A message from the executive director

Reflecting on the future of the World Press Photo Foundation

It’s been a month since I started my role as the new executive director of the World Press Photo Foundation, and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share some thoughts about the future of the foundation.

During my first month I was able to get to know the staff and meet some of you, participate in the 2021 Contests judging sessions, and start thinking about the future of the foundation in a world changed by the pandemic, with travel restrictions and social distancing measures marking our lives also in 2021.

Over the past months we’ve had to rethink how we fulfill our mission of connecting the world to the stories that matter. Programs and outreach activities moved online, opening new opportunities. The 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass opened up to 24 participants and six mentors over a period of four months. This gave us the chance to deeply reflect on the participants’ projects and to debate important issues that affect the visual journalism community. We rounded off the second edition of the 6x6 Global Talent program, highlighting a total of 72 talents across the regions since its launch in 2017. Other programs such as the West Africa Visual Journalism Fellowship and the Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative had to be postponed due to the pandemic and will round up in 2021.

Building on this experience, the judging and announcement of the 2021 Contests results, presenting the best visual journalism of the last year, are taking place entirely online this year, and so will the World Press Photo Festival. We’ve also been working with local and international exhibition partners to bring our annual exhibition to audiences worldwide and ensure the safety of visitors.

Although it has been a difficult journey oftentimes, the new scenario that has presented itself to us has taught us a lot, one of the main learnings being the importance of reflection. With this in mind, and coinciding with my arrival and the appointment of the international advisory committee in 2021, I would like to take this opportunity to pause and reflect on the future of the World Press Photo Foundation.

For that reason, the Joop Swart Masterclass and 6x6 Global Talent Program will be paused in 2021 while we work on a long term strategy for the foundation's programs and outreach activities.

Feedback is incredibly valuable for us, and we’ll be reaching out to our community of experts in visual journalism and storytelling in the coming months to discuss thoughts and ideas. Please feel free to get in touch at any time and raise any questions that we may have to take into consideration.

We appreciate the work and dedication of our community to further our purpose to connect the world with quality visual storytelling, and I look forward to receiving your support moving forward.

All the best,
Joumana El Zein Khoury
Executive Director
World Press Photo Foundation