World Press Photo 2022 announces its regional winners

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Evia Island Wildfire © Konstantinos Tsakalidis, for Bloomberg News.

This year, the photo contest shifted its strategy to a regional approach. Today, it announces its first round of winners, selected by an independent jury from six global regions

“We needed to look at the contest from a different angle – to change the format of how it is set up, and how it is judged, in order to improve representation from regions that have been historically underrepresented in our contests,” said Anna Lena Mehr, Contest director.

Today, World Press Photo announced its first round of regional winners. The photographers were selected by an independent jury from six different regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia and Oceania. Each region has four categories: Single, Stories, Long term projects, and Open Format. Out of these 24 winners, four global winners will be announced on 07 April.

Sudan Protests © Faiz Abubakr Mohamed.

This year’s winning photographs were chosen out of 64,823 entries by 4,066 photographers from 130 countries. Among the winners from Africa is Faiz Abubakr Mohamed. His image, which wins in the single image category, was made during a march demanding an end to military rule in Sudan. It shows a protester throwing back a tear-gas canister fired by security forces [above].

In the Asia region, Bram Janssen’s The Cinema of Kabul [below] wins in the stories category. The photo-series documents life in the Afghan capital  following the Taliban takeover in August 2021.

The Cinema of Kabul © Bram Janssen, The Associated Press.
Ukraine Crisis © Guillaume Herbaut, Agence VU.

Guillaume Herbaut’s long term project, Ukraine Crisis [above], examines the events leading to the current war in Ukraine. Elsewhere from the Europe region, Konstantinos Tsakalidis wins in the single images category for his devastating image from the wildfires in Evia, Greece in August 2021.

In the US, Ismail Ferdous uncovers stories of migrants working in the meatpacking industry, and in Thailand Charinthorn Rachurutchata juxtaposes archival images of the October 1976 massacre of students with their own images of the ongoing Thai protests.

Also winning in the Open Format categories are Rehab Eldalil’s documentation of Egypt’s Bedouin community, and Kosuke Okahara’s experimental photo and moving image project about a town in Okinawa, Japan. 

The Longing of the Stranger Whose Path Has Been Broken © Rehab Eldalil.
Blue Affair © Kosuke Okahara.

With its new regional approach, the organisation hopes to represent a wider range of voices and stories. Joumana El Zein Khoury, executive director of World Press Photo Foundation, said: “It is exhilarating to see the way in which the new regional contest set up is producing the changes that we were hoping for. Changes that we believe will offer different perspectives on, and a deeper connection to, photojournalism and documentary photography from all over the world.”

Explore all the winning images at worldpressphoto.org.

Marigold Warner

Online Editor

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Online 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, Gal-dem, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.