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World Press Photo Exhibition 2021

NEWS | 19 November 2021

The World Press Photo Exhibition 2021 showcasing the best visual journalism of the past year is taking place at the Erasmus Huis in Jakarta from 19 November to 11 December 2021 and thereafter will travel to Yogyakarta from 19 December 2021 to 9 January 2022 at the Pendhapa Art Space. 

This traveling exhibition presents the winners of the 2021 World Press Photo Contest and is brought to Indonesia with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Erasmus Huis.  

World Press Photo is one of the most famous exhibitions on photojournalism and documentary photography worldwide. Photojournalism plays a role of growing importance in the world: these photos show us what is going on and remind us of our responsibilities. 

“The Netherlands embraces the right of cultural expression, as an element of freedom of opinion, which is a principle that deserves to be internationally recognized and defended. With this exhibition we hope to contribute to the exchange of ideas and to dialogue in order to support the conditions for freedom of expression,” said Yolande Melsert, the Director of Erasmus Huis. 

Furthermore, Yolande Melsert also said that in general it’s important that Erasmus Huis wants to connect people from the Netherlands to Indonesia and World Press Photo is originally a Dutch organization which is been there since 1955 that makes the country proud because pictures, photo stories and also films are things that are close to people nowadays. 

“I think to learn about viewing the world and discussing and showing pictures to each other is freedom of expression and freedom of press and that’s very important for the world and base of democracy.” Yolande Melsert stated. 

This year’s contest, the jury saw 4,315 photographers from 130 countries submitting 74,470 photos. The winners of the World Press Photo 2021 contest are 45 photographers from 28 countries: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Iran, Ireland, Mexico, Myanmar, Peru, Philippines , Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States.

An independent jury made up of 28 photography professionals, chaired by Nayan Tara Gurung Kakshapati, selected the best pictures and stories of 2020. In an unprecedented year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic and social justice protests around the globe, the winners share a diversity of interpretations and perspectives to these and other urgent issues such as the climate crisis, transgender people’s rights, and territorial conflicts. 

The jury of the 2021 Photo Contest selected Mads Nissen’s photograph The First Embrace as the World Press Photo of the Year, and Habibi by Antonio Faccilongo as the World Press Photo Story of the Year. 

The jury also selected winners in eight categories: Contemporary Issues, General News, Environment, Long-Term Projects, Nature, Spot News, Sports, and Portraits.

Indonesian photojournalist, Joshua Irwandi won the second prize in the General News category for his photo. Joshua, a documentary photographer represented by VII Photo Agency Mentorship program and a National Geographic Explorer .

Joshua Irwandi (Jakarta, 1991) is a documentary photographer represented by VII Photo Agency Mentorship program and a National Geographic Explorer created a photograph depicting the body of a suspected victim of the Covid-19 virus, wrapped in yellow infectious-waste plastic, lying awaiting a body bag, in a hospital in Indonesia, on 18 April. 

The photo, entitled The Human Cost of Covid-19 is intended to remind the public that the Covid-19 virus does exist and is dangerous. After the photo went viral on social media, it turned out to be open and there was a lot of polarization of believers and non-believers in Covid.

“This is how much we see the impact of social media during this pandemic. And this is a concern for those of us who work in the field of journalism and World Press Photo that the content and whatever journalistic work we have are lost among all hoaxes, all fake news and so on. At first I felt the message from my photo was conveyed correctly but once there were some influencers who said that Covid was high and my photo was set up, it was misleading and very unfortunate.” said Joshua Irwandi.

Regarding his own photo victory, Joshua was very honored because his work was with the photographers he admired and he said that it was very important to hold a World Press Photo exhibition in Indonesia to open up people’s horizons.

“The World Press Photo puts forward the freedom of press and shows the reality in the world through exhibitions that are held every year”