Highlights from the 2020 World Press Photo nominees

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The nominations for this year’s World Press Photo Contest have been announced, revealing the runners up for the coveted Photo of the Year and Story of the Year awards. Nominees have also been revealed for the contest’s eight sub-categories: Contemporary Issues, Environment, Sports, Nature, Spot News, Portraits, and Long-term Projects. Out of 4,000 photographers from 125 countries, 44 nominees were selected, 30 of who have been nominated for the first time.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Crash Site, nominated for Photo of the Year. © Mulugeta Ayene, Ethiopia, Associated Press

Nominations for Photo of the Year include Mulugeta Ayene, for his image of two women mourning the death of their relatives, who were among the 158 casualties of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. Ayene’s wider series of work, capturing the devastation at the crash site, has also been nominated for Story of the Year.

'Clash with the Police During an Anti-Government Demonstration.' © Farouk Batiche, Algeria, Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
ISIS and its Aftermath in Syria, nominated for Photo of the Year. © Ivor Prickett, Ireland, for The New York Times

Other nominees include Farouk Batiche, who captured the clash between the police and civilians during an anti-government demonstration in Algeria, and Ivor Prickett, for his photograph of an injured Kurdish fighter. These were nominated alongside images by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Tomek Kaczor and Nikita Teryoshin.

Last year, World Press Photo introduced a new headline award, the World Press Photo Story of the Year, which aims to award photographers for excellent editing, sequencing and storytelling that represents an important event or issue of journalistic importance.

From Hong Kong Unrest, nominated for World Press Story of the Year. © Nicolas Asfouri.
From Hong Kong Unrest, nominated for World Press Story of the Year. © Nicolas Asfouri.
From Hong Kong Unrest, nominated for World Press Story of the Year. © Nicolas Asfouri.

Alongside Mulugeta Ayene’s series of the Ethiopian Airlines crash site, Nicolas Asfour has been nominated for his story about Hong Kong protesters, alongside Romain Laurendeau’s documentation of football fans in Algeria — a subculture that is just as much an escape as it is a form of revolution.

Image © Romain Laurendeau
From the series Kho, the Genesis of a Revolt, nominated for World Press Story of the Year. © Romain Laurendeau, France.
From the series Kho, the Genesis of a Revolt, nominated for World Press Story of the Year. © Romain Laurendeau, France.

Representing some of the most urgent issues of today, the Environment category includes images by Noah Berger of firefighters battling the Californian bushfire, and Frederic Noy, who captures the devastating effects of climate change on Lake Victoria in Africa.

Battling the Marsh Fire, nominated in the environment category. © Noah Berger, United States, for Associated Press.
Lake Victoria Dying, nominated in the environment category. © Frederic Noy, France, Panos Pictures.

Luca Locatelli is also nominated in the environment category for his striking series The End of Trash, which documents examples of circular economy solutions — new technologies that aim to consume sustainably and limit the production of waste.

The End of Trash - Circular Economy Solutions, nominated in the environment stories category. © Luca Locatelli, for National Geographic.

In the Contemporary Issues category, Steve Winter is nominated for his image of captive tigers who pose in a pool employed for tiger shows at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, alongside Mark Peterson’s chilling image of members of a white supremacist group celebrating Hitler’s birthday on 20 April.

The Tigers Next Door, ominated in the contemporary issues stories category. © Steve Winter, United States, for National Geographic.
Hitler’s Birthday / Easter Weekend, nominated in the contemporary issues category. © Mark Peterson, United States, Redux Images, for New York

Other highlights include images by Tatsiana Tkachova, who addresses the subject of abortion, a word that is still taboo in Belarus, and Lee-Ann Olwage’s striking portrait of a drag artist and activist, both nominated in the Portraits category.

From the series Between Right and Shame, nominated in the portraits stories category. © Tatsiana Tkachova.
Pangolins in Crisis, nominated in the nature category. © Brent Stirton, Getty Images, for National Geographic.

Elsewhere in the Nature category, Brent Stirton advocates for the world’s most trafficked animal, pangolins, and in the Sports category, Oli Scarff is nominated for his image of Liverpool’s epic Champions League victory parade, and Kim Kyung-Hoon for his image of Japan’s veteran rugby players.

Liverpool Champions League Victory Parade, nominated in the sports category. © Oli Scarff.
Japan’s Veteran Rugby Players, nominated in the sports category. © Kim Kyung-Hoon.

The winners of the 2020 contest will be announced on 16 April 2020 in Amsterdam. The full list of nominees can be found here.

Marigold Warner

Deputy Editor

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Deputy Editor. She studied English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Elephant, Gal-dem, The Face, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.