This year’s winners of the World Press Photo awards were unveiled on Friday 13 April, with Ronaldo Schemidt’s shocking image of a Venezuelan protestor on fire taking the top prize. The photograph was taken in May 2017 and captures 28-year-old José Víctor Salazar Balza during protests against President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela. Violent clashes against riot police saw protestors wearing hoods, masks and gas masks, lighting fires and throwing stones; José was set alight when a gas tank of a motorbike exploded but survived with first – and second-degree burns. The photo was commissioned by Agence France Presse.
The shortlist for World Press Photo 2018 also included:
- Australian photographer Patrick Brown’s depiction of the Rohingya Crisis, commissioned by Panos Pictures for Unicef. It shows laid out bodies of Rohingya refugees who died when their boat capsized while attempting to flee Myanmar.
- Australian photographer Adam Ferguson’s portrait of Aisha, a 14-year-old girl kidnapped by Boko Haram, taken in Maiduguri, Nigeria and commissioned by The New York Times. After being kidnapped, Aisha was assigned a suicide bombing mission but escaped.
- British photographer Toby Melville’s image of the aftermath of the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack in London, taken for Reuters. The photograph shows a passerby comforting an injured woman after Khalid Masood drove his car into pedestrians.
- Two images by Irish photographer Ivor Prickett for The New York Times, both depicting the aftermath of the battle to take the city of Mosul in Iraq. One shows civilians lining up for aid in Mamun, west Mosul; another shows an unidentified young boy being cared for by Iraqi Special Forces soldiers.