Ami Vitale, USA, for National Geographic Magazine. Pandas Gone Wild.

World Press Photo Awards 2017

Since it was founded in 1955 the World Press Photo Foundation‘s annual award scheme has had tremendous impact. Each winning photo has become an important reminder of what was happening in the world at that time, and seeing them all gathered together at last year’s exhibition in Amsterdam, it’s striking how many of them still stir strong emotions, years and even decades after they were taken.

These photos have found their way into our shared collective memory. They appear in school text books, top Google’s image search and are reshown across all manner of pop culture touchpoints from TV and films to magazines and websites. They provide us with a comprehensive background on the state of our world, year in and out.

And this context is important. In an era increasingly dominated by click-bait headlines, quick tweets and snapshot pictures, photojournalism helps us sift through the visual noise and consider what is truly significant. 

It has the power to raise our awareness about events happening outside of our familiar bubble,  the strength to bring people together to fight for a shared cause, and the ability to put a spotlight on otherwise untold yet incredibly important stories.

And so we are proud to share some of the amazing stories of this year’s World Press Photo Awards. You can click the photographs below to read, in the photographers’ own words, the background to their pictures.

Click here to read more: Markus Jokela: Table Rock, NebraskaSarah Barrs on her horses back. Table Rock Nebraska United States, 4. october 2013.

Click here to read more: Ami Vitale: Pandas Gone WildYe Ye, a 16-year-old giant panda, lounges in a massive wild enclosure at a conservation center in Wolong Nature Reserve. Her 2 year old cub, Hua Yan (Pretty Girl) was released into the wild after two years of "panda training." Her name, whose characters represent Japan and China, celebrates the friendship between the two nations.

Click here to read more: Tomas Munita: Cuba On the Edge of ChangeMembers of the Ejercito Juvenil del Trabajo waited along the road to Santiago de Cuba at dawn for Fidel CastroÕs caravan on December 3, 2016. Cuba declared nine days of mourning after Fidel CastroÕs death, a period that culminated with his funeral.

Click here to read more: Antonio Gibotta: Enfarinat

Each 28th december, in Ibi - province of Alicante, in Spain -, the "The floured's war" takes place. It's a festival in which the citizens are divided into two groups: the first is called the Enfarinat (the floured), that simulate a coup d'etat; the other one tries to calm down the rebellion. The teams plays with flour, water, eggs and coloured smoke bombs: the photos taken during the match are beautiful. It has been celebrated since 200 years and it's linked to the day of the massacre of innocents, when Herod, king of Judea, ordered to kill each baby in order to find Jesus.

Click here to read more: Jaime Rojo: Monarchs in the Snow

A carpet of Monarch Butterflies covers the forest floor of El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary after a snow storm that hit the state of Michoacán in Mexico on March 2015. On March 8th and 9th of 2016 a strong snow storm hit the mountains of Central Mexico creating havoc in the wintering colonies of Monarch Butterflies just when they were starting their migration back to U.S.A. and Canada. Monarch butterflies are surprisingly resilient and they can survive several days in below zero temperatures as long as they remain dry. Deforestation reduces the shelter for the butterflies making them more vulnerable to the weather elements. And although illegal logging has been curbed thanks to the conservation efforts in Mexico, climate change is creating an increase of these unusual weather events which represent one of the biggest challenges for these insects during their hibernation period.

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