World Press Photo Festival 2017, Amsterdam
Coverage & Interviews
By Anne Pinto-Rodrigues
The very first World Press Photo (WPP) Festival, that ran from 20th to 22nd April 2017, at the Company Theatre in Amsterdam, saw inspiring talks by prizewinners of the prestigious 2017 World Press Photo Contest, heartbreaking images of targeted people and wildlife, and photography/photojournalism legends sharing their life’s work, all on one common stage.
Professional photojournalists and people working in the field of visual journalism/photography from all around the world, attended the three-day event. It was also open to members of the general public and an estimated 400 people attended the event each day.
Acclaimed American photojournalist and multi-WPP award winner, Stanley Greene delivered the Sem Presser Lecture at the Festival. Sem Presser was a prolific Dutch photographer and a key member of the WPP Foundation board from 1971 until his passing in 1986. In his remembrance, WPP instituted a lecture series in 2003. In a moving and eloquent keynote speech, Stanley Greene spoke about his long career photographing crises and events that shaped the world.
Documentary photographer Daniella Zalcman’s spoke about her pioneering initiative ‘Women Photograph’ (https://www.womenphotograph.com/), a web directory of over 600 female photojournalists from 67 countries, established to promote women photographers for key assignments, thus providing a great step forward for photography/photojournalism in general, and women photographers/photojournalists in particular.
The WPP Festival was also the forum for the announcement of the winner of the 3rd Annual Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award, by the International Women’s Media Foundation. Anja Niedringhaus was a Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer, who was killed in 2014 while reporting in Afghanistan. Stephanie Sinclair, also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, was announced as the winner for her brave and dedicated work in portraying gender and human rights issues around the world, including her ongoing 15-year series, ‘Too Young to Wed,’ on the subject of child marriage.
The heart of the WPP Festival was the long-running and hallowed photo contest. While the winners of the 2017 Photo Contest were announced in February 2017, the Festival gave a platform to winning photographers and photojournalists to talk about their work and the inspiration behind it.
The WPP contest was started in 1955 with 300 photos submitted by 42 photographers from 11 countries. The statistics from 62 years later are staggering! The 2017 photo contest drew well over 80,000 images from 5,034 photographers in 125 countries. Celebrated photographer with Magnum Photos and its former President, Stuart Franklin, served as the chair of the 2017 Photo Contest jury.
The World Press Photo of the Year was awarded to Turkish-American Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici for his dramatic and highly-contested image of the assassination of the Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov, at an art gallery in Ankara.