#WPPh2020 World Press Photo of the Year

Tristan Cotterill

Last week the results of the 63rd annual World Press Photo Contest and the 10th annual World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest, including the winners of the World Press Photo of the Year, World Press Photo Story of the Year, World Press Photo Interactive of the Year and World Press Photo Online Video of the Year were announced.

The jury of the 2020 Photo Contest selected Yasuyoshi Chiba’s photograph Straight Voice (shown above) as the World Press Photo of the Year. The winning image shows a young man, illuminated by mobile phones, reciting protest poetry while demonstrators chant slogans calling for civilian rule, during a blackout in Khartoum, Sudan, on June 19, 2019.

Lekgetho Makola, head of Market Photo Workshop and 2020 Photo Contest jury chair, said: “Especially in the time that we’re living in when there’s a lot of violence and a lot of conflicts, it’s important that we have an image that inspires people. We see this young person, who is not shooting, who is not throwing a stone, but reciting a poem. It’s acknowledging, but also voicing a sense of hope”.

Yasuyoshi Chiba, World Press Photo of the Year winner, said “This moment was the only peaceful group protest I encountered during my stay. I felt their undefeated solidarity like burning embers that remain to flare up again.”

Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, is Agence France-Presse (AFP)’s Chief Photographer for East Africa and Indian Ocean and is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. After studying photography at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, he started working as a staff photographer for Asahi Shimbun. He became a freelance photographer and moved to Kenya in 2007, and then joined AFP in Brazil in 2011.

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