World Press Photo Exhibition: 27 Jan – 16 Feb 2012
The World Press Photo Exhibition 2011 (competition round 2010) is now showing at the Castle in Cape Town until 16 February 2012.
This exhibition is not for the faint of heart, with the earthquakes in Haiti and Tibet, floods in Pakistan, gang violence in Mexico and a volcanic eruption in Indonesia. But these global tragedies are offset by other stories: Central Africa’s only symphony orchestra in Kinshasa, DRC, nomadic cinemas visiting remote villages in India, female freestyle wrestlers in Bolivia and couchsurfers in New York.
These are not your average news photographs, these are the kind you want to pay attention to. Don’t rush; read the blurbs. Each photograph or photo set tells a story – and tells it masterfully. Each one deserves a room. My only quibble would be that this exhibition has them all a little close together.
World Press Photo is a non-profit based in Amsterdam that supports and promotes the work of professional press photographers internationally. Each year, three prizes are awarded in each of nine categories, and the resulting exhibition travels the world.
In 2011, South African Jodi Bieber won World Press Photo of the year for her photograph of Bibi Aisha, an Afghan woman disfigured as retribution for fleeing her husband’s house in the Oruzgan province of Afghanistan. The now world-famous photograph has been featured on the cover of Time magazine, and Aisha has become something of a success-story.
But Bieber is not the only South African winner in 2011. Mike Hutchings won the first prize in the Sports singles category for his photo capturing the Netherlands’ Demy de Zeeuw – accidentally – kicking Uruguay’s Martin Caceres in the face during a 2010 World Cup semi-final. And Thomas P Peschak won first prize in the Nature singles category for his photo of a Cape Gannet coming in to land on Malgas Island.
Three firsts is not bad for our local photographers considering that the 2011 competition received a total of 108 059 photographs from 5 691 photographers spanning 125 countries!
If honouring our local winners is not enough to get you down there, then remember that this annual exhibition doesn’t always make it to South Africa: the last time was in 2007, before that 2003. It also comes with a series of talks, walkabouts and masterclasses, which are fast filling up. For more info on these, contact Jenny Altshuler on firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 935 5522.
The exhibition opened on 27 January and runs until 16 February at the Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town.