World Press Photo 11

International exhibition of professional photojournalism

Seventh edition of the World Press Photo, an exhibition where are shown the photos awarded with the prestigious international prize of photojournalism. At CCCB, there are the 170 photos awarded in the 2011 edition. This year, the leitmotiv is "Seeing is Believing", a catchword that invites us to reflect on the importance and the role of documentary photography today.

For the seventh year running, Photographic Social Vision is organizing the international World Press Photo exhibition. This year, the show that brings together the 170 winning photographs in the prestigious international photojournalism contest has recognised three Spanish photographers and two projects related to the Internet and social networks

Photographic Social Vision presents the World Press Photo exhibition to the Barcelona public for the seventh year running. This travelling show, last year attracting 35,400 visitors, is known worldwide as the foremost exhibition in the field of photojournalism for the quality of its works, and for the debate and criticism generated by the photos presented. It is a meeting with the social, political, cultural and sports events of the past year, as well as a showcase for the best photo reporters of the moment, offering them the chance to show work that is often censored by governments and the media.

With the title “Seeing is Believing”, Photographic Social Vision invites visitors to reflect on the importance and the role of documentary photography today, as the last redoubt of truth in the extensive range of deliberately manipulated messages and images we consume every day. The contents of World Press Photo are a thermometer of the world social context and help to shape public awareness and historic memory.

The World Press Photo exhibition

This year’s winning photograph, by South African Jodi Bieber, immortalizes Bibi Aisha, an 18-year-old Afghani girl who was mutilated as a punishment for fleeing her husband’s house in Oruzgan province, in the centre of Afghanistan.

Bieber presents an image that gives an insight into the story of this girl. When she was 12, Aisha and her younger sister were given to the family of a Taliban fighter. When she reached puberty, she was married to him. Aisha returned to her parents’ house, complaining of violent treatment at the hands of her in-laws. The Talibans went to fetch her to punish her for the humiliation undergone by her husband, slicing off her ears and nose. Aisha was abandoned, but later rescued and taken to a shelter run by the aid organization Women for Afghan Women in Kabul, where she received help. After spending some time at the shelter, she was taken to the USA to receive counselling and undergo facial reconstruction.

There were also prizes for three Spanish photographers: Gustavo Cuevas (Sports, second prize singles) for the photograph of the goring of bullfighter Julio Aparicio; Fernando Moleres (Daily Life, second prize stories) for the series “Juveniles behind bars in Sierra Leona”, recording the situation of underage prisoners; and Guillem Valle (Portraits, third prize singles) for his photograph of a member of the Dinka tribe in the south of newly independent Sudan.

Gustavo Cuevas, Sports, 2nd prize singles Fernando Moleres, Daily life, second prize stories Guillem Valle, Portraits, 3rd prize singles

World Press Photo and new realities

Adapting to the times and using new forms of photojournalistic dissemination, World Press Photo includes new features among this year’s winning works. For the first time, it singles out a documentary web project, highlighting the new media that feature investigative reportage, as well as the traditional written media. Further, it awarded an honourable mention and a second prize to works related to the Internet and the social networks. Michael Wolf presents “A series of unfortunate events”, using Google Street View to retrieve from the Net accidents, fires and fights between citizens who have been filmed, without their knowledge, by this tool.

In the field of social networks, Wolfran Hahn won second prize in Portraits for his photographs of people re-enacting the portraits they took for their MySpace profile. These two projects are proof of the influence of new supports in the development and innovative use of photography as a social means of expression.

The contest’s 170 winning photographs offer the public the chance to keep up to date with the state of the world. The exhibition stands out for its aesthetic excellence, its informative value, its sensibility and its capacity to integrate new genres into documentary photography. In the words of Silvia Omedes, director of Photographic Social Vision:

“Since it was set up, the aim of the foundation has been to raise awareness and inspire actions that change the realities that we are denouncing, using the photograph. Our slogan, ‘Seeing is believing’, aims to encourage the public to visit the show and come into contact with honest visions of reality that expand their own viewpoints.”

Once again this year, the show will have a multimedia kiosk where visitors can consult the archive of images that the Dutch foundation has compiled over 55 years of activity.

As every year, an independent international jury of 19 members picked the winners from the photos submitted by photojournalists, agencies, newspapers and photographers all over the world.

Taking part in World Press Photo 2011 were 5,691 photographers (209 of them Spanish) of 125 nationalities, who submitted 108,059 images to the contest’s 10 categories: Portraits, People in the news, General news, Spot news, Contemporary issues, Daily life, Nature, Art and Entertainment, and Sports features.

Photographic Social Vision

The body organizing the exhibition in Barcelona, Photographic Social Vision, is a private not-for-profit foundation which, like last year, is selling admission tickets as a way to bring World Press Photo 2011 to the city.

This year, the foundation celebrates its tenth anniversary, 10 years of managing the creation, production and dissemination of photojournalism and audiovisual reportage with the aim of informing society and raising awareness of little known realities and social problems, and encouraging public interest in documentary photography. Photographic Social Vision has become a reference in the dissemination of social issues by means of documentary photography and the organization of exhibitions such as “Marea Negra” (Black tide), a show of the work of Daniel Beltrá that documents the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The images by this renowned Spanish photographer, resident in Seattle and a habitual collaborator with Greenpeace, can be seen at ROCA Barcelona Gallery as of 4 November, coordinated and curated by Photographic Social Vision.

World Press Photo

For over 50 years, the Dutch World Press Photo foundation has backed international photojournalism and is responsible for organizing the most prestigious photojournalism contest that tours annually to over 80 cities in 40 countries, attracting over two million visitors. Its images inform and move us, but most of all they invite us to reflect on our society. This is why World Press Photo is an exhibition with values that generates public opinion, offering a multiplicity of looks at surprising and astonishing situations that come up year after year.



Organised by

Photographic Social Vision


Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona