By Seyi Lawal
Samuel Aranda, Spanish photographer has emerged winner of the 2011 World Press Photo of the Year award. Aranda’s photo also won the “People in the News Singles” category. He will receive $13,300.
The winning photo was an image of a veiled woman holding a wounded relative in her arms after a demonstration in Yemen.
Taken for The New York Times on 15 October in a mosque in Sanaa, Yemen, the photograph captured many facets of the uprisings across the Middle East known as the Arab Spring.
“The winning photo shows a poignant, compassionate moment, the human consequence of an enormous event, an event that is still going on,” said chairman Aidan Sullivan. “We might never know who this woman is, cradling an injured relative, but together they become a living image of the courage of ordinary people who helped create an important chapter in the history of the Middle East.” Sullivan said the image has religious “almost Biblical” overtones and noted its resemblance in composition to Michelangelo’s Pieta – but in a Muslim setting.
In all, 57 photographers from 24 countries won awards in a field of more than 5,000 professional photographers, who submitted more than 100,000 entries.