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African migrants picture claims top photo prize

Published on Feb 14, 2014 9:24 PM
 
A picture of African migrants standing on the shore of Djibouti City at night, their glimmering phones held aloft to catch a weak signal, won the World Press Photo prize on Friday, Feb 14, 2014, for American photographer John Stanmeyer of the VII Photo Agency. -- PHOTO: AFP

AMSTERDAM (REUTERS) - A picture of African migrants standing on the shore of Djibouti City at night, their glimmering phones held aloft to catch a weak signal, won the World Press Photo prize on Friday for American photographer John Stanmeyer of the VII Photo Agency.

The silhouetted figures facing seawards are straining to pick up a cheaper mobile signal from neighbouring Somalia, hoping to establish a tenuous link with relatives abroad.

"So many pictures of migrants show them as bedraggled and pathetic ... but this photo is not so much romantic, as dignified," said jury member Susan Linfield.

Djibouti is a common stop-off point for migrants heading from nearby countries like Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea in search of a better life in Europe and the Middle East.

 
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