2024 Contest global winners announced

Introducing the 2024 World Press Photo Contest global winners

Photography documenting irreversible personal loss in Gaza, family and dementia in Madagascar, the life of migrants in Mexico, and the trauma of war in Ukraine have been given the top awards this year of the 2024 World Press Photo Contest.

These four global winners were selected from 24 regional winners, which were chosen from more than 61,000 entries. The entries were judged first by six regional juries and all winners were chosen by a global jury consisting of the regional jury chairs plus the global jury chair.

"Each of these winning photographers is intimately and personally familiar with their topics. This helps them bring a deeper understanding to the rest of us, which hopefully leads to empathy and compassion. I am thankful for their dedication, courage, professionalism and skill." – Joumana El Zein Khoury, executive director, World Press Photo

The four global winners:

World Press Photo of the Year
A Palestinian Woman Embraces the Body of Her Niece
Mohammed Salem, Palestine, Reuters

The photographer describes this photo, taken just days after his own wife gave birth, as a “powerful and sad moment that sums up the broader sense of what was happening in the Gaza Strip”.

It shows Inas Abu Maamar (36) cradling the body of her niece Saly (5) who was killed, along
with her mother and sister, when an Israeli missile struck their home, in Khan Younis, Gaza.

The jury commented on how the image was composed with care and respect, offering at once a metaphorical and literal glimpse into unimaginable loss. The jury also noted that this photographer was awarded for the same topic over a decade ago.

World Press Photo Story of the Year
Lee-Ann Olwage, South Africa, for GEO

In Madagascar, lack of public awareness surrounding dementia means that people displaying symptoms of memory loss are often stigmatized.

The jury commented: “This story tackles a universal health issue through the lens of family and care. The selection of images are composed with warmth and tenderness reminding viewers of the love and closeness necessary in a time of war and aggression worldwide.”

World Press Photo Long-Term Project Award
The Two Walls
Alejandro Cegarra, Venezuela, The New York Times/Bloomberg

Since 2019, Mexico's immigration policies have undergone a significant shift, transforming from a nation historically open to migrants and asylum seekers at its southern border to a country that enforces stringent immigration policies.

Drawing from his own first-hand experience of migrating from his native Venezuela to Mexico in 2017, photographer Alejandro Cegarra initiated this project in 2018. The jury felt that this photographer's own position as a migrant afforded a sensitive human centered perspective that centers the agency and resilience of migrants. 

World Press Photo Open Format Award
War Is Personal
Julia Kochetova, Ukraine

Amidst tens of thousands of civilian and military casualties and an effective stalemate that has lasted for months, there are no signs of peace on the horizon for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

While news media updates its audience with statistics and maps, and international attention drifts elsewhere, the photographer has created a website that brings together photojournalism with the personal documentary style of a diary to show the world what it is like to live with war as an everyday reality.

This project weaves together photographic images with poetry, audio clips, and music in collaboration with a Ukrainian illustrator and DJ.

Global jury chair, Fiona Shields, head of Photography at The Guardian talks about the winning projects:

Putting this year’s contest in perspective

World Press Photo was founded in 1955, next year is our 70th anniversary. There have been numerous conflicts, wars and other major events documented by press photographers throughout these years.

Each year, independent jurors take on the daunting task of reviewing tens of thousands of photographs to create a selection that will stand the test of time. Knowing it is impossible to include every story and every perspective, they deliberate, debate and discuss to choose a selection of stories that matter and award exceptional work.

Stories of war and conflict are a recurring theme, and each jury takes their own approach. We asked jurors from the previous two contests to share how they selected stories of war and conflict. In our archive, you can see for yourself how winning photographers over the years have used different approaches to faithfully document our shared world.

While the courage, skill, and dedication of the winning photographers has not changed, much about the world they operate in has. As the judging process was underway, World Press Photo executive director Joumana El Zein Khoury wrote about the challenges of a press and documentary photography contest and exhibition in a world where many people come with perspectives that are far apart.

By showcasing outstanding press and documentary photography we aim to help create mutual understanding, foster discussion, and mitigate growing polarization. This also promotes appreciation for high-quality press photography, which helps open up space for photographers like these to work more safely.