to seek asylum. The Trump Administration had announced a ‘zero tolerance’ policy at the border under which immigrants caught entering the US could be criminally prosecuted. As a result, many apprehended parents were separated from their children, often sent to different detention facilities. After this picture was published worldwide, US Customs and Border Protection confirmed that Yanela and her mother had not been among the thousands who had been separated by US officials. Nevertheless, public outcry over the controversial practice resulted in President Donald Trump reversing the policy on 20 June.

World Press Photo Story of the Year: Pieter ten Hoopen’s The Migrant Caravan

During October and November 2018, thousands of Central American migrants joined a caravan heading to the United States border. The caravan, assembled through a grassroots social media campaign, left San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on 12 October 2018, and as word spread drew people from Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. They were a mix of those facing political repression and violence, and those fleeing harsh economic conditions in the hope of a better life. Traveling in a caravan offered a degree of safety on a route where migrants have previously disappeared or been kidnapped, and was an alternative to paying high rates to people smugglers.

Migrant caravans travel to the US border at different times each year, but this was the largest in recent memory with as many as 7,000 travelers, including at least 2,300 children, according to UN agencies. Conditions along the way were grueling, with people walking around 30 km a day, often in temperatures above 30℃. The caravan usually set off at around 4am each day to avoid the heat. Like others, this caravan drew condemnation from US president Donald Trump, who made it a focal point of rallies and used it to reiterate his call for tough immigration policies and the building of a border wall.

The Migrant Caravan © Pieter Ten Hoopen, Agence Vu/Civilian Act / People run to a truck that has stopped to give them a ride, outside Tapanatepec, Mexico, on 30 October 2018. Some drivers charged to give travelers a lift for part of the way, but most offered services free as a sign of support.

The Migrant Caravan © Pieter Ten Hoopen, Agence Vu/Civilian Act / Families bathe, wash clothes and relax beside the Rio Novillero, when the caravan takes a rest day near Tapanatepec.

Portraits – First Prize, Singles: Finbarr O’Reilly

Dakar is a growing hub of Franco-African fashion, and is home to Fashion Africa TV, the first station entirely dedicated to fashion on the continent. The annual Dakar Fashion Week includes an extravagant street show that is open to all and attended by thousands from all corners of the capital. Adama Paris (who has a namesake brand) is a driving force behind the fashion week, and much else on the design scene.

Dakar Fashion © Finbarr O’Reilly (Portraits – First Prize, Singles)/ Diarra Ndiaye, Ndeye Fatou Mbaye and Mariza Sakho model outfits by designer Adama Paris, in the Medina neighborhood of the Senegalese capital, Dakar, as curious residents look on.