Filipina photographers Hannah Reyes Morales and Kimberly dela Cruz have been named the regional winners of the annual World Press Photo Contest which celebrates the best photojournalism and documentary photography.
Morales and dela Cruz were announced among the winners in Southeast Asia and Oceania in their respective categories for their photographs that shed light on important issues in the Philippines.
Hannah Reyes Morales’ work, “Home for the Golden Gays”, was selected under the Stories category for its “intersectional approach to portray the multilayered experiences of LGBTQI+ identifying people in the Philippines.”
The winning photo shows a member of the Home for the Golden Gays, a non-profit organization that provides support to elderly members of the LGBTQI+ community.
“The photographer holds the people in such high regard and has them shining at the highest capacity…The project is well executed, beautifully photographed, and successfully centers the community’s demonstrations of trust and resilience, instead of indulging in despair,” the World Photo Contest jury wrote about Morales’ work.
Morales was commissioned to hold the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize exhibit in Norway celebrating the first Filipino Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Maria Ressa. She is also the winner of the prestigious International Center of Photography’s Infinity Awards for Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism in 2020.
Kimberly dela Cruz’s long-term project called “Death of a Nation” which tackles the drug war in the Philippines was praised for its “slow, subtle, underreported perspective.”
The Manila-based independent photographer-journalist has been documenting the war on drugs started by former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shortly after he took office in 2016.
The jury commended “dela Cruz’s ability to capture the continued impact on families” who were affected by extrajudicial killings in the country.
“The images show survivors of the detritus as well as their profound grief– apparent on the many faces of the people pictured,” the jury wrote.
“The photographer made intentional intimate choices and centered the experiences of families. She successfully highlights the consequences of the country’s last regime, and demonstrates how the social fabric of the Philippines is forever altered.”
The Filipino photojournalists were announced among 24 regional winners and six honorable mentions on March 29, 2023.
Their winning photo submissions were selected by an independent jury from over 60,000 entries by 3,752 photographers from 127 countries.
The winners will be featured in major publications and invited to speak at public events, exhibition openings, and lectures throughout the year.
Filipinos who won photo awards while fighting for worthwhile causes include former domestic worker Xyza Cruz Bacani and La Union student Khim Hipol, the winner of the prestigious Audain Travel Award.
SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipina photojournalists Hannah Reyes Morales and Kimberly dela Cruz, the regional winners of the annual World Press Photo Contest!
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