2017 Photos

Contemporary issues


1st place

2nd place

3rd place

Stories Copacabana Palace
Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge

Jonathan Bachman (USA)

Contemporary Issues, first prize singles


Iesha Evans (27) stands her ground at a rally against police violence against black men, outside the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana, USA. Evans had travelled to Baton Rouge to protest the death of Alton Sterling, who was shot at close range while being held to the ground by two white police officers on 5 July.

The fatal shooting of Sterling came at a time of heightened tension in the US over the deaths of black men at the hands of the police. Data collected by The Counted, an initiative set up by The Guardian to record such fatalities, found that in 2016, black males aged 15-34 were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by law enforcement officers. Evans was arrested at the protest, but released later that evening.

Commissioned by: Reuters

Photographer's view:

Partner events:



About the Event:

Photographer Jonathan Bachman will speak at the opening of the World Press Photo Exhibition, discussing how his photograph became an icon of the discussion about relations between the police and the African American community.

About the host:

The Lightscape Foundation is a recently formed 501c3 dedicated to expanding interest in, knowledge of, and engagement with global current events through photojournalism. Lightscape is the driving force behind the return of the World Press Photo exhibition to Washington D.C. and is pioneering partnerships with local think-tanks, universities, embassies and civil society groups that can tell the stories behind this year's prize winning photographs.


Friday, 3 November


6:30 - 10 pm


World Press Photo Exhibition 2017
Dupont Underground
19 Dupont Cir NW
Washington, DC

contemporary issues 2nd

Vadim Ghirda (Romania)

Contemporary Issues, second prize singles


A woman is supported as refugees cross the Mala Reka river, near the Greek border town of Idomeni. They were attempting a route into the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) that would bypass a newly erected border fence.

The FYROM, Croatia and Slovenia—countries that lie between Greece and preferred refugee destinations in northern Europe—had all closed their borders five days earlier. Hundreds of thousands of refugees had traveled through the FYROM the previous year, and the UN said that the build-up of people in a holding-camp at Idomeni was turning into a humanitarian disaster.

Commissioned by: The Associated Press

Partner event:

 New America
Event descriprtion: TBD
About the host:

New America is a think tank and civic enterprise committed to renewing American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age. We generate big ideas, bridge the gap between technology and policy, and curate broad public conversation. Structurally, we combine the best of a policy research institute, technology laboratory, public forum, media platform, and a venture capital fund for ideas. We are a distinctive community of thinkers, writers, researchers, technologists, and community activists who believe deeply in the possibility of American renewal.

Website: newamerica.org
Facebook: facebook.com/NewAmerica
Twitter: twitter.com/NewAmerica


Monday, November 6th




New America Foundation
740 15th St NW #900
Washington D.C.

contemporary issues 3rd
Daniel Etter (Germany)
Contemporary Issues, third prize singles

Nigerian refugees cry and embrace in a detention center housing hundreds of women in Surman, Libya.

Refugees in such centers face indefinite detention. Many report sexual and physical violence, and insufficient food and water. A large number try to reach Europe by being smuggled over the Mediterranean Sea. According to the International Organization for Migration, the number of Nigerian women travelling by boat from Libya to Italy almost doubled in 2016, to 11,009.

Commissioned by: Der Spiegel

Photographer's view:

Contemporary issues 1st
Amber Bracken (Canada)
Contemporary Issues, first prize stories


People carry an American and a Mohawk Warrior Society flag at a protest camp against the Dakota Access Pipeline, in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, USA.

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a 1,886-kilometer-long underground oil pipeline project designed to transport oil from North Dakota to a shipping terminal in Illinois, USA. By 2016, most of the pipeline was complete, but the section closest to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation still awaited federal approval. The Standing Rock Sioux people opposed the DAPL, fearing water contamination and damage to sacred tribal sites. A stretch of the pipeline was set to run under the Missouri River—the prime source of drinking water for the reservation. Large protests at Lake Oahe gained national and international attention. Traditional religious ceremonies and prayer formed part of the day at the protesters’ camp.

Photographer's view:

Contemporary issues 2nd Zika
Lalo de Almeida (Brazil)
Contemporary Issues, second prize stories


Raquel de Araújo cradles her twins Heloá and Heloisa, both born with microcephaly, as their sister Marcela looks on, in Areia, Paraíba, northeastern Brazil.

Brazil saw a dramatic increase in numbers of babies born with microcephaly, a condition linked to the Zika virus. Babies with the condition are born with an abnormally small head, or the head stops growing at birth. The Zika virus, transmitted by mosquitoes, generally causes mild, flu-like symptoms, and the exact causal link to microcephaly—an otherwise rare condition—is not fully understood. The World Health Organization recorded 2,289 Zika-linked microcephaly cases in Brazil from the beginning of the outbreak in 2015 to the end of 2016, and declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency. A large number of the Brazilian cases occurred in the northeastern interior, one of the poorest regions of the country, where many people had to travel long distances to reach a hospital for treatment.

Contemporary issues 3rd Brazil
Peter Bauza (Germany)
Contemporary Issues, third prize stories


Eduarda lives with seven siblings in one of the abandoned apartment blocks in Campo Grande, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Millions of people in Brazil live without secure housing. Government-backed social housing schemes, aimed at reducing an estimated shortage of 5.24 million homes in Brazil, have had limited impact. Some 300 families live in a neighborhood in Campo Grande, in the western zone of Rio de Janeiro, squatting in derelict apartment blocks: the remnants of a failed middle-class housing development of 30 years ago. Residents call the quarter ‘Jambalaya’, after a TV show, or sometimes ‘Copacabana Palace’ after a luxury hotel. Like many favelas and slums across the country, the quarter lacks basic infrastructure and living conditions are poor.

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