Italian photographer Pietro Masturzo wins World Press Photo of the Year 2009

World Press Photo of the Year 2009 Pietro Masturzo, Italy. Women shouting on a rooftop in protest to the presidential election results, Tehran, Iran, 24 June

Italian freelance photographer Pietro Masturzo has won the prestigious World Press Photo of the Year 2009. The photo shows women shouting in protest from a rooftop in Tehran and is part of a story depicting the nights following the contested presidential elections in Iran, when people shouted their dissent from roofs and balconies, after daytime protests in the streets. The story as a whole was awarded first prize in the category People in the News. Masturzo will receive the award at a ceremony held in Amsterdam in May. He also receives cash prize of €10,000, a Canon EOS Digital SLR Camera and lens kit.

Judges comments on the winning photo
Jury chair Ayperi Karabuda Ecer said: “The photo shows the beginning of something, the beginning of a huge story. It adds perspectives to news. It touches you both visually and emotionally, and my heart went out to it immediately.”

Fellow juror Guy Tillim commented: “The difficulty in photographing conflict situations is one of portraying the parallel lives involved, of people going on with their lives. This picture has made a very good attempt at marrying these two elements, in giving the conflict a context – and that is a holy grail of photography. The photographer does it with a very beautiful image of an Iranian landscape, which would be worth looking at in itself. But it also arouses our curiosity about the woman shouting – incorporating this moment, the importance of this historical event. It represents a very honest and successful attempt at taking forward our vocabulary of showing things.”

Juror Kate Edwards said: “The photo has a powerful sense of atmosphere, tension, fear – but also of quietness and calm, and in this sense was a challenge as a choice. We were looking for an image that drew you in, took you deeper, made you think more – not just about showing what we already know, but something that asks more of us.”

2010 contest statistics
“The jury gave prizes in ten themed categories to 63 photographers of 23 nationalities from: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mali, Mexico, the Netherlands, Palestinian Territories, Peru, Somalia, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

During the two-week judging, the jury viewed a record number of photographs with 101,960 images submitted by 5,847 photographers. The photographers represent 128 different nationalities.

Entries by photographers from Asia continued a steady increase, with the majority of entries coming from China with 586 submissions (2009:490) and Indonesia with 107 submissions (2009: 77). Africa also had a higher number of entries, with a 7.5% increase. European photographers were well represented, with a significant increase from photographers from Italy with 370 entries (2009: 306) and Russia with 156 entries (2009: 130).”

The 2010 jury
The two-week judging period brought together 19 picture editors, photographers and representatives of press agencies from around the world.

The results have only just been announced, so once I have had a chance to look through all the prize winners, I can post a few images. For now, on a quick scan, I notice that photographer Zed Nelson (United Kingdom, Panos Pictures), who was featured in HotShoe last year with work from the project, receives 3rd prized in the Contemporary Issues Single Image category with Love Me: Christopher (22) gets his chest waxed in a New York salon, while Simon Roberts (UK) receives 3rd prize in Daily Life Stories with a photo from his series and book, We English: England at Play. I will be reviewing his show, which opens at the National Media Museum in march, for HotShoe.

Meanwhile, Laura Pannack (UK, Lisa Pritchard Agency for The Guardian Weekend Magazine) bags 1st prize in the Portraits Singles with Graham, anorexic teenager. Pannack won 1st prize in the HotShoe/my art space Next Perspectives Award in 2008.

Laura Pannack, United Kingdom, Lisa Pritchard Agency for The Guardian Weekend magazine

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