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The Challenging Words of Patrick Brown: In response to receiving a First Prize in the general news singles category World Press Photo April 24, 2018

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, Patrick Brown, World Press Awards, World Press Photo , comments closed

Photo Patrick Brown

I’d like to thank the World Press Photo for this tremendous honour a 1st prize in the general news single category. I’d like to salute my fellow nominees; whose work is a testimony to their dedication to the craft of storytelling, I’m very proud to be sharing the bench with them tonight. Ivor PrickettAdam Ferguson, Toby Melville and huge congratulations to Ronaldo Schemidt.

Thank you also to my editors at UNICEF - Christine Nesbitt Hills and Jean-jacques Simon - for trusting me to follow my journalistic instincts; without the access that UNICEF gave me this photograph, and many others I took in Bangladesh, would not exist.

When I was told that this picture had been nominated for the Photo of the Year I wont lie to you I found it very challenging. I submitted this image as part of a body of work and didn’t expect it to be selected individually. The possibility of receiving an accolade for an image of dead children didn’t sit well with me. To reconcile this, I’d like to tell you about the context of this photograph and how it was taken.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called the crackdown in Rakhine State, Burma, “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. There is nothing clean about Ethnic cleansing – up close and on the ground, it’s murder, it’s rape, it’s people being slaughtered in the most systematic and barbaric way. It’s people – like the ones in this photograph. While euphemisms and diplomatic language can obscure the true horror inflicted by oppressive regimes, photography cuts through all the cold clinical terminology. Through photographs we’re forced to confront the cruel reality of what ethnic cleansing really looks like.

I was in Bangladesh on the 28th of September when I received a phone call from a colleague, telling me that a boat carrying Rohingya refugees from Burma had capsized. It was early evening but the sky was already black due to a massive thunderstorm rolling in off the Bay of Bengal. The fury of the storm was like nothing I’d experienced before and all I could think of, if you’re willing to take on the Bay of Bengal in monsoon season, what you’re running from must be truly horrific.

In this case, 15 people drowned. When I arrived at the scene, there were cars blocking the road, there were police, local and international press, and the fisherman who had helped carry the bodies up to the coast road. Amid this chaos, I looked at the bodies lit by car headlights and noticed how the rain had gently molded the fabric that covered them to the point you could make out their individual features. The resulting photograph captures a moment of stillness, which is ultimately a photograph of ethnic cleansing.

This image SHOULD upset you. It’s not the photograph itself that’s horrific; it’s what it illustrates. These children have names, a mother, a father, brothers and sisters, grandparents… They fled their home in fear, braving the Bay of Bengal in the middle of a monsoon storm. The day after this picture was taken, I photographed survivors burying them in a mass grave. Tragically, they’re just a small part of a much, much bigger story.

I’ve worked in Asia for nearly 20 years and have spent a large portion of that time documenting the conflict between the government of Burma and its ethnic minorities – not just the Rohingya, but also the Kachin, Kayin, Shan and others. They all have horror stories of war and persecution. In northern Shan and Kachin states today, there’s a full-scale war, with roughly 100,000 people displaced by fighting and the Burmese military has denied access to humanitarian organizations. This type of persecution and the attempt to prevent the story from being told is nothing new in Burma.

What’s new is the sheer scale of the crackdown in Rakhine State – its comparable to what took place in Rwanda or the Bosnian civil war. In a story this big, I believe my role as a photographer is to bear witness and to try and show the reality – no matter how gruesome, or sad, or how upsetting it may be.

By honouring all the photographers in the room tonight for their commitment to transformative storytelling, the World Press Photo helps us as photographers to draw worldwide attention to the often very tragic subjects that we document. For this, I am truly grateful.

World Press, thank you for this incredible honour.


World Press Award Finalists: Preselect your winner February 15, 2018

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, World Press Photo , comments closed

For the first time in its history, the most prestigious photojournalist prize in the world has unveiled the finalists of its Photo of the Year contest before selecting a winner. The 6 nominees were unveiled today by the World Press Photo.

Warning: The photos displayed below depict graphic violence and may be disturbing to some viewers.

The winner will be announced at a special Awards Show in Amsterdam on April 12th, 2018. Here are the 6 finalist photos in random order of the photographer’s last name: noticeably there are two Australian photographers in this select presentation.

22 March 2017. A passerby comforts an injured woman after Khalid Masood drove his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London, UK, killing five and injuring multiple others.

15 March 2017. Civilians who had remained in west Mosul after the battle to take the city line up for aid in the Mamun neighbourhood.


12 July 2017. An unidentified young boy, who was carried out of the last ISIS-controlled area in the Old City by a man suspected of being a militant, is cared for by Iraqi Special Forces soldiers



3 May 2017. José Víctor Salazar Balza (28) catches fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela

21 September 2017. Aisha (14) stands for a portrait in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. After being kidnapped by Boko Haram, Aisha was assigned a suicide bombing mission, but managed to escape and find help instead of detonating the bombs.



Rohingya Crisis

28 September 2017. The bodies of Rohingya refugees are laid out after the boat in which they were attempting to flee Myanmar capsized about eight kilometers off Inani Beach, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Around 100 people were on the boat before it capsized. There were 17 survivors.

Courage of the Judges: World Press Awards 2016 February 20, 2016

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Australian photographers, Metaphor Online, World Press Photo , comments closed

An Australian freelance photographer has won one of the world’s most prestigious photography prizes for a shot of an asylum seeker passing a baby through a barbed wire fence on the Hungary-Serbia border.

Warren Richardson, a freelance photojournalist based in eastern Europe, beat more than 5,000 other photographers — who together submitted more than 80,000 images for consideration — to claim the 10,000-euro World Press Photo of the Year prize.

Taken by moonlight under challenging light conditions to avoid disclosure of the refugee positions Warren Richardson said that he was unaware that a child was in the image until he was editing.

“This is an incredible image from the refugee crisis of 2015,” Vaughn Wallace, one of the judges, said in a statement.

“It’s incredibly powerful visually, but it’s also very nuanced.”

Another judge, Huang Wen, called the image “haunting”.

West Australian photographer Rohan Kelly based in Sydney with the Daily Telegraph, won the Nature Category for his photo of a cloud tsunami over Bondi Beach.

Photographed in November when violent summer storms caused havoc in the Harbour city, Mr Kelly said the image had to be taken quickly as the fast-moving system bore down.

“I was down there to shoot a film festival and I saw this storm coming through. I was worried it would ruin the shot,” he said.

“But then I saw these clouds as I was driving away so I pulled over and had about 15 minutes before it absolutely bucketed down.”

“I’m very happy, it is unexpected.”

The prestigious prize is Mr Kelly’s first since he started as a photographer for Darwin’s NT News in 1998 before moving to the Daily and Sunday Telegraph in 2001.

“I didn’t know it would be a prize winner,” he said.

“A few people in the office seemed to think it was pretty good so I entered it.”

Mr Kelly said he did not have any immediate plans to celebrate but would enjoy the victory with his family.

He will be flown to Amsterdam later this year for the awards ceremony.

It continues a bumper 12 months for Daily Telegraph photographers who have cemented their reputation for being the best news and sports photographers in the Australian media.

At the 2015 Walkley Awards in December, Phil Hillyard and Gary Ramage emerged as category winners.

Multi-award-winning photographer Hillyard won the Sports Photography award and Ramage the Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year for ‘Ice Nation” — exposing the deadly drug epidemic gripping the country.

World Press Preview Brookfield Place Perth February 16, 2016

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World Press Photo Perth

On the 19th of February  Brookfield Place in Perth will be buzzing!

World Press Photo Perth will be showing  the winners of the World Press Photo 2016. It’s a free event for photographers and friends who should make their way down Friday  the 19th to Brookfield Place, 125 St Georges Terrace in Perth city from 5pm until 8pm! Local talent, students from ECU will be exhibiting their work.

There will be a digital preview of the winners of the World Press Award Winners 2016.


World Press Photo Perth's photo.
World Press Photo Perth's photo.

World Press Photo Perth: Western Australian Museum Saturday4-Sunday 26 July June 23, 2015

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, World Press Awards, World Press Photo , comments closed

It is nice to welcome back World Press Photo to Perth after a long absence. One of the inspirational sources of photojournalism in the world, it promotes excellence in the press rather than mediocrity, and accuracy and information rather than censorship.

One of the highlights of the exhibition will be the attendance of Australian photographer Raphaela Rosella from Oculi, who won the First Prize Portraits Category, Singles at World Press Photo 15.

Laurinda (a young Kamilaroi girl from Moree NSW) waits outside her home for the bus that takes her to Sunday School. Photo Raphaela Rosella OCULI