Announcing the 2017 Joop Swart Masterclass Participants

The World Press Photo Foundation is pleased to announce the names of the 12 young photographers who will participate in the 24th edition of the prestigious Joop Swart Masterclass.

The announcement was made at the World Press Photo Festival in Amsterdam, and follows the March 2017 statement in which the 187 nominees were revealed.

The selection process is conducted online, with nominees uploading their portfolio for review by the selection committee. This year the selection committee comprised:

Christoph Bangert, photographer, Germany
Fredi Casco, curator, Paraguay
Irina Chmyreva, Artistic Director of PhotoVisa International Festival of Photography, Russia
Marizilda Cruppe, photographer, Brazil
Barbara Davidson, photographer and multimedia journalist, Los Angeles Times, Canada
Olfa Feki, independent curator, regional representative of NOOR images, Netherland
Sarker Protick, photographer and visual artist, VII Photo, Bangladesh

The following 12 photographers -- 7 women and 5 men from 11 countries and 5 continents -- are the participants for this year’s masterclass:

Juanita Escobar, Colombia
Kevin Faingnaert, Belgium
Rahima Gambo, Nigeria
Hicham Gardaf, Morocco
Mojgan Ghanbari, Iran
Heba Khamis, Egypt
Alejandro Kirchuk, Argentina
Adriane Ohanesian, USA
Shadman Shahid, Bangladesh
Daro Sulakauri, Georgia
Rebecka Uhlin, Sweden
Michael Vince Kim, Argentina/South Korea

The two runners up will be automatically nominated in 2018:

Aleksey Kondratyev, Kyrgyzstan
Marie Hald, Denmark


Christoph Bangert, one of the selectors, said:

“I was a participant of the Joop Swart Masterclass in 2007 and it was a truly life changing experience for me. I find it crucially important that the group of participants is international and diverse. I was especially interested in discovering work that showed strong personal authorship. I deeply enjoyed looking at all the portfolios and felt that the overall quality of the work was excellent!”

Sarker Protick, another selector, said:

“For me the portfolios that stood out are the ones which told stories that endured through artist’s own experience. Be it social, political or about the self, there are more local storytellers now than ever before. This was clearly felt in this year’s submission and was definitely a priority for me to evaluate. With strong visual vocabulary, a clear approach and consistency throughout their works, it was not only about craft but also the authorship and vision of the artist.”

Lars Boering, Managing Director of the World Press Photo Foundation, said:

“Education is a priority for the World Press Photo Foundation. We name our masterclass in honor of Joop Swart, a former chairman who was committed to new developing talent. Nearly 300 people have benefited from previous masterclasses, which has helped them grow into important photographers. This year’s participants are a very diverse group of creative individuals, and we’re anticipating they will go on to do great things in visual storytelling.”

The Joop Swart Masterclass
Since 1994, the Joop Swart Masterclass has brought together some of the finest young photographers from around world, and leading professionals in the fields of documentary photography and photojournalism. It offers a focused, intimate and reflective learning experience to young photographers, aiming to foster their intellectual, artistic and professional growth. The Joop Swart Masterclass holds prime position among the workshops, debates and other educational programs of the World Press Photo Foundation.

The masters of the 2017 Joop Swart Masterclass will be announced later this year.

Learn more about the Joop Swart Masterclass 

To see the nominating committee and learn more about the process of being nominated, please visit:

For questions and interviews, please contact the World Press Photo Communications team:

Communications | World Press Photo
Tel. +31 (0)20 6766 096 |

Download the 2017 World Press Photo Festival media kit here:

Posted April 22 2017

About The World Press Photo Foundation

We are a global platform connecting professionals and audiences through trustworthy visual journalism and storytelling. Founded in 1955 when a group of Dutch photographers organized a contest to share their work with an international audience, the competition has grown into the world’s most prestigious photography award and our mission has expanded. We encourage diverse accounts of the world that present stories with different perspectives. We exhibit those stories to a worldwide audience, educate the profession and the public on their making, and encourage debate on their meaning.

The World Press Photo Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We receive support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and are sponsored worldwide by Canon.