Image of baby at barbed wire fence wins World Press Photo award
AMSTERDAM - Agence France-PresseA haunting black-and-white image of a refugee passing a baby under a barbed wire fence won the prestigious World Press Photo Award on Feb. 18, highlighting Europe’s worst migrant crisis since World War II.
Snapped by Australian freelance photographer Warren Richardson, the picture titled “Hope for a New Life” captures the drama of one crossing on the Serbo-Hungarian border, as more than a million people made their way to Europe’s shores in 2015.
AFP scooped up four awards at, including first prize in the Spot News stories category for Syrian-based Sameer al-Doumy, for his shots taken just after air strikes ravaged the city of Douma near Damascus.
His AFP Syrian colleague Abd Doumany won second prize in the General News stories category for his harrowing depiction of children killed and wounded in similar strikes over Douma.
Syria’s nearly five-year war has claimed more than 260,000 lives.
AFP’s veteran lensman Roberto Schmidt won second prize in the Spot News stories category for his dramatic shots of the deadly avalanche on Mount Everest triggered by last April’s earthquake in Nepal. Turkey-based Bülent Kılıç won third prize in the same category for his pictures of Syrian refugees on the Turkish border.
Judges in this year’s competition, which drew some 82,951 entries from 5,775 photographers from 128 countries, called Richardson’s grainy picture, taken in the dead of night without a flash “incredibly powerful visually” and a “haunting image.”
Budapest-based Richardson had camped with a group of migrants for five days on the Serbo-Hungarian border near Roszke when he snapped the group as they slipped through the boundary fence.
“We played cat-and-mouse with the police the whole night. It was around three o’clock in the morning and you can’t use a flash while police are trying to find these people, because I would just give them away,” Richardson said, adding that he shot his image “using just the light of the moon.”