The World Press Photo Exhibition 2022 celebrates the best of photojournalism

The World Press Photo Exhibition 2022 celebrates the best of photojournalism

The annual photo contest exhibition encourages the public to reflect on global challenges and to recognize the power of photojournalism

Winning works of the World Press Photo Contest 2022 are on display at Palazzo delle Esposizioni of Rome until 12th June.

The 65th Edition of the World Press Photo exhibition was launched on the 28th April, promoted by Roma Capitale – Assessorato alla Cultura and organized by Azienda Speciale Palaexpo in collaboration with 10b Photography.

The photographic journey, representing one of the world’s leading contests, aims at shaking the visitor’s conscience, raising awareness on current humanitarian issues and events that have concerned our lives in the past year: the effects of a global pandemic, armed conflicts and natural disasters, the issue of fake news, just to mention a few. Thought-provoking and deeply unsettling, the Exhibition’s objective is to connect the world to the stories that matter, enabling the viewers to feel empathic toward the people involved.

The photos of the exhibition are organized according to geographical areas and four main categories. New to the contest is the open format category, which gives photographers the opportunity to use of several techniques and media.

Here is what you need to know about this prestigious photo contest exhibition, celebrating diversity and talented photographers from across the world. 

The World Press Photo Exhibition 2022 celebrates the best of photojournalism
Ukraine Crisis © Guillaume Herbaut for Agence VU’

The World Press Photo celebrates journalists and reporters from a vast range of backgrounds, experiences, and stages in their artistic careers. In line with the contest’s core values, this year the Foundation launched a new regional strategy, updating the format of the competition to make sure that reporters and stories from all parts of the world are equally represented.

The exhibition presents 24 winners chosen from 64,823 photographs coming from 130 countries. The images, displayed across three wide halls, hang against the white walls, almost lost in the vast space of the palace.

The imposing colonnade of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni offers a scenic space, allowing the visitors to reflect on the meaning behind the photos, walking from one side to the other.

A wide board placed on the left side of the main hall displays awarded photos from 1955 until 2022 and it invites the public to engage in a profound reflection on the role of photography and the power of images through the years. It is impossible to remain unmoved looking at this collection of dramatic human stories.

In the early years of the competition, black and white pictures depicting war contexts were predominant. Moving forward to the 80s, the scope and the subjects of the contest seem to broaden. Colours and light become the true protagonists.

Thanks to a QR code, the exhibition guide can be downloaded, and visitors can listen to the photographers’ voices on their own mobile phones. This allows visitors to get a perspective on the context and the environment where the picture has been taken. The photographer’s narration will bring you closer to the subject portrayed.

The World Press Photo Exhibition 2022 celebrates the best of photojournalism
In 1996, Francesco Zizola won the World Press Photo with his black and white Contrasto depicting children suffering war trauma.

Amber Bracken‘s picture, entitled Kamloops Indian Residential School, has been awarded World Press Photo of the Year.

On the right side, the photo presents a line of crosses and little colourful dresses hanging on them, as if they are drying in the sun. On the left, in the background, a rainbow frames the left-hand side corner of the composition. It is an evocative image and it is the first time that the picture winning the prestigious award doesn’t show a human being in it.

World Press Photo 2022 al Palazzo delle Esposizioni di Roma
Kamloops Indian Residential School © Amber Bracken for The New York TImes

It is a picture without a face like the tragedy that occurred in Canada, where it is thought that 215 children lost their lives. At the same time, it is also an image of hope which invites the viewers to take a look at the future and believe that better times are coming, and that we can learn from the past.

Bracken is the fifth woman to win the World Press Photo of the Year. Her recent work has focused on the ongoing legacy of intergenerational trauma from residential schools for Cree and Metis youth, Wet’suwet’en reoccupation and land rights fights, the overrepresentation of un-housed Indigenous people displaced in their historic territories, and interrogating the impact of race in her own family.

From the 24 regional winners in each of the four categories of the new contest model, the 2022 Contest jury selected other three global winners:

World Press Photo Story of the Year: Saving Forests with Fire by Matthew Abbott, Australia, for National Geographic/Panos Pictures;

World Press Photo Long-Term Project Award: Amazonian Dystopia by Lalo de Almeida, Brazil, for Folha de São Paulo/Panos Pictures;

World Press Photo Open Format Award: Blood is a Seed by Isadora Romero, Ecuador.

The World Press Photo Exhibition 2022 celebrates the best of photojournalism
Francesco Zizola, photographer and Art Director at 10b Photography, and Babette Warendorf, curator of the World Press Photo Foundation

Rena Effendi, 2022 Contest global jury chair, said about the winners:

“The stories and photographs of the global winners are interconnected. All four of them, in their own unique ways, address the consequences of humanity’s rush for progress, and its devastating effects on our planet. These projects not only reflect upon the immediate urgency of the climate crisis, but also give us an insight into possible solutions.”

The array of works exhibited is stunning, featuring contemporary photographers covering a wide range of subjects, exploring communities’ traditions living in isolated regions of the world, from famous to less known stories.

Palestinian children in Gaza ©Fatima Shbair for Getty Images

Between the regional winners, a special mention goes to Palestinian Children in Gaza by the young, self-taught photographer Fatima Shbair. The use of the light, bringing the viewer’s attention to the vibrant yet fragile candle’s flames and the contrast between the “indoor” space and the complete destruction of the background is striking. The image immediately transports the public into an intimate, religious environment.

For Europe, the winner of the Single Photos category is the Greek photojournalist Konstantinos Tsakalidis. In Evia Island Wildfire, the photographer captures a woman’s despair while she witnesses a devastating wildfire fast approaching her house, in the village of Gouves. This photo, which seems to suspend the moment in a surreal orange atmosphere, shines a light on the phenomenon of heatwaves, raising temperatures and their terrible consequences on human life.

The World Press Photo Exhibition 2022 celebrates the best of photojournalism
Evia Island Wildfire ©Konstantinos Tsakalidis, Greece, for Bloomberg News


Until 12 June 2022

Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Via Nazionale, 194

Visiting hours:

Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm; Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 10.30 pm;

Tickets: Full € 12.50; Reduced € 10.00  

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