Swedish photographer Paul Hansen wins 56th World Press photo
- Swedish photographer Paul Hansen wins 56th World Press Photo
World Press Photo of the Year 2012's winning image by Paul
Hansen, Sweden, Dagens Nyheter. Two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her big
brother Muhammad, who soon was to be four years old, were killed when
their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike on Monday
evening. Their father, Fouad, was also killed. Their mother is in
intensive care at Al-Shifa Hospital. In accordance with their religion,
the dead are buried quickly. The badly mangled body of Fouad is put on a stretcher and his brothers carry his dead children to the mosque for
the burial ceremony. When darkness fell over Gaza on this day, at least
26 new victims were to be buried. That makes the total more than 140
dead so far since the beginning of the bombardment. Approximately half
of the dead are women and children. The picture was taken on 20 November 2012 in Gaza City, Palestinian Territories.
Photographer Paul Hansen, of the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens
Nyheter, has won the 56th World Press Photo for a picture of a group of
men carrying the bodies of two dead children through a street in Gaza
Author: Olivier Laurent
15 Feb 2013 Tags: World press photoPhotojournalism
"The strength of the pictures lies in the way it contrasts
the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children.
It's a picture I will not forget," says Mayu Mohanna, a jury member at
this year's World Press Photo photojournalism contest. In the image,
two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her three-year-old brother Muhammad are
being taken to a mosque for the burial ceremony, after they were killed
when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. "Their
father's body is carried behind on a stretcher [and] their mother was
put in intensive care," says the Amsterdam-based organisation. "The
picture was made on 20 November 2012 in Gaza City, Palestinian
The winning image was selected from 103,481 images submitted by 5,666 photographers from 124 countries. Hansen recently won First Place in the Pictures of the Year International competition in the Photographer of the Year – Newspaper category.
"I've always said that a picture should engage with the head, the
heart and the stomach," says Santiago Lyon, vice president and director
of photography at The Associated Press and chair of this year's
jury. "Some pictures engage on all three levels. This picture for us on
the jury reached us on these three levels. It just leapt off the screen
for us, repeatably."
Speaking with Hansen in a phone interview this morning, he told BJP how he felt upon winning World Press Photo. "I had very mixed emotions
actually. I was very happy on one level, of course, and very surprised,
and very honoured because I know the incredible quality of the work. And I was also very sad. It's a very sad situation."
"It was of course a very emotional and charged happening," Hansen
adds. "The event started the day before; we were sitting in a hotel near Gaza City and it's very close to a hospital where a Norwegian doctor
was working during this crisis. He was telling this horrible story about a family whose house was hit by a rocket. They had the mother of the
family unconscious in their ward and they were very emotionally stress
because they knew they would have to wake her up and tell her that her
husband and two children were dead. The next day we went to one of the
funerals outside Gaza City and it turned out to be this family."
Hansen doesn't yet know what winning the World Press Photo will mean
for his career, but he hopes it will create an environment where he can
work on more personal projects. "I think it will give me more
opportunities to do the type of stories that I like." But he has in the
past, he adds, received a lot of support from his newspaper. "They
support my strange ideas of stories."
Also, he believes that winning this prize will give "this picture,
and this family, and all the other families who die in this cycle of
violence another platform. It gives us the ability to communicate this
story again, which I'm really grateful for. It think it's very important in today's media climate."
When asked whether this win will help strenghten photographers'
positions on the staff of daily newspapers, Hansen says he hopes so. "I
have the luxury sometimes to work in close connection with a reporter
and we try to stay with the issue. We don't go to one funeral and
another, and another. For example, in 2010, I went to Haiti to cover the earthquake. Now in December, I've just came back from my sixth trip to
Haiti, just to follow up on the story we did the first time. I think
that type of way of working will be strengthened, thanks to this award."
Read more: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2244171/swedish-photographer-paul-hansen-wins-56th-world-press-photo#ixzz2L5lymaW9%c2%a0
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