The Traces of Women’s Presence

A Closer Look at the Nominees for the “Sports Category” of the World Press Photo Award 2019

The World Press Photo Foundation has unveiled the nominees for the “Sports Category” of the 2019 awards ceremony, showcasing a strong emphasis on sports documentary photography, similar to previous years. Heading the sports department this year were Maye-E Wong, an Associated Press news photographer, Marguerite Schropp Lucarelli from Sports Illustrated (USA), and Olivier Michon, the Director of Photography for L’Équipe (France). Joining them was Wong, a renowned Singaporean female director.

The selection of single photos in this year’s category unmistakably reflects the significant influence of the jury’s female perspective. This influence is evident in photographs like “Naomi Osaka’s Hair” by David Gray, “30-year-old Ugandan Boxer” by John T. Pedersen, and Terrell Groggins’ image capturing the Detroit Women’s Boxing Championships.

In the photo collection category, the impact of the jury’s feminine viewpoint is again apparent. Forough Alaei’s powerful collection showcases the journey of women entering the Azadi Stadium, while Michael Hanke’s emotionally charged collection titled “Never Saw Him Cry” highlights the profound influence of family dynamics. The presence of this year’s judges’ feminine perspective is striking.

An exception to the trend is the photo collection by Elif Ozturk, a 33-year-old Turkish female photographer, which focuses on the traditional oil wrestling competition. This collection brings forth the theme of fighting, with Iranian women struggling to gain access to the Azadi Stadium and men fiercely wrestling for the championship belt in Turkey. It also features a heroic man battling against disability.

In summary, this year’s selection for the sports category is characterized by a dominant sports documentary approach. The influence of the jury’s feminine perspective is evident in the single photos, while the photo collections explore themes of fighting, women’s empowerment, and the impact of family.