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Anais (26) argues for the removal of the Emancipation Memorial with a man (right) who wishes to keep it, in Lincoln Park, Washington DC, USA. June 25, 2021
Anais (26) argues for the removal of the Emancipation Memorial with a man (right) who wishes to keep it, in Lincoln Park, Washington DC, USA. June 25, 2021   -   Copyright  Evelyn Hockstein

Pandemic, social justice, territorial conflicts: 2021 World Press Photo Contest nominees announced

An unprecedented year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice protests, climate emergency, and territorial conflicts, was brought to life for millions by photographers around the globe.

Selecting their most impactful work, The World Press Photo Contest picked this year's nominees for best pictures in eight categories.

The jury looked through almost 75 thousand pictures from over 4,000 photographers that applied, to select 45 professionals from 28 different countries.

“I think what stood out the most was the variety of approaches to visual storytelling. [...] Some entries stood out because their visual language was really sophisticated, which is a very exciting change from the classic press photography tradition,” said Rodrigo Orrantia, curator, and 2021 jury member, of this year’s entries.

Six nominees for World Press Photo of the Year

Lincoln Emancipation Memorial Debate by Evelyn Hockstein, United States

Evelyn Hockstein, United States
Anais (26) argues for the removal of the Emancipation Memorial with a man (right) who wishes to keep it, in Lincoln Park, Washington DC, USA. 25 June, 2021Evelyn Hockstein, United States

Leaving Home in Nagorno-Karabakh by Valery Melnikov, Russia

Valeriy Melnikov/Sputnik
Azat Gevorkyan and his wife Anaik are pictured before leaving their home in Lachin, before Armenia returned it to Azerbaijan amid the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. November 28Valeriy Melnikov/Sputnik

The First Embrace by Mads Nissen, Denmark

Mads Nissen/Panos Pictures for Politiken
Rosa Luzia Lunardi (85) is embraced by nurse Adriana Silva da Costa Souza, at Viva Bem care home, São Paulo, Brazil. 5 August, 2021Mads Nissen/Panos Pictures for Politiken

The Transition: Ignat by Oleg Ponomarev, Russia

Oleg Ponomarev
Ignat, a transgender man, sits with his girlfriend Maria in Saint Petersburg, Russia. April 23, 2020Oleg Ponomarev

Fighting Locust Invasion in East Africa by Luis Tato, Spain

Luis Tato for The Washington Post
Henry Lenayasa, chief of the settlement of Archers Post, in Samburu County, Kenya, tries to scare away a massive swarm of locusts ravaging grazing area. 24 April, 2021Luis Tato for The Washington Post

Injured Man After Port Explosion in Beirut by Lorenzo Tugnoli, Italy

Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Post
An injured man stands near the site of a massive explosion in the port of Beirut, Lebanon, while firefighters work to put out the fires. August 4, 2020Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Post

3 nominees for World Press Photo Story of the Year

Those Who Stay Will Be Champions by Chris Donovan, Canada

Habibi by Antonio Faccilongo, Italy, for Getty

Paradise Lost by Valery Melnikov, Russia, Sputnik

The winners of the 2021 Photo Contest and the 2021 Digital Storytelling Contest will be announced on 15 April in an online awards ceremony. Both the World Press Photo of the Year and the World Press Photo Story of the Year awards carry a cash prize of 5,000 euros.

What are your favourites?