World Press Photo of the year awarded to Samuel Aranda
By David R Arnott, 2/10/2012
Jurors said the photo of a veiled woman holding a wounded relative in her arms after a demonstration in Yemen captured multiple facets of the “Arab Spring” uprisings across the Middle East last year. It was taken at a field hospital inside a mosque in Sanaa on October 15.
The winning photo was selected from 101,254 images submitted by 5,247 photographers from 124 countries.
Aranda, a freelance photographer from Spain, traveled to Yemen on assignment for The New York Times. In December he gave an interview to the newspaper about the difficulties of working in Yemen—and the warmth of its people.
“What I would really like is for this photo to help the people of Yemen,” he told The British Journal of Photography after learning of the award. “I think it’s a country that is often forgotten.”
Jury chair Aidan Sullivan said: “The winning photo shows a poignant, compassionate moment, the human consequence of an enormous event, an event that is still going on. 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 that helped create an important chapter in the history of the Middle East.”