World Press Photo Exhibition 2022 in Hanoi

Government of Vietnam blocks World Press Photo Exhibition 2022 in Hanoi on opening day 

This morning, 9 December, hours before the World Press Photo Exhibition 2022 was scheduled to open in Hanoi, Vietnam, we were told by authorities that the exhibition would not be permitted. Exhibition structures had been set up the day before by Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi before word came of the censorship decision.

“It is hugely disappointing that after four years of allowing our annual exhibition in Hanoi the authorities decide to block it on opening day,” said executive director of World Press Photo Foundation Joumana El Zein Khoury. “Seeing stories that matter from around the world helps us understand each other better. It is shameful that some authorities in Vietnam cannot see the benefit in that.”

Last year, one image was removed from the Hanoi exhibition at the last-minute insistence of authorities and was shown instead at the Residence of the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Hanoi. We are talking to several governments about the possibility of showing the whole exhibit this year in an embassy space.

Vietnam is ranked in the bottom 10 in this year’s World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders, at 174 out of 180 countries ranked. They note that Vietnam is the world's third largest jailer of journalists.

We extend our thanks to our partners and others working there for trying to bring these stories from around the world to the people of Hanoi. We think sharing of information and perspectives through this world-class press and documentary photography increases understanding across cultures and opens up opportunities for more dialogue around important topics.

Our annual exhibition includes 24 stories selected by six regional juries, plus a global jury, made up of industry professionals. This year is the first showing of our new regional model, which features a more representative spread of winning stories from around the world. This year’s exhibition includes stories from countries in the region, such as Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia. There were no winning stories from Vietnam this year.