Jury perspectives: South America

Felipe Dana, South America jury chair 

As members of the South America jury, we had a unique opportunity to concentrate on topics and stories that were relevant to our region, especially those that could contribute to narratives in meaningful ways and bring attention to issues that are often overlooked, and which may not have received the attention they deserved on a global stage. This was especially important in a year like 2022, when the news coverage was dominated by the war in Ukraine.

Our review of thousands of photographs gave us an extraordinary view of the region, as we navigated through a wide range of topics and emotions. We saw the celebration of Argentina’s World Cup victory on the streets of Buenos Aires; violent protests across multiple countries; and the dangerous journeys thousands of migrants made traveling north through Colombia, fleeing years of economic decline in Venezuela, gang violence, and more. The region’s visual journalists continued to document the impact of climate change and environmental exploitation, not only in the Brazilian Amazon, but also in the Atacama Desert in Chile, tropical glaciers in Peru, wildfires in Argentina, and floods, pollution, and natural disasters across the region. We also admired stories that shed new light on issues of identity, discrimination, and gender.

As we narrowed down the entries, the process of selecting winners became increasingly challenging. We had a diverse panel of judges, with different opinions and perspectives and that turned out to be a great learning process. I was often pushed out of my comfort zone, and it was difficult to select between so many important and diverse stories. It was interesting to hear from other jury members what topics and issues they thought were important for them, to compare our thought processes and share how each of us weighed our decisions when selecting possible winners.

World Press Photo’s new regional format with fewer categories also presented challenges, and we could not help but think about all the important visual journalism that did not receive any awards. However, it is uplifting to know that each region now has a space in this important and global platform. I believe this is a strong step towards a more diverse and inclusive photojournalism industry.

Felipe Dana
2023 World Press Photo Contest South America jury chair

Watch the global jury present the South America winning works

For more information about why each 2023 World Press Contest awarded work was selected by the independent jury, read the jury report