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World Press Photo 2021: Antonio Faccilongo’s ‘Habibi’ wins Photo Story of the Year

The competition received 74,470 entries from 4315 photographers across the globe. The winners' list comprises 45 photographers from 28 countries, of which 35 are first-time winners.

May 29, 2021 / 04:36 PM IST
Lydia Rimawi lies on her sofa in Beit Rima, near Ramallah, Palestine, on 20 December 2018. Her husband Abdul Karim Rimawi was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to 25 years in prison for involvement in the assassination of Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi. The couple have a son, Majd, who was born as a result of IVF in 2013. In 2014, Abdul Karim was fined around US$1,500 for smuggling his semen from prison, and deprived of family visits for two months.

Lydia Rimawi lies on her sofa in Beit Rima, near Ramallah, Palestine, on 20 December 2018. Her husband Abdul Karim Rimawi was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to 25 years in prison for involvement in the assassination of Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi. The couple have a son, Majd, who was born as a result of IVF in 2013. In 2014, Abdul Karim was fined around US$1,500 for smuggling his semen from prison, and deprived of family visits for two months.

Italian documentary photographer Antonio Faccilongo's photo series titled 'Habibi' won the Best Photo Story of the Year award at the World Press Photo 2021 awards. His winning series chronicles love stories set against the backdrop of one of the longest and most complicated contemporary conflicts - the Israel-Palestinian war.

Nearly 4,200 Palestinian security detainees are being held in Israeli prisons, according to a February 2021 report by human rights organization B’Tselem. Some face sentences of 20 years or more. To visit a Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail, visitors have to overcome a number of different limitations resulting from border laws, prison regulations, and restrictions set by the Israel Security Agency (ISA). Visitors are usually allowed to see prisoners only through a transparent partition, and talk to them via a telephone receiver. Conjugal visits are denied and physical contact is forbidden, except for children under the age of ten, who are allowed ten minutes at the end of each visit to embrace their fathers. Since the early 2000s, long-term Palestinian detainees hoping to raise families have been smuggling semen out of prison, hidden in gifts to their children.

Judges looked at 74,470 photographs by 4,315 photographers before selecting winners in eight categories including general news, sports, the environment and portraits.

Winner in the Spot News Singles category was an image embodying the debate on race in the United States. The photo by Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post shows a white man and a Black woman disagreeing about the removal of the Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C., which depicts a freed slave kneeling at Abraham Lincoln's feet.

The Black Lives Matter movement also featured, with Associated Press photographer John Minchillo's series about the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd taking third prize in the Spot News Stories category that was won by Italian Lorenzo Tugnoli working for Contrasto for a series of images documenting the devastating port blast in Beirut.

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The Contemporary Issues Story category was won by Russian photographer Alexey Vasilyev with a series about the film industry in the northeast Russian region of Sakha. Associated Press photographer Maya Alleruzzo took second place in the category with a story about the Islamic State group enslaving Yazidi women in Iraq.

The full list of winners and nominees can be found here.



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first published: May 29, 2021 04:30 pm
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