55 stunning 2013 World Press Photo prize-winning photographs

Best images of the year

World Press Photo, founded in 1955, is an independent nonprofit organization based in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), known for holding the largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest. Every year in February an independent international jury consisting of thirteen members, and composed of graphic designers, photographers and representatives of press agencies, select the winning photographs among those submitted the previous year by photojournalists, agencies, newspapers, magazines and photographers worldwide. The World Press Photo organization exercises no influence on the jury’s decisions.

Submitted entries are judged in the following categories:

  • Spot News
  • General News
  • Sports Action
  • Sports Feature
  • Contemporary Issues
  • Daily Life
  • Observed Portraits
  • Staged Portraits
  • Nature

Together with the main overall prize, the World Press Photo of the Year, three first prizes are awarded in each category -for single images as well as for pictures stories. In the first two categories an honorable mention in also received. After the contest the winning pictures are included in the travelling photo exhibition, which receives over a million visitors in 40 countries. In addition, a yearbook is published in six different languages.

55 prize-winning photographs from the 2013 World Press Photo Contest

Two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and his older brother Muhammad were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike.

Opposition fighters regularly launched operations to seize government informants after dark.

Palestinian gunmen ride motorcycles dragging the body of a man who was killed earlier as a suspected collaborator with Israel.

Series chronicling the latest escalation between Palestine and Israel in November 2012.

In July 2012, after more than a year of conflict in Syria, fighting reaches Aleppo, a stronghold of the revolutionary forces.

Fighting in Aleppo, Syria.

Aida cries while recovering from severe injuries she received when her house was shelled by the Syrian Army. Her husband and two children were fatally wounded during the shelling.

A severely wounded child awaits medical treatment by the small staff of doctors in one of the city’s last standing hospitals, as President Bashar al-Assad’s army steps up its military campaign to regain control of the city.

A Sudan Armed Forces soldier lies dead in a pool of oil next to a leaking oil facility.

Jerusalem, Israel Israeli border officers pepper spray an injured Palestinian protester during clashes on Land Day outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. Israeli security forces fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to break up groups of Palestinian protestors when annual Land Day rallies turned violent. Land Day commemorates the death of six Arabs, killed by security forces in 1976 during protests against government plans to confiscate land in northern Israel’s Galilee region.

The civilian unrest in the Syrian Arab Republic began in March 2011 and continues to affect people, particularly in the most vulnerable segments of the population.

The Crescent is an area of Rochester, New York, USA with crime rates significantly higher than the rest of the city.

One year later, areas of Japan most impacted by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that left 15,848 dead and 3,305 missing, continue to struggle.

Pausing in the rain, a woman working as a trash picker at the 30-acre dump wishes she had more time to look at the books she comes across.

The bodies of Lesbia Altamirano and Wilmer Orbera lie on the floor of a pool hall after being attacked by unidentified masked assailants in Choloma, Honduras.

Mireia Arnau, 39, reacts behind the broken glass of her shop, stormed by demonstrators during clashes with the police at a general strike in the city.

Natalia Gonzales, a 15-year-old crack user, poses for a portrait in an area known as ‘Crackland’ in the Manguinhos slum.

Vietnam has historically been unwelcoming to same-sex relationships. But its Communist government is considering recognizing same-sex marriage, a move that would make it the first Asian country to do so.

Afghanistan has dealt with decades of war. Despite poverty, drug addiction, and lack of education, life goes on in Afghanistan as people continue to try to heal and live with hope.

On the Great Plains of the United States, hidden away on the back roads of South Dakota, is the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota and ground zero for native issues.

Every morning, children from nearby slum arrive in small groups, barefoot and carrying mats and brooms and start cleaning a portion of a land under a metro rail bridge, which will be their school for the rest of the afternoon.

A jockey, his feet stepped into a harness strapped to the bulls and clutching their tails, shows relief and joy at the end of a dangerous run across rice fields.

Young male gymnasts stretch their legs as a female gymnast jumps onstage during a warmup at a youth sports school in Zhejiang Province.

A swimmer soars above the water in the synchronized swimming competition.

Velká pardubická is one of the oldest and most challenging cross-country steeplechase runs in continental Europe. It is the highpoint for any Czech jockey, who dreams if not of winning the race, then at least of riding it.

Years of training, thousands of battles, and hundreds of victories prepared fencing competitors for the opportunity to stand on the piste at the 2012 London Olympic Games to fight for gold.

A bird’s eye view of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

In Mogadishu, the war-torn capital of Somalia, young women risk their lives to play basketball.

The life-long discipline, harsh physical training, and preparation for the fight can explain the half-god status of Sumo in Japan today.

Lethwei is an unarmed Burmese martial art similar to styles of Indochinese kickboxing. Lone Chaw, 31, a three-time Myanmar National Champion opened a gym to pass on his skills to the younger generation.

Many young football players around the world touch their first ball on a field of bare dirt.

Summer holiday camping. Someone is up a little too early.

Every day, John McLean, 65, visits the St. Vincent DePaul Society Dining Hall, where homeless and poor people can eat a good meal, socialize and get warm.

Mirella, 71, spent 43 years of her life with the only person she loved. But when her husband Luigi was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she devoted her life to him as his caregiver.

For nearly 20 years, the women of Benin City, a town in south-central Nigeria, have traveled to Italy to work in the sex trade. Every year, successful ones recruit younger girls to follow in their steps.

A truce endures between two of the hemisphere’s most violent street gangs in El Salvador, long one of the most violent countries in the Americas.

With the World Cup coming to Rio in 2014, and the Olympics in 2016, politicians are trying to clean up and pacify the favelas in Rio de Janeiro.

Milan Ponjiger survived a fall from the sixth floor, but his mother and father did not.

Since the age of 18, Bonnie Cleo Andersen has been working as a prostitute, a profession legal in Denmark since 1999.

American Girl is a popular line of dolls that can be customized to look exactly like their owners.

Somayeh Mehri, 29, and her three-year-old daughter Ra’na live in a small town in Iran. Somayeh’s husband, Amir Afghanipour, a thief and drug addict, poured a bucket of acid on his wife and child while they slept.

Juan Jose Padilla, a 38-year-old Spanish matador lost sight in one eye and has partial facial paralysis after a terrifying goring. Five months after his injury, he returned to the bullring.

After living with his father for ten years and staying in a youth shelter, Martin, 18, returned home two years ago to live with his mother. He arrived with some clothes in a bag and no work or degree.

Actor Daniel Kaluuya

Ai Weiwei

Zuzia, sensitive to sunlight due to her albinism, attends a special school for partially sighted children and dreams of meeting someone like herself.

Guinea is one of the least developed countries in the world. More than 60 percent of the population lives on less than one dollar per day. Health care is substandard and unaffordable for most people.

In different Shiite areas, mourning for Moharam takes various forms.

Across China, nearly 50 million children do not live with their parents.

The endangered Southern Cassowary feeds on the fruit of the Blue Quandang tree.

One of the monkeys trained to entertain motorists along busy intersections in the Central Java City.

The eye of a Caribbean Trumpet fish (Aulostomus maculatus) refracts light into multiple colors.

New science shows that Emperor Penguins are capable of tripling their swimming speed by releasing millions of bubbles from their feathers.

Animals caged in zoos.

Whale sharks have roamed the oceans for 60 million years, yet we know little about their reproduction, social behavior, and migrations.

[notice]Make sure you also check out our article in Spanish about the 50 documentaries that will change your worldview: 50 documentales que cambiarán tu visión del mundo[/notice]

Translation of the original article in Spanish by  Victoria Shevela

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