When America erupted in protest after the shooting death of Alton Sterling, one image elegantly illustrated the power of peaceful defiance. The photograph shows demonstrator Ieshia Evans standing resolute as two heavily armored police approach her and came to represent what was happening in Baton Rouge – and the country – at that moment. The poignancy of this moment is reflected at this year’s World Press Photo awards and the iconic image, taken by Jonathan Bachman, has won First Prize in the Singles category.
Clashes between police and activists also marked the Anti-DAPL protests, which saw riot police use rubber bullets, pepper spray and tasers to clear marchers from the Standing Rock site. Amber Bracken’s documentation of the struggle won First Prize in the Stories category. While Tomas Munita’s haunting portrayal of Cuba in mourning for Fidel Castro was another notable series that made this year’s News Shortlist.
The winning photographs were selected from among 80,408 images submitted by 5,034 photographers from 125 different countries. In the end, 45 photographers from 25 countries made up the winning list. They will receive their awards at a ceremony in Amsterdam on April 22.