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World Press Photos: Long-Term Projects

First Prize Long-Term Projects


Family Love 1993-2014 – The Julie Project, San Francisco, California, USA: I first met Julie on January 28, 1993. Julie, 18, stood in the lobby of the Ambassador Hotel, barefoot, pants unzipped, and an 8 day-old infant in her arms. She lived in San Francisco’s SRO district, a neighborhood of soup kitchens and cheap rooms. Her room was piled with clothes, overfull ashtrays and trash. She lived with Jack, father of her first baby Rachel, and who had given her AIDS. Her first memory of her mother is getting drunk with her at 6 and then being sexually abused by her stepfather. She ran away at 14 and became drug addict at 15. Living in alleys, crack dens, and bunked with more dirty old men than she cared to count. “Rachel,” Julie said, “has given me a reason to live.”
For the next 21 years I photographed Julie Baird and her family’s complex story of poverty, AIDS, drugs, multiple homes, relationships, births, deaths, loss and reunion. PHOTO: DARCY PADILLA, USA, AGENCE VU

Second Prize Long-Term Projects


Kacper Kowalski is a pilot and a photographer. Side Effects is a documentary project about the complex relationship between humans and nature. The photos were shot either from a paraglider or a gyroplane, some 150 meters above the ground, mainly in the area around Gdynia, in Poland, where Kowalski lives. In this work, Kowalski explores answers to questions that deeply interest him: What is the natural environment for humans? Is it an untouched, virgin landscape? Or is it a landscape that has changed, adapted to human needs? 
Kowalski sees his work as offering a graphic and sometimes abstract portrait of how civilization came into being. For Kowalski, the content of the photo is less important than the reactions, reflections, and ideas that arise when looking at it. He would like the project to be a starting point for discussion about what is good or bad, necessary or optional, in the relationship between humans and nature. The camera is never connected to a remote control, and Kowalski never uses a drone. He wants to be up there, camera in hand. And he flies alone. That means he doesn’t have to explain anything, or rely on another person’s spatial imagination. It means he can fly precisely. Side Effects is more a method of visual storytelling than a concrete set of pictures. It is an ongoing project that will continue to be modified. PHOTO: KACPER KOWALSKI, POLAND, PANOS PICTURES

Third Prize Long-Term Projects


Development and Pollution: Due to the vast exploitation of coal mines, Holingol’s meadows have been destroyed, now bereft of cattle and sheep. To improve the city’s image, the local government placed in the Horqin Grassland over 120 sculptures of sheep, as well as cattle, horses and camels. China is now the world’s second-largest economy. Its economic development has consumed lots of energy and generated plenty of pollution. PHOTO: LU GUANG, CHINA, FOR GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL