Cultural Center, Clervaux Castle
Anthony Suau (USA) wins premier award
The international jury of the 52nd annual World Press Photo Contest have selected a black-and-white image by American photographer Anthony Suau as World Press Photo of the Year 2008. The picture shows an armed officer of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department moving through a home in Cleveland, Ohio, following eviction as a result of mortgage foreclosure. Officers have to ensure that the house is clear of weapons, and that the residents have moved out. The winning photograph, taken in March 2008, is part of a story commissioned by Time magazine. The story as a whole won Second Prize in the Daily Life category of the contest.
Jury chair MaryAnne Golon said: "The strength of the picture is in its opposites. It's a double entendre. It looks like a classic conflict photograph, but it is simply the eviction of people from a house following foreclosure. Now war in its classic sense is coming into people's houses because they can't pay their mortgages.
Fellow juror Akinbode Akinbiyi commented: "It is a very ambiguous image. You have to go into it to find out what it is. Then all over the world people will be thinking ‘this is what is happening to all of us'."
Juror Ayperi Ecer said: "We have something here which visually is both clear and complex...It's not about issues - 2008 is the year of the end of a dominant economic system. We need a new language, to learn how to illustrate our lives."
The jury gave prizes in 10 theme categories to 62 photographers of 27 nationalities from: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, El Salvador, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and USA.
A total of 96,268 photographs were submitted to be judged, representing an increase of 19.5% since last year. The number of participants was also a record, a total of 5,508 photographers sent in their work, which is a rise of 9.7% compared to 2008.
The participants represent 124 different nationalities. Entries by photographers from Asia increased by 14% from last year, photographers from China and India leading the numbers, with 490 (2008: 400) and 208 (2008: 165) participants respectively. European photographers are traditionally strongly represented in the contest. This year there were significant increases in the number of photographers from certain countries, such as Italy with 306 (251) and Poland with 104 (81).
Anthony Suau, the author of the World Press Photo of the Year 2008, will receive his award during an awards ceremony in Amsterdam on Sunday 3 May 2009. The award also carries a cash prize of 10,000 euro. In addition, Canon will donate Anthony Suau a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera.
Press release, Amsterdam, 13 February 2009