World Press Photos: Contemporary Issues category

World Press Photo of the Year 2015

First Prize Contemporary Issues Category, Singles


St. Petersburg, Russia: Jon and Alex, a gay couple, during an intimate moment.
Life for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people is becoming increasingly difficult in Russia. Sexual minorities face legal and social discrimination, harassment, and even violent hate-crime attacks from conservative religious and nationalistic groups. PHOTO: MADS NISSEN, DENMARK, SCANPIX/PANOS PICTURES

Second Prize Contemporary Issues Category, Singles


Yiwu, China: Wei, a 19-year-old Chinese worker, wearing a face mask and a Santa hat, stands next to Christmas decorations being dried in a factory as red powder used for coloring hovers in the air. He wears six masks a day and the hat protects his hair from the red dust, which covers workers from head to toe like soot after several hours of work. PHOTO: RONGHUI CHEN, CHINA, CITY EXPRESS

Third Prize Contemporary Issues Category, Stories


El Dorado County, California, United States: Students in a schoolyard. Several thousand people have been killed by covert U.S. drone strikes since 2004. The photographer bought his own drone, mounted a camera and traveled across the US looking for similar situations as mentioned in strike reports from Pakistan and Yemen, including weddings, funerals, and groups of people praying or exercising. He also flew his camera over settings in which drones are used to less lethal effect, such as prisons, oil fields and the U.S.-Mexico border. PHOTO: TOMAS VAN HOUTRYVE, BELGIUM, VII FOR HARPER’S MAGAZINE