Warsaw, Poland – Polish photographer Tomasz Kaczor is among the six nominees for the 2020 World Press Photo of the Year. His photograph of an Armenian girl in a refugee reception center in Podkowa Leśna has also been nominated in the ‘Portraits’ category.
Named ‘Awakening’, Tomasz Kaczor’s photograph shows Ewa, a 15-year-old Armenian refugee who has recently woken from catatonic state brought on by Resignation Syndrome, surrounded by her parents. Resignation Syndrome (RS), which renders patients immobile, mute, unable to eat and drink, and unresponsive to physical stimulus, affects psychologically traumatised children in the midst of lengthy asylum processes.
Ewa succumbed to the illness while her family were trying for asylum in Sweden and threatened with deportation to Poland. She recovered eight months after they arrived in the country.
Tomasz Kaczor has worked as a freelance photographer for over 12 years, as well as an educator and photography instructor. He lives and works in Warsaw, where he studied at the Polish Culture Institute and the Akademia Fotografii.
A co-establisher and a photographer for Magazyn Kontakt, a Catholic magazine writing about exclusion, minority rights and social justice, he is also a member of Towarzystwo Krajoznawcze Krajobraz, an NGO dedicated to conscious tourism, nature and local history.
On his Instagram, Tomasz Kaczor said he was “honored to be in the final six for the Photo of the Year World Press Photo contest”.
Other World Press Photo of the Year nominees include Farouk Batiche’s photograph of Students scuffling with riot police during an anti-government demonstration in Algiers, Ivor Prickett’s picture of a badly burned Kurdish fighter in Syria, and Mulugeta Ayene’s shot of a relative of a victim of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 mourning at the crash site. They also include the photographs of a businessman locking away a pair of anti-tank grenade launchers at the end of an exhibition day in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, by Nikita Teryoshin, and of a young man reciting a poem during a blackout in Sudan, by Yasuyoshi Chiba.
Hungarian photographer Esther Horvath has also been nominated in the ‘Environment’ category for her picture of a polar bear and her cub coming close to equipment placed by scientists in the central Arctic Ocean. Esther Horvath is a documentary photographer whose main long-term documentary project ‘IceBird’ has followed scientific expeditions investigating the thinning ice cover in the Arctic Ocean.
Hosted by the Dutch foundation World Press Photo since 1955, the World Press Photo Festival will be held in Amsterdam on April 17-18. The winning entry will receive €10,000.
In 1959, Czech photojournalist Stanislav Tereba won the main prize for his shot of Sparta Prague’s goalkeeper Miroslav Čtvrtníček standing in pouring rain during a football game against Červená Hviezda Bratislava.