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Polish and Hungarian photographers honoured at World Press Photo contest

World Press Photo of the Year contest Polish photographer Tomek Kaczor

Warsaw, Poland – Central European photographers were in the spotlight at this year’s World Press Photo contest, with Polish photographer Tomasz Kaczor and Hungarian photographer Esther Horvath respectively winning first prize in the the Portrait (Singles) and Environment (Singles) categories.

Tomasz Kaczor was also nominated for the World Press Photo of the Year but lost to Yasuyoshi Chiba’s photo of  a young man reciting a poem during a blackout in Sudan.

Named ‘Awakening’, Tomasz Kaczor’s nominated 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.

‘Polar Bear and Cub’ by Esther Horvath, for The New York Times. Credit: World Press Photo

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.

In the Environment (Singles) category, Esther Horvath’s picture shows 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.

Czech photojournalist Stanislav Tereba won the Photo of the Year in 1959.

Hosted by the Dutch foundation World Press Photo since 1955, the World Press Photo Festival was held in Amsterdam.

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.