View the entire collection of winning images from the 55th World Press Photo Contest. The winners were selected from over 100,000 images submitted to the contest.
Demonstrators on Tahrir Square, Cairo, react to a televised speech on 10 February, in which contrary to prior expectations, Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak said he would not give up power.
Boats rest on a pier at Ishinomaki port, in Miyagi prefecture, on 15 April, more than a month after a tsunami devastated large areas of northeastern Japan.
A woman cries amidst the ruins of the town of Natori, on 13 March, two days after the tsunami that devastated much of Japan’s northeastern coast.
After security forces fired live rounds on demonstrators in Libya’s second city of Benghazi, in mid-February, anti-government protests escalated. Over the next few months, opposition to the rule of long-time dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi became a full-scale national revolt.
Tsunami waves created by a massive earthquake off the northeastern shores of Japan caused wide-ranging destruction along the coast. Overwhelming the three worst-hit prefectures with an estimated 22.63 million tons of debris.
The Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan damaged vital cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. A 20-kilometer exclusion zone was declared around the plant, and more than 80,000 people were evacuated.
Rebels battle for Ras Lanuf, an oil-refining town on the Libyan coast, on 11 March.
A young Shiite woman stands among the dead and injured, after a bomb blast at the crowded Abu Fazal shrine in Kabul, on 6 December.
A young woman in a wedding gown is grabbed by a local community officer, as she tries to commit suicide in Changchun, Jilin province, China.
A leopard attacks a forest warden after escaping from the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, in West Bengal, India.
Tsunami waves hit the town of Natori, in Miyagi prefecture, Japan.
On 22 July, Anders Behring Breivik killed 69 people on the small island of Utøya, 40 kilometers northwest of Oslo, in Norway.
Towards the end of January, people in Egypt staged mass protests against the rule of their own leader, President Hosni Mubarak.
Fatima al-Qaws cradles her son Zayed (18), who is suffering from the effects of tear gas after participating in a street demonstration, in Sanaa, Yemen, on 15 October.
A protester is arrested during demonstrations against police stop-and-frisk tactics in Harlem, New York on 21 October.
Hosni Mubarak is wheeled into court on a bed on 7 September.
On 11 March, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck 70 kilometers off the Tōhoku coast, in northeastern Japan. The quake triggered a tsunami that swept inland, destroying buildings, crippling infrastructure, and resulting in the displacement of more than 340,000 people.
Americans experienced the fifth year of a national housing crisis. By the end of 2011, some four million families had lost their homes after they could no longer meet mortgage payments. People renting houses often found themselves in a similar situation, no longer able to afford the rent and facing eviction.
Peaceful demonstrations against the leadership of Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak, on Tahrir Square in Cairo, turned violent in late January and early February, when Mubarak supporters attempted to storm the square and attack the protesters.
Competitors swim over a school of fish at the start of the mass swim, part of the Ironman World Championship.
Blackrock College scrum-half Conor Crowley releases the ball after a ruck, during a Division 1A All-Ireland League rugby union match against Old Belvedere.
BASE jumper Johannes Dagemark takes a leap off a 150-meter-high wind turbine in Skara, Sweden.
In the amateur street fighting tournament known as strelka in Russia, fighters compete on sand without a time limit. Only a knockout or surrender stops the fight.
The World Swimming Championships in Shanghai, China.
Lucha libre, the Mexican version of free wrestling, is probably rivaled only by soccer in popularity among Mexican people.
A portrait of North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-sung, decorates a building in the country’s capital Pyongyang.
A young Wagenya girl catches fish using an age-old method, diving into rapids on the Congo River with a net, and holding her catch in her mouth.
More than 50 percent of Haitians are illiterate, and only 25 percent have regular access to electricity, which means that battery-operated radios are the country’s main medium.
Marcos and Monica were married for 65 years and, for much of that time, lived in the same apartment in Buenos Aires. In 2007, aged 84, Monica was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Since that moment, Marcus devoted his time to taking care of her.
Bolivia is home to some 36 indigenous groups. The country’s president, Evo Morales, the first indigenous Bolivian to hold that office, is leader of the Movement towards Socialism party, whose long-held goal has been the integration of indigenous communities into national life.
People in Moscow, Russia relax in rural patches within the city’s suburban sprawl.
Jason raises his daughter Elyssa as a single parent, after his partner Julie died of Aids-related illnesses in 2010.
Danish-Iranian actress Mellica Mehraban played a lead role in the Iranian spy thriller ‘Fox Hunting’.
Inna Shevchenko (21) is a leader of Femen, a Ukrainian protest group comprising almost exclusively young women, which organizes topless demonstrations against such issues as sex tourism, the sex industry, and internet marriage brokering.
Toku Konno, a tsunami survivor, Sendai, Japan, 29 November.
Inside an interrogation room in Ukraine.
Recruits at a police training center run by Germany in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
While working in Afghanistan during 2011, Simon Norfolk had the idea of trying to photograph groups he felt might have been interesting to the 19th-century photographer John Burke, were he there today.
Canadian Forces soldier Corporal Ben Vandandaigue plays on a drum kit at Forward Operating Base Sperwan Ghar, overlooking the Panjwai district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
A model poses in front of a tailor’s stall in the center of Dakar, Senegal during the ninth edition of the Dakar Fashion Week.
Bifatima Dauletova, a mystic and shaman, performs a ritual cleansing in Kazakhstan.
Entertainers perform in restaurants in the Russian resort city of Sochi, on the eastern coast of the Black Sea.
Saut-d’Eau, in the heart of Haiti, is one of the country’s most important pilgrimage destinations where people celebrate the appearance of the Virgin Mary.
Artworks depicting Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic of China, are experiencing a resurgence in popularity.
A young male polar bear climbs on a cliff face above the ocean, attempting unsuccessfully to feed on eggs from the nests of Brünnich’s guillemots, in late July.
A female of the Pterosoma planum species.
A scuba diver photographs tuna as they swim into a tonnara—a maze of fixed nets—off Carliforte Island, Sardinia, Italy.
With rhinoceros horn worth more than gold, the animals are the target of poachers. South Africa alone lost over 400 rhinos to illegal poaching in 2011. It is estimated there are only 16,000 rhinos left in the world, and the animal faces extinction.
Hang Son Doong, in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam, is believed by many to be the largest cave on earth.
Hunting sharks for their fins has become big business across the globe, as shark-fin soup soars in popularity among China’s growing, newly affluent middle class. Up to 73 million sharks are killed annually.
Maria, a drug-addicted sex worker, rests between clients in the room she rents in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine.
An instructor at the Kommandokorps training camp in Carolina, South Africa, demonstrates techniques of gun use.
Jamila (40) was injured by a missile that hit her legs, during ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in 2008.
A man climbs a high-voltage electricity tower in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.
Every year, all over the world, millions of girls below the age of 18 undergo marriages initiated by their families. The tradition of child marriage spans continents, religion, and class.
Public executions in Iran, alleged to have the second-highest execution rate in the world after China, are usually conducted as punishment for murder or rape
Acapulco, the Mexican seaside resort much favored by the 1960s jetset, has become a battleground in the wars between drug cartels that are afflicting the country.
We exist to inspire understanding of the world through quality photojournalism.
Check our FacebookRead our TweetsRSS
Terms and conditions | Contact us | Press center