The Regional Winners of the 2022 World Press Photography Competition

World Press Photo 2022 regional winners

The World Press Photo organization has announced the winners of its 2022 competition. Now in its 65th year, the competition recently switched to a new region-based model that awards winners in four categories across six global regions.

The Regional Model

The World Press Photo organization switched to a new regional model for the 2022 competition, as it found that there was an imbalance in representation among entrants, stories, and winners. In 2021, only 7% of entrants came from South America, 5% from Southeast Asia and Oceania, and 3% from Africa. The organization felt that this was not representative of the photojournalistic talent around the world, and sought to change its methods to reflect that.

“We needed to look at the contest from a different angle–to change the format of how it is set up, and how it is judged, in order to improve representation from regions that have been historically underrepresented in our contests,” the organizatoin explains. “The contest model should provide a platform where a multiplicity of voices can be heard–and stories can be seen–so that we can become an organization that reflects the world.”

The 2022 contest, therefore, uses a six-region system this year: Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia and Oceania. In each region, a selection of entries per category was chosen by a regional jury composed of professionals that are from or are actively working in that region. Once regional juries made a decision, the global jury decided on the 24 regional winners and from those, the four global winners: World Press Photo of the Year, World Press Photo Story of the Year, World Press Photo Long-Term Project Award, and World Press Photo Open Format Award. Those global winners will be announced on April 7.

Every regional winner of the Contest receives a monetary prize of €1,000, inclusion in the annual worldwide exhibition, inclusion in the annual yearbook, publication and a personal profile on the World Press Photo website, promotion on World Press Photo platforms, an invitation to the Winners’ Program, and a physical award.

2022 Regional Competition Winners

With the regional winners now selected, Joumana El Zein Khoury, executive director of World Press Photo Foundation, says that the changes had the desired effect.

“It is exhilarating to see the way in which the new regional contest set up is producing the changes that we were hoping for. Changes that we believe will offer different perspectives on, and a deeper connection to, photojournalism and documentary photography from all over the world.”

Below are the winning entries from all six regions.



Sudan Protests | Faiz Abubakr Mohamed, Sudan


This series is titled “Afraid to go to School” and was captured by Sodiq Adelakun Adekola, Nigeria, Agence France-Presse.

Humaira Mustapha, whose 2 daughters were kidnapped by gunmen at the Government Girls Secondary School, cries at her home, the day after the abduction of over 300 schoolgirls in Jangebe, a village in Zamfara State, northwest of Nigeria on February 27, 2021. – More than 300 schoolgirls were snatched from dormitories by gunmen in the middle of the night in northwestern Zamfara state on February 26, in the third known mass kidnapping of students since December.
This photograph shows a deserted classroom at the Government Girls Secondary School, the day after the abduction of over 300 schoolgirls by gunmen in Jangebe, a village in Zamfara State, northwest of Nigeria on February 27, 2021. – More than 300 schoolgirls were snatched from dormitories by gunmen in the middle of the night in northwestern Zamfara state on February 26, in the third known mass kidnapping of students since December.
Hassana Ayuba, one of the parents of the abducted students of Bethel Baptist High School, shows the photo of her 14-year-old daughter (Judith) who was among the 140 students kidnapped by gunmen in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria on July 15, 2021. – The girls are just two of the more than 100 Nigerian children snatched from Bethel Baptist High School nearly three weeks ago, herded by gunmen into the forests after a kidnapping raid on their dormitories.
The July 5 attack in Nigeria’s northwest Kaduna state was just the latest mass abduction at a school or college as kidnap gangs seeking quick ransoms zero in on soft target of young students.
Armed kidnappings for ransom along highways, and from homes and businesses now make almost daily newspaper headlines in Africa’s most populous country.

Long-Term Projects

This photo series is titled “The Zebu War” and was captured by photographer Rijasolo, Madagascar/France, Riva Press.

Open Format

This photo is titled “The Longing of the Stranger Whose Path Has Been Broken” by Rehab Eldalil, Egypt.

Embroidered photograph of Hajja Oum Mohamed (53) in her garden in Gharba Valley. Embroidery by her.



This photo is titled “Palestinian Children in Gaza” and was captured by Fatima Shbair, Palestine, Getty Images.

GAZA CITY, GAZA – MAY 25: Palestinian children hold candles during a rally amid the ruins of houses destroyed by Israeli strikes, in Beit Lahia Northern Gaza Strip on May 25, 2021 in Gaza City, Gaza. Gaza residents returned to damaged and destroyed homes as the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas appeared to be holding. The ceasefire brings to an end eleven days of fighting which killed more than 250 Palestinians, many of them women and children, and 13 Israelis. The conflict began on May 10th after rising tensions in East Jerusalem and clashes at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound.


This series is titled “The Cinema of Kabul” and was taken by Bram Janssen, the Netherlands, The Associated Press.

Gul Mohammed, who works as a host in the Ariana Cinema, poses for a photograph in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. After seizing power three months ago, the Taliban ordered cinemas to stop operating.(AP Photo/Bram Janssen)
Asita Ferdous sits inside her home in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. She’s the director of the Ariana Cinema and is not allowed to enter the cinema because the Taliban ordered female government employees to stay away from their workplaces. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)
Rahmatullah Ezati plays back a film roll in the projectionist room of the Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. The cinema’s staff still show up at work every day hoping they will eventually get paid, despite the Taliban’s orders to stop operating. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

Long Term Projects

This series is titled “Boundaries: Human-Tiger Conflict” and was taken by Senthil Kumaran, India.

Open Format

This photo is titled “Blue Affair” and was taken by Kosuke Okahara, Japan.



This photo is titled “Evia Island Wildfire” and was taken by Konstantinos Tsakalidis, Greece, for Bloomberg News.

Kritsiopi Panayiota, 81 years old, reacts as a wildfire approaches her house in the village of Gouves on Evia island, Greece on August 8, 2021. following a long heatwave period, the hottest weather Greece has seen for 30 years, thousands of residents were evacuated by boat after wildfires hit Greece’s second largest island.


This series is titled “As Frozen Land Burns” and was taken by Nanna Heitmann, Russia/Germany, Magnum Photos.

Long Term Projects

This series is titled “Ukraine Crisis” and was taken by Guillaume Herbaut, France, Agence VU.

Ukraine, Kotovsk, 19 December 2013
Cheminots Park, the Lenin statue was destroyed in the night of December 8-9, 2013.
Ukraine, Kotovsk, 19 décembre 2013
Parc des Cheminots, la statue de Lénine a été détruite dans la nuit du 8 au 9 Décembre 2013.
Guillaume Herbaut / Agence VU
Ukraine, Kyiv, 22 January 2014
Hrushevskoho street. Since January 21, violent confrontations take place between law enforcement and pro-EU protestors. The special anti-riot units, the Berkouts,
use weapons against the masses. At the end of the day, they count five dead and many hundred wounded.
Ukraine, Kiev, 22 janvier 2014
Rue Hrushevskoho. Des affrontements violents se déroulent entre forces de l’ordre et manifestants pro-européens depuis le 21 janvier. Les unités spéciales antiémeutes, les Berkouts, utilisent des armes à feu contre la foule. À la fin de la journée, on dénombre cinq morts et plusieurs centaines de blessés.
Guillaume Herbaut / Agence VU
Ukraine, Mariupol, 29 September 2014
Women making ghillie camouflage gear for snipers at the Novy Mariupol center, an organization that collects equipment for Ukrainian soldiers.
Ukraine, Marioupol, 29 septembre 2014
Des femmes préparent une tenue de camouflage pour sniper dans les locaux de Novy Marioupol, une organisation collectant du matériel pour les forces militaires ukrainiennes.
Guillaume Herbaut / Agence VU

Open Format

“The Book of Veles” is a series of photos that were manipulated and partially computer generated by Jonas Bendiksen, Norway.

North and Central America


This photo is titled “Kamloops Residential School” by Amber Bracken, Canada, for The New York Times.

A red dress along the highway signifies the children who died at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Red dresses are also used to signify the disproportionate number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Amber Bracken for The New York Times


This series is titled “The People Who Feed the United States” and was taken by Ismail Ferdous, Bangladesh, Agence VU.

Jose David, sits in his room with his sister, Sara Haiar. Originally from Guatemala, Jose has been living in Sioux Falls, S.D. for the last 20 years. He worked at the Smithfield Foods meatpacking plant for nearly 15 years until he got sick with COVID-19 in April 2020. He was in the hospital on a ventilator for about 5 months. As of September 2020, Jose still uses an oxygen tank. He is one of the many frontline essential workers who is employed at the meatpacking industry during the pandemic. In May, the plant, Smithfield Foods, was one of the largest hotspot in South Dakota.
Sara, his sister, used to work in the same meatpacking plant but she quit. She works as housekeeper now. Sara took care of Jose the entire time her brother was sick .
Aye Sway is karen, a nationality whose population are persecuted in Myanmar. She resided in a refugee camp in Thailand before she moved Omaha, Nebraska three years ago. She has been working in a chicken processing plant in Lincoln. During the time of the pandemic, she was scared to work in the plant, since many of her friends got severely sick from Covid-19.
Sandra Sibert, 47, and James Sibert, her husband, sit in the room where she had to quarantine in isolation. The couple met while both working at Smithfield
Foods, a meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls, S.D. While her husband is now retired, Sandra still works at the meatpacking plant. She has been working at the plant for the last 15 years, and is now a COVID-19 survivor.
On April 7, 2020, she became sick during a shift at work, feeling shivers from head to toe. The company she works for, Smithfield Foods, had advised that if one felt sick, they should not go to first aid. Rather they should tell their supervisor and go home. Sandra did just that. The supervisor responded that 38 people had already gone home and that he did not know if he could find someone to take her place.
Sara remembers being unable to breathe, crouched in a corner. A coworker came to check on her. She was able to tell her co-worker to stay away because of the potential of them contracting the virus. The last memory she has of that day is when she was taken to the hospital by car. Three days later, it was verified that she contracted COVID-19. She was sick for three weeks.

Long Term Projects

This series is titled “Political Year Zero” and is by Louie Palu, Canada.

Two activists wear beaked masks like doctors wore in the 17th century during times of plague, seeking to draw the attention of spectators around Capitol Hill. Their message: Refusing to be vaccinated will prolong the COVID-19 pandemic. On the same day, two House subcommittees held a joint hearing titled “Disinformation Nation: Social Media’s Role in Promoting Extremism and Misinformation.”
To commemorate the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, other House Democrats and aides participate in a ceremony on the Capitol’s steps. At 8:46 a.m., the time of the first attack, they observed a moment of silence, and then they sang a verse of “God Bless America.” As the pandemic escalated, more people died in the United States every day than died in the terrorist attacks.
Police fight off pro-Trump attackers in a Capitol hallway using batons and rubber projectiles after they assaulted police and vandalized offices. The Capitol complex was locked down, and elected officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, were hastily evacuated. Protesters searched for Pence, who they believed could throw the election to Trump. Pence, who presided over the electoral count, later said the protesters “desecrated the seat of our democracy.”
In a tree on the Ellipse near the White House, two men with a dog watch the “Save America” rally. Trump and his allies promoted false claims about how the election was stolen. “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said. Those words stirred supporters to march to the Capitol and were later cited as evidence by House Democrats that Trump should be impeached.
President Donald Trump at The White House announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Guests in the front row included First lady Melania Trump, Vice President Pence, Tiffany Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Some in attendance later tested positive for COVID-19 and the event become known as a super spreader event for the virus. At least 37 cases of the coronavirus were confirmed within 12 days after Barrett’s nomination event on September 26.

Open Format

This photo is titled “The Flower of Time. Guerrero’s Red Mountain” and was taken by Yael Martínez, Mexico.

An elder in the Garza hill. For the Na savi people, elders are respected since they contain wisdom and connection with our mother earth. Every December 31, the Na Savi indigenous communities climb the Cerro de la Garza to perform rituals that commemorate the end and beginning of a cycle. Guerrero Mexico On December 31, 2020.

South America


This photo is titled “San Isidro Settlement Eviction” and was taken by Vladimir Encina, Colombia.


This series is titled “The Promise” and is by Irina Werning, Argentina, Pulitzer Center.

Antonella zooms in her room on her mother’s mobile phone, which is always available for her virtual classes. (Buenos Aires, Argentina, The pandemic placed technology as a strategic tool for equality of opportunities. There is a significant digital divide (access to internet, access to devices) in Latin America which threatens the accessibility of remote learning and other education technologies to all.
Antonella was studying via zoom with friends for her Biology course during the weekend. She had to do a group project and each student would take turns to participate with parents monitoring the participation. (June 2021, Buenos Aires, Argentina). Antonella is very lucky that her parents are truly obsessed that their daughter keeps up to date with her education and organize via watsap with other mothers group studies virtual get togethers. Her sister shares the small room with her and stays in her bed when she is in class because the room is very small. Carolina is 23 and she helps her parents organize Antonella’s virtual schedule and make sure she attends all classes and does her group projects with her school mates.
NOTE: The portrait was taken with the explicit consent and in full cooperation with the subject’s mother. Both the parents and the subject were adequately informed of the nature, purpose and distribution of the project.
Antonella gets sleepy while studying, she often studies in bed. She feels lack of motivation. “Nothing beats being in the classroom”, she says.
In this picture, I captured the moment she yawns while studying language. Sometimes she studies from bed as she lacks the motivation to get up.
NOTE: The portrait was taken with the explicit consent and in full cooperation with the subject’s mother. Both the parents and the subject were adequately informed of the nature, purpose and distribution of the project.
Antonella goes up to her terrace to wash clothes and enjoy the sun every day. The disruption to routines, education, recreation, as well as concern for family income and health is leaving Antonella feeling afraid, anxious and concerned for her future.
Antonella washed a black faux fur blanket the family has on top of her parents’ bed. She poses for her portrait in front of the fur and asks me to take a picture of her hair to celebrate it because it means so much
NOTE: The portrait was taken with the explicit consent and in full cooperation with the subject’s mother. Both the parents and the subject were adequately informed of the nature, purpose and distribution of the project.

Long Term Projects

This series is titled “Amazonian Dystopia” and is by Lalo de Almeida, Brazil, for Folha de São Paulo/Panos Pictures.

Pirah√£ girls watch drivers passing by the Trans-Amazonian highway hoping to receive donations of snacks and sodas, next to their camp on the banks of the Maici river, in the Amazonas state. This mysterious indigenous tribe keep some of the same habits reported on the first time they met the white men, centuries ago, and refuse to learn Portuguese. The Amazon stretch of the highway (2,250 km, 10% paved) between the cities of L√°brea and Marab√° pictures the current Amazonian situation. The landscape consists largely of underused pastoral land, interspersed by protected areas and indigenous reserves which are under threat from loggers and miners. Burning of vegetation continues in the dry season and it is rare to glimpse any wild animals except for vultures.
Aerial view of Belo Monte’s main powerhouse construction site on the Xingu River, Brazil. More than 80 % of the water in the Xingu has been diverted from its natural course, making it one of the largest man-made interventions, comparable to what was done to construct the Panama Canal. With the dam and the detour of the Xingu for the construction and operation of the largest hydroelectric plant in the Amazon, in 2015, the quantity, speed and level of water in the region no longer derive from the natural flow of the river, but from the Norte Energia concessionaire responsible for operating Belo Monte. The company controls the volume of water that passes through the gates of the plant, going down the Volta Grande do Xingu ( Big Bend ), a 140 km stretch of the river with many rapids, channels and rock outcrops. With the risk of having up to 80% reduction in its flow, the region that holds two indigenous lands and hundreds of riverside families has been very impacted.
Mundurukus Indians line up to board a plane at Altamira Airport after protesting against the construction of the Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River. The Mundurukus inhabit the banks of the Tapajós River, where the government has plans to build new hydroelectric projects. Even after counter pressure from indigenous people, environmentalists and non-governmental organizations, the Belo Monte project was built and completed in 2019.
A river boy plays with his dog in the Paratiz√£o community, on the banks of the Xingu River, near the dam of Belo Monte. The place is surrounded by great toothpick-like patches of dead trees, formed after the flooding of the reservoir, an area of nearly 516 km2. The rotting vegetation releases methane gas and is more harmful to the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide.
Stray dogs stare at a butcher‚Äôs in the almost abandoned Vila da Ressaca, an area previously mined by gold seekers and soon to be explored exclusively by the Canadian mining company Belo Sun. The project, which is only a few kilometers from the Belo Monte dam, will be Brazil’s largest open pit gold mine. This will bring new impacts to a region already so affected by the construction of the hydroelectric plant.
ALTAMIRA, BRAZIL.18/07/2020. A billboard with a message of support to President Bolsonaro financed by local farmers in the city of Altamira, which is located along the Trans- Amazonian highway in Pará.
Agribusiness is one of President Bolsonaro’s main pillars of political support, especially because they share the same view that environmental preservation is an obstacle to development.
This government has weakened environmental enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations, which act as a counterweight, albeit unequal, to the predatory model of exploitation in the Amazon region.

Open Format

This photo is from a series titled “Blood is a Seed” buy Isadora Romero, Ecuador

Southeast Asia and Oceania


This photo is titled “Slingshots” and was taken anonymously for The New York Times.

Protesters using slingshots and other homemade weapons in a clash with security forces in March. “You see these young men with slingshots and homemade weapons that could barely kill a bird, facing a military,” The Times’ photographer said. “They’re fighting for their freedom and democracy.”


This series is titled “Saving Forests with Fire” and was taken by Matthew Abbott, Australia, for National Geographic/Panos Pictures.

For tens of thousands of years, Aboriginal people – the oldest continuous culture on earth – have been strategically burning the country to manage the landscape and to prevent out of control fires. At the end of the wet season, there’s a period of time where this prescribed burning takes place. I visited West Arnhem Land in April/May 2021 and witnessed prescribed aerial and ground burning.
For tens of thousands of years, Aboriginal people – the oldest continuous culture on earth – have been strategically burning the country to manage the landscape and to prevent out of control fires. At the end of the wet season, there’s a period of time where this prescribed burning takes place. I visited West Arnhem Land in April/May 2021 and witnessed prescribed aerial and ground burning.

Long Term Projects

This series is titled “Haze” and was shot by Abriansyah Liberto, Indonesia.

Open Format

This photo is from a series titled “The Will to Remember” by Charinthorn Rachurutchata, Thailand.

Image credits: All photos individually credited and provided courtesy of the World Press Photo competition.