World Press Photo of the Year 2018: Photos of burning Venezuelan protester win top spots

Venezuela's Ronaldo Schemidt, who works with Agence France-Presse (AFP) was declared the winner of the 2018 World Press Photo of the Year award, for his photograph of a man set ablaze. It was taken during the protests in Caracas, Venezuela, demanding that President Nicolas Maduro be removed from his position.

The results were announced at the World Press Photo Festival in Amsterdam on 12 April.

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The award-winning photographs taken by Schemidt (left) and Barreto (right). Twitter/@AFP

In the midst of a clash between government forces and protesters, a motorcycle of the Venezuelan National Guard exploded and caught fire. "I felt an intense flash of heat and turned around and saw a ball of fire coming towards me. I didn’t know what it was. I just followed it, snapping away without stopping. Then I heard the screams and realised what had happened. Ten seconds and it was over," said Schemidt, describing the experience of clicking this photograph. The subject of the photograph has been identified as José Víctor Salazar Balza.

Surprisingly, the second runner-up spot in the Spot News photos/story category was awarded to a series of photographs taken at the same protest, at the moment when Balza's body was set ablaze. This series was taken by Juan Barreto, who also works with AFP. He managed to photograph the motorcycle, as well as Balza's arms outstretched, as his body catches fire.

The other finalists of the World Press Photo of the Year award are Reuters' Toby Melville, Adam Ferguson and Ivor Prickett who do freelance work for the New York Times, and Patrick Brown of Panos Pictures. Brown has won for the photographs he took for the UNICEF of the Rohingya crisis, Ferguson for the portraits he took in Nigeria of the teenage girls enlisted as suicide bombers by Boko Haram, and Prickett for pictures of the battle for Mosul in Iraq.


Updated Date: Apr 14, 2018 11:46 AM

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