Nanna Heitmann, Yael Martínez and Jonas Bendiksen win Regional Prizes at the 2022 World Press Photo Contest
Nanna Heitmann, Yael Martínez and Jonas Bendiksen have won Regional Prizes at the 2022 World Press Photo Contest, with the global winners announced April 7
Heitmann was recognized for her 2021 documentation of the summer wildfires that brought destruction and permafrost degradation to the Yakutia region of Siberia, Russia.
The World Press Photo Contest jury commented:
“This story of forest fires portrays the issue in a haunting, yet poetic way. The story is multilayered and each image highlights the climate crisis from a range of angles – from human displacement, to degradation of the built environment, and the impacts on wildlife. The photographer effectively presents the physical effects of rising temperatures in what should be one of the coldest environments on Earth. The work is an urgent call to action.”
Bendiksen’s provocative work on fake news and the news industry was hailed, particularly as explored in his 2021 publication The Book of Veles.
The jury commented:
“The Book of Veles is a fresh, conceptual project on a highly relevant topic. The photographer consistently maintains a strong narrative throughout the project and intelligently portrays what it means to be living in an age of disinformation. The use of an innovative technique combined with symbolism and irony adds meaning throughout the body of work and makes a bold political commentary. Furthermore, the photographer addresses the moral authority of his own photographic work and presents a form of meta-analysis – using photography as a tool to comment on the state of photography and highlight how vulnerable we are to fake influences in a shifting industry.”
Martínez was lauded for his ongoing work with the indigenous poppy cultivators in Guerrero, Mexico, who gradually turned to the illicit trade as their traditional livelihood gradually became untenable.
The jury commented: “This project is a dramatic, people-centric story. It provides a subtle commentary on violence while excluding graphically violent moments, in order to center the community. This is achieved through the effective use of an aesthetic and multilayered technique which gives a mysterious quality. This intentional approach is used to powerfully symbolize the marks of trauma and loss in a community that the photographer himself has experienced personally.”
World Press Photo Contest global winners will be announced on April 7, 2022.