World Press Photo, 2020 winner is Japan's Yasuyoshi Chiba, second is Italy's Alessio Mamo. Italy shines

Japan's Yasuyoshi Chiba wins the 2020 World Press Photo. Italy shines, with second place overall and several awards in minor categories.

Japan’s Yasuyoshi Chiba (born 1971) is the winner of the 2020 edition of World Press Photo, the most prestigious international award for photojournalism. The photographer, with the Agence France Presse (AFP), won with a shot that captures protests in Sudan calling for civilian rule in Khartoum after the April 11, 2019 military coup that ousted President Omar al-Bashir, in office for nearly 30 years: the protagonist, in the center, is a young man reciting a poem from memory, amid protesters. The jury of the award, which has given recognition to the world’s best photojournalist since 1955, selected Chiba from a parterre of 4,282 photographers from 125 countries, who entered as many as 73,996 photos.

Chiba’s photograph is from June 19 last year. “The place was in total darkness,” Chiba recalled after the award ceremony. “Then, all of a sudden, people started clapping their hands in the dark. They held up their cell phones to illuminate a young man in their midst. He recited a famous protest poem. As he paused to breathe, everyone shouted ’thawra,’ or ’revolution’ in Arabic. His expression and voice impressed me; I couldn’t stop focusing on him, so I captured the moment.”

Chiba, who is AFP’s Chief Photographer for East Africa and the Indian Ocean, trained by studying at Tokyo’s Musashino Art University and began his career working on the staff of the Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s leading newspapers. He then worked as a freelancer: self-employed, he worked extensively in Kenya (where he moved in 2007), while he has been at AFP since 2011. For the French agency, he worked in Brazil before moving to Africa. Chiba succeeds American John Moore of Getty Images, who won the award last year with the now-famous image of little Yanela Sanchez caught crying at the U.S.-Mexico border.

There was glory for Italy again this year. Second place in the main category (and thus... silver medal behind Chiba: thus, the third Italian victory in history narrowly escapes) went to Alessio Mamo (L’Espresso) with the touching photograph Russian Mother and her Child at Al-Hol Camp, taken in a refugee camp in Syria. Lorenzo Tugnoli (Contrasto) won in the Stories section of the Contemporary Issues category with The Longest war, an image taken in Afghanistan. To Luca Locatelli (National Geographic) first prize in the Stories section of the Environment category (environmental photos) with the image The End of Trash - Circular Economy Solutions. For Fabio Bucciarelli (L’Espresso) second place in the Stories, General News category (the main one) with Chile: The Rebellion Against Neoliberalism, a photograph of last year’s women’s protests in Chile. Finally, freelancer Daniele Volpe won third place in the Stories category of Long-Term Projects with Ixil Genocide, an image documenting the atrocities committed in Guatemala in the 1980s.

All of the winners’ photographs (and more) can be seen on the World Press Photo website.

World Press Photo, 2020 winner is Japan's Yasuyoshi Chiba, second is Italy's Alessio Mamo. Italy shines
World Press Photo, 2020 winner is Japan's Yasuyoshi Chiba, second is Italy's Alessio Mamo. Italy shines

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