Samuel Aranda wins the World Press Photo of the Year 2011

The international jury of the 55th annual World Press Photo Contest has selected a picture by Samuel Aranda from Spain as the World Press Photo of the Year 2011. The picture shows a woman holding her wounded son in her arms, inside a mosque used as a field hospital by demonstrators against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen on 15 October 2011. Samuel Aranda was working in Yemen on assignment for The New York Times. He is represented by Corbis Images.
Comments on the winning photo by the jury
Koyo Kouoh: "It is a photo that speaks for the entire region. It stands for Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, for all that happened in the Arab Spring. But it shows a private, intimate side of what went on. And it shows the role that women played, not only as care-givers, but as active people in the movement."
Nina Berman: "In the Western media, we seldom see veiled women in this way, at such an intimate moment. It is as if all of the events of the Arab Spring resulted in this single moment - in moments like this."
Aidan Sullivan: "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."
Manoocher Deghati: "The photo is the result of a very human moment, but it also reminds us of something important, that women played a crucial part in this revolution. It is easy to portray the aggressiveness of situations like these. This image shows the tenderness that can exist within all the aggression. The violence is still there, but it shows another side."
Now in its 55th year, the annual World Press Photo Contest is universally recognized as the world’s leading international contest for photojournalists, setting the standard for the profession. The judging is conducted at the World Press Photo office, where all entries are presented anonymously to the jury, who discusses and debates their merits over a period of two weeks. The jury operates independently, and a secretary without voting rights safeguards a fair procedure.
The jury gave prizes in nine themed categories to 57 photographers of 25 nationalities from: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the USA.
The contest draws entries by professional press photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers from across the world, with 5,247 photographers from 124 countries participating this year with 101,254 pictures submitted by the mid-January deadline.
2012 Photo Contest Jury
A group of 19 internationally recognized professionals in the field of photojournalism and documentary photography have convened in Amsterdam from 28 January until 9 February 2012 to judge the entries.
Aidan Sullivan, UK, vice president of photo assignments for Getty Images
•  Monica Allende, Spain, photo editor The Sunday Times Magazine
•  Koji Aoki, Japan, chief photographer Aflo Sport / Aflo Dite and president Aflo Co., Ltd.
•  Patrick Baz, Lebanon/France, photo manager AFP for Middle East
•  Nicole Becker, Germany, senior photo editor sport DPA
•  Al Bello, USA, chief photographer sport Getty Images for North America
•  Daniel Beltrá, Spain, conservation photographer
•  Nina Berman, USA, photographer Noor
•  Pablo Corral Vega, Ecuador, director
•  Manoocher Deghati, France/Iran, regional photo manager AP for Middle East
•  Renata Ferri, Italy, photo editor Io Donna - Corriere della Sera and Amica - RCS MediaGroup, Italy
•  W.M. Hunt, USA, strategist at Dancing B
•  Koyo Kouoh, Cameroon, founder and artistic director Raw Material Company
•  Dana Lixenberg, the Netherlands, photographer
•  Andrei Polikanov, Russia, director of photography Russian Reporter magazine
•  Steve Pyke, UK, artist and photographer
•  Joel Sartore, USA, contributing photographer National Geographic magazine
•  Sophie Stafford, UK, editor BBC Wildlife Magazine
•  Ami Vitale, USA, photographer and filmmaker Panos Pictures/ Ripple Effect Images
•  Daphné Anglès, France/USA, European photo assignments editor The New York Times
•  Stephen Mayes, UK, managing director VII Photo Agency
Special Mention
Following the judging of the contest, the 2012 jury decided to give a Special Mention to an image of a Libyan National Transition Council fighter pulling Muammar Gaddafi onto a military vehicle. The still image was taken from a video shot in Sirte, Libya, 20 October 2011.
Chair of the jury Aidan Sullivan commented: "The photo captures an historic moment, an image of a dictator and his demise that we otherwise would not have seen, had it not been photographed by a member of the public."
Jury member Renata Ferri said: "This was an important document for posterity, for transparency, and to understand the dynamics of how Gaddafi came to his end."
The jury considers a visual document for a Special Mention when it has played an essential role in the news reporting of the year worldwide and could not have been made by a professional photographer.
Awards Days and 2012 Exhibition
Samuel Aranda, the photographer of the World Press Photo of the Year 2011, will receive the award during the Awards Ceremony in Amsterdam on Saturday, 21 April 2012. The award also carries a cash prize of €10,000. In addition, Canon will donate a Canon EOS Digital SLR Camera and lens kit to Aranda.
The Awards Ceremony is preceded by a two-day program of lectures, discussions and screenings of photography. The exhibition with the award-winning images will be open to the public at the Oude Kerk, Oudekerksplein in Amsterdam on Friday, 20 April 2012. The exhibition in Amsterdam is sponsored by Delta Lloyd and will be on show until 17 June.
At the same, time a worldwide tour of the exhibition will be launched. With a record number of 105 venues in 45 countries for the World Press Photo 11 exhibition last year, our exhibition program has established itself as the most popular and wide-ranging traveling photo event in the world. With the yearbook distributed internationally in seven languages, the winning images will reach a worldwide audience of millions in the course of the year.
2012 Multimedia Contest
The winners of the second Multimedia Contest will be announced online on 15 March 2012. The judges will convene in Amsterdam at the beginning of March. The 2012 Multimedia Contest jury is chaired by director Vincent Laforet, France/USA.
World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon.
Editors please note:
A selection of the winning images of the Photo Contest will be available for publication at the press conference and from 11 a.m. (C.E.T.) on 10 February 2012 on the international wire services. It is also possible to download the images from our press download area.
Interviews with several jury members are made available to share online.
Please contact Ms. Barbara Bufkens at or tel: +31 (0)20 676 6096, for additional information and requests for interviews with jury members.

About World Press Photo

World Press Photo is committed to supporting and advancing high standards in photojournalism worldwide. We strive to generate wide public interest in and appreciation for the work of photographers and for the free exchange of information. Our activities include organizing an annual contest, exhibitions, the stimulation of photojournalism through educational programs, and creating greater visibility for press photography through a variety of publications.
World Press Photo is run as an independent, non-profit organization with its office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where World Press Photo was founded in 1955.

For further information, please contact:

The press department at World Press Photo, or tel. +31(0)20 676 6096

Italian museum burns artworks in protest at cuts

Antonio Manfredi torches a painting by French artist Severine Bourguignon in front of the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum 
 Museum director Antonio Manfredi set fire to the first painting on Tuesday.
A museum in Italy has started burning its artworks in protest at budget cuts which it says have left cultural institutions out of pocket.
Antonio Manfredi, of the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum in Naples, set fire to the first painting on Tuesday.
"Our 1,000 artworks are headed for destruction anyway because of the government's indifference," he said.
The work was by French artist Severine Bourguignon, who was in favour of the protest and watched it online.
"The survival of the museum is such an important cause that it justifies the despicable, and painful, act of destroying a work of art," she told the BBC.
"My work burned slowly, with a sinister crackle. It cost me a lot, but I have no other means of protesting against the loss of this institution."
Mr Manfredi plans to burn three paintings a week from now on, in a protest he has dubbed "Art War".
Artists from across Europe have lent their support, including Welsh sculptor John Brown, who torched one of his works, Manifesto, on Monday.
Welsh sculptor John Brown sets fire to one of his works in support of the Italian protest
Mr Brown told the BBC that his organisation, the Documented Art Space in Harlech, North Wales, had exhibited at the Casoria museum in the past.
He said the loss of his artwork had not been particularly upsetting.
"We work in a fairly contemporary manner so the process of making art, and the interaction with people, is more important than keeping it as a precious object."
He called the burning "a symbolic act" to "protest against the way the economic crisis is being dealt with".
"These cuts reach beyond the confines of the visual arts and affect the cohesive well-being of millions of people all over the world."
Italy's debt crisis led to the resignation of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi last year. Since his departure, the government has passed a tough package of austerity measures and other reforms.
Art institutions says they have been particularly affected by the country's economic woes, with state subsidies and charitable donations drying up.
House of the Gladiators after collapse Unesco criticised the "lack of maintenance" at Pompeii earlier this year
One of Italy's leading galleries, the Maxxi Museum of Contemporary Art, said its funding had been cut by 43% in 2011.
When its board of directors failed to approve the 2012 budget last week, the Culture Ministry took steps to replace them with a government-appointed administrator.
International concern was also raised last year over the neglect of Pompeii, one of the world's most precious archaeological sites.
A number of structures in the ancient city have fully or partially collapsed, including the "House of Gladiators" which fell down 18 months ago.
However, Prime Minister Mario Monti announced a 105m euros (£87m) project to reconstruct the ruins earlier this month.
'Adverse circumstances' Mr Manfredi is known as an outspoken and radical museum director.
He opened the Casoria gallery in his hometown, just outside Naples, in 2005 and several of his exhibitions have drawn the ire of the local mafia.
In 2009, a lifesize effigy of an African figure was left impaled over the museum gates following an exhibition of art that dealt with prostitution - a trade occupied locally almost entirely by African immigrants and controlled by organised criminals.
Antonio Manfredi torches a painting by French artist Severine Bourguignon in front of the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum Bourguignon's painting was completely destroyed
Manfredi has also blamed the theft of security cameras and several attempted break-ins on the mafia.
His attempts to focus attention on his museum's funding crisis have been crafted with a keen eye for publicity.
Last year, he announced he had written a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel asking for asylum, saying he was fed up with the government's failure to protect Italy's rich cultural heritage.
He said he would take his entire museum with him if the asylum was granted, but never received a reply.
He said the latest protest will continue unless the funding situation improves.
A statement from the museum described the first burning as "political, necessary, and compelling in the face of these adverse circumstances"