AFP photographer Yasuyoshi Chiba won the 2020 World Press Photo award


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The Hague (AFP)

On Thursday, AFP photographer Yasuyoshi Chiba won the prestigious photojournalism award “World Press Photo” for the year 2020, a reward for a photo of a young man standing amid mobile phone lights as he recites a poem among protesters calling for a civilian government in Khartoum, which members of the jury considered to symbolize “hope.”

Members of the committee said that the photo, which was awarded the highest award for photojournalism, reflects the ability of youth and art.

Yasuyoshi Chiba, a Japanese photographer based in Nairobi, also received this first prize for “Single Image” in the category “General News”.

Tanvie Mishra, a member of the jury, noted that Yasuyoshi Chiba’s image “shows the power of youth and the power of art. It shows hope.”

Beijing-based Nicolas Asfoury won the first prize for the photo investigations in the Public News Category category for the series, “Unrest in Hong Kong”.

His photos were also nominated in a new category that was included this year under the title “World Press Photo of the Year”. Asfouri was previously awarded the Excellence Award for his work in Hong Kong in the category “General News” for the pictures of the year 2020.

Soon Devi’s “Forest Fire Evacuation Center” photo, in which a girl wearing a mask and playing with her friends at a hosting center in Australia during the fires in the country, ranked second to single photos in the “Contemporary Issues” category.

Devi, who is based in Australia and where he is regularly shown business, has more than twenty years’ experience covering the country.

Also, Ole Scarf ranked third for single photos in the sports category, “for the pictures of the” Liverpool win offer “, in which a tide of Liverpool fans appeared in the streets to celebrate their team’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League.

Scarf, who lives near Manchester, won in the year 2018 for the same category.

The organizers had mentioned that members of the jury selected 44 out of 74 thousand photos sent by four thousand photographers from all over the world.

– “Protest poem” –

A picture of Yasuyoshi Chiba, taken on June 19 last year in Khartoum, shows a young man with his mouth open standing among citizens in the Sudanese capital chanting slogans, while reading “a protest poem,” according to the judges’ committee.

This young man appears in a light blue shirt as dozens of protesters direct the lights of their mobile phones to him.

“It is the highest award in the world of professional photojournalism, and I am delighted to be among the award-winning photographers. I am also delighted to support the Sudanese people fighting for true democracy,” Yasuyoshi Chiba said.

“The picture reflects the passion of the demonstrators. I used to feel as if I was one of them. I was a witness to the will of an unwavering people, and violence cannot break it. I am glad I was there that day, and that was just a coincidence.”

He stressed that “this image is the result of the work of an entire team and Sudan is a difficult place to cover, and I would not be able to achieve this work without the assistance of the office of France Press” in Khartoum.

Yasuyoshi Chiba, a Japanese photographer based in Nairobi, studied 3D photography and photography in Tokyo. He started his career in the “Asahi Shibom” newspaper, and then became a freelance photographer when he moved to reside in Kenya in 2007 when he started collaborating with AFP during the post-election violence in the country.

He joined Agence France-Presse in 2011 and went to Sao Paulo and then to Rio de Janeiro in 2013, and he has been working in Nairobi since 2016.

– “Love” –

“The proud work of Chiba is proof of his talent, courage, hard work and professionalism,” said news director of Agence France-Presse, Phil Chishwind, who is “proud to win this prestigious award.”

He added, “The award is also a testament to the commitment of France Press to cover events from difficult regions such as Sudan, and an appreciation for our distinguished photographers network in Africa.” “We are also very proud that the jury stopped at the excellent quality of the photo investigations we conducted on the unrest in Hong Kong, our coverage of sports and the environment,” he said.

For her part, Director of Photography at France Press, Marielle Odd, indicated that it is the second time that France Presse won the World Press Photo Prize “within three years, after the Ronaldo Schmidt Award in 2018 for his photo of a protester who caught fire during clashes with the riot police in Venezuela.

She congratulated Chiba, who “always adopts a humanistic approach to his work (…) and our other three photographers who have won awards for this year.” “This is a distinguished honor that rewards a firm approach on the ground and in time, and highlights the quality of work that our photographers are achieving around the world,” she said.

In one of Nikola Asfouri’s pictures, schoolgirls in Hong Kong appear in blue clothes, wearing masks and holding each other’s hands, and in another, a protester runs with a red umbrella and a yellow banner reading “Love” on it.

French photographer Roman Laurende won the first prize in the other major category “Photo Report of the Year” with a series of black and white photographs of Algerian youth during the movement in Algeria last year.


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