2019 Joop Swart Masterclass Participants

Meet the 12 photographers selected for the 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass 

The World Press Photo Foundation is pleased to announce the participants selected for the 26th edition of the Joop Swart Masterclass. The 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass will be held 17-21 September 2019 at the World Press Photo Foundation in Amsterdam.

The Joop Swart Masterclass is the World Press Photo Foundation’s best known educational program. It encourages new and diverse approaches to documentary, visual journalism, and storytelling. Run as an immersive and interactive educational experience, the Joop Swart Masterclass enables the exchange of knowledge and experience in a meeting place for practitioners who often work alone.


Chosen from the 245 candidates nominated in March 2019, the 12 participants - seven women and five men from 12 different countries - are:

  • Nydia Blas, United States
  • Fabiola Ferrero, Venezuela 
  • Christopher Gregory-Rivera, Puerto Rico
  • Sofía López Mañán, Argentina
  • Thandiwe Msebenzi, South Africa
  • Yoppy Pieter, Indonesia
  • Hannah Reyes Morales, Philippines 
  • Zied Ben Romdhane, Tunisia
  • Soumya Sankar Bose, India
  • Shahria Sharmin, Bangladesh
  • Abdo Shanan, Algeria
  • Nikita Teryoshin, Russia

*Due to personal circumstances, Therese Alice Sanne is not able to participate in the 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass. Runner up Nikita Teryoshin, Russia has been selected to take part in the masterclass.

Selection process

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

  • Noelle Flores Théard, USA, programs manager Magnum Foundation
  • Mayu Mohanna, Peru, freelance photographer and curator
  • Nyani Quarmyne, Australia/Ghana, freelance photographer
  • Tanvi Mishra, India, curator, photo editor and writer
  • Jenny Smets, The Netherlands, photo editor and educator 
  • Tanzim Wahab, Bangladesh, curator 

The committee is chaired by David Campbell, director of Programs and Outreach at the World Press Photo Foundation. The chair’s responsibility is to oversee the functioning of the selection process. The chair does not contribute to substantive debates on the nominees and does not have a vote.

Tanvi Mishra: “I was impressed not just by the level of competence of the photographers in terms of their photographic level, but pleasantly surprised to find many of them challenging the medium, tackling complex ideas and attempting to take risks in their work. I am proud of the selection that has been made. It is a reflection of where I would hope for more of photography education and award selections to go towards. This is especially possible because of the commitment of my colleagues in the jury and the World Press Photo Foundation towards inclusivity and representation, and to begin to slowly bring about changes in the long standing structures in the photography industry”

Nyani Quarmyne: "While it's been difficult to choose among so many deserving contenders, it's equally been uplifting to consider the innovative and diverse ways in which these talented photographers are harnessing their photographic voices to issues of concern that they, their communities - and all of us - face."

Noelle Flores Theard: “I’m impressed by the willingness of photographers to commit to complicated topics, and I am inspired by their openness to incorporate multiple approaches to tell stories. I’ve also really enjoyed the judging process and appreciate the care and space provided by World Press for the jury to have discussions about the work”

Tanzim Wahab: “It is no longer adequate for a photographer to inform global audience about the issues around them when we are living in an information age. It is profoundly critical to deliver and one needs to be self-critical, transformative and respectful to differences and diversity. The new breed of photographers are prepared for taking risks, pushing the boundaries, accepting criticisms and inventing new ways of engaging the audience. The judges tried to find the combination of intent, commitment and quality.”

New for 2019

This year, for the first time there was no age limit for masterclass nominees and participants. They were emerging and early-career image makers with 5-10 years experience.

Theme and masters announced in July 2019

Five masters will lead sessions on the conception, production, and distribution of high-quality visual reports and stories in the contemporary economy of media and photography. In preparation for the masterclass, the participants will produce a photo essay on one single theme that will be discussed during editing sessions with the five masters. The theme and masters will be announced in July 2019.

Image (left to right, top to bottom): Abdo Shanan, Christopher Gregory-Rivera, Fabiola Ferrero, Hannah Reyes Morales, Nydia Blas, Shahria Sharmin, Sofía López Mañán, Soumya Sankar Bose, Thandiwe Msebenzi, Therese Alice Sanne, Yoppy Pieter, and Zied Ben Romdhane.