Announcing the 2018 Joop Swart Masterclass Participants

The World Press Photo Foundation is pleased to announce the participants selected for the 2018 Joop Swart Masterclass. The masterclass is the foundation’s flagship education program. It rewards the most talented emerging visual journalists and is designed to support and enhance diversity in visual journalism and storytelling.

Chosen from the 219 candidates nominated in March 2018, the 12 participants and 2 runners-up are:

Mustafah Abdulaziz, USA
Alfredo Bosco, Italy
Sharon Castellanos, Peru
Sabiha Cimen, Turkey
Samar Hazboun, Palestine
Alexandra Rose Howland, USA
Katinka Hustad, Norway
Ksenia Kuleshova, Russia
Philip Montgomery, USA
Leonard Pongo, Belgium
Ashfika Rahman, Bangladesh
Tasneem Sultan, Saudi Arabia
Cansu Yildiran, Turkey (Due to unforeseen circumstances Cansu Yildiran has been deferred to the next edition of the Joop Swart Masterclass. We hereby introduce Alfredo Bosco, the first runner-up, as a 2018 JSM participant.)

Marie Hald, Denmark

The 2018 Joop Swart Masterclass is the 25th edition of this annual program. It will be held 23 - 29 September 2018 at the World Press Photo Foundation headquarters in Amsterdam. The participants will receive an immersive, hands-on educational experience with five prominent experts, as well as guest speakers, to discuss all aspects of their work and the profession. In preparation for the masterclass, the participants will execute a photo essay on one single theme. The essays will be discussed during sessions with the masters and edited into a publication. The theme and masters will be announced in May 2018.

Selection process

The participants were selected by an independent, international selection committee comprising:

Christopher Morris (USA) photographer and co-founder VII Photo Agency

  • Noriko Hayashi (Japan) photojournalist at Panos and former Joop Swart Masterclass participant
  • Anna-Alix Koffi (Ivory Coast/France) creative director-publisher
  • Tanvi Mishra (India) photo-editor
  • Maggie Steber (USA) photographer at VII
  • Alvaro Ybarra Zvala (Colombia/Spain) photographer and filmmaker.

Noriko Hayashi:

“I truly enjoyed looking through all the portfolios from diverse regions of the world during the selection process. It was hard to judge among so many inspiring and promising works. The stories that grabbed my attention were those created through unique personal approaches with a clear vision and a rich visual vocabulary. I participated in the Joop Swart Masterclass three years ago and it was one of the most inspiring experiences in my photography career. I hope this international group of participants will be able to make the most of this unique opportunity, and it will help them grow as photographers and image professionals.”

Alvaro Ybarra Zavala:

“The selection of the twelve participants of the JSM has not been easy. The level of the candidates has been incredibly good. It is very inspiring to see the amount of talent that all the candidates nominated for the JSM have. A talent that promises to bring fresh perspectives to our industry and that proposes new forms of visual narrative within the world of photography. The 12 selected will live a unique opportunity for their professional career as photographers, a very enriching human experience and to whom I wish all the luck of the world.”

Tanvi Mishra:

“Twelve is a small number to choose given the amount of talent one sees amongst the nominees of JSM. Considering that skill is a function of access to opportunity and information, the quality of work varied drastically from one region to another. The selection was done keeping this in mind for a solid class of 2018. It is with that that I keep the hope alive that the future will feature even more JSM students from under-represented countries!”

Christopher Morris:

"Exciting to see such varied talents coming from around the world. Some with very intriguing visions"

An expanded nominating committee

The nominating committee has recently expanded to improve both regional representation and gender diversity, which we will continue to work on in the future. There are an additional 37 professionals from across the globe that potential candidates may contact to be nominated. Nominators come from 74 different countries. Of all active nominators in the 2018 nomination procedure, 42% are women while 58% are men.

A diverse group of nominees

For the 2018 Joop Swart Masterclass we received 219 nominations from 123 nominators, including the two runners-up from last year. The nominees come from 79 different countries from all six continents. Forty percent of all nominees are women and 60% are men. The largest number of nominations come from Iran (14), India (12), Russia (11), USA (11), Italy (9), Egypt (8), Bangladesh (8), Brazil (6), Germany (5), Norway (4), Ukraine (4), Ecuador (4), and Spain (4).

Committed to education

The World Press Photo Foundation is committed to education. Since the first workshop in Budapest in 1990, we have run programs in Bangladesh, North Africa, the Philippines and Gaza, and masterclasses in Mexico City, Nairobi and Accra. These programs foster both the craft of visual storytelling, good journalistic practice and help create diversity in the profession.

The Joop Swart Masterclass has been organized by the World Press Photo Foundation every year since 1994 and has established itself as one of the most prestigious events of its kind. Its goal is to bring together some of the most experienced individuals in photojournalism with young, promising photographers to share and pass on their knowledge and experience.