World Press Photo 2022

South America - Stories

In August 2020, Antonella (12), who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, vowed to cut her long hair only when she could resume in-person classes at school, which had been suspended as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Antonella said she was offering up her most precious treasure in exchange for getting her school life back. Her hair was her identity. She said: “When I finally go back to school, they will know I’m a different person, I feel like a different person.” She cut her hair on Sept 25, 2021, on the weekend before she returned to classes.

Antonella studying via Zoom, using her mother’s mobile phone, in her room at home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on June 13, 2021. Her parents are keen that she keeps up to date with her education, and, along with other parents, organise group studies and virtual get-togethers via WhatsApp. Title: The Promise © Irina Werning, Pulitzer Center
Antonella standing in front of a fake fur blanket, on the rooftop terrace at her family's home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on May 25, 2021. She goes up to the terrace to wash clothes and enjoy the sun every day. The disruption to routines, education, recreation, as well as concern for family income and health leaves Antonella feeling afraid, anxious and concerned about her future. Title: The Promise © Irina Werning, Pulitzer Center
Antonella yawning while studying in bed, in her room at home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 29, 2021. She says she feels a lack of motivation studying at home, and often studies in bed as she does not feel like getting up. Title: The Promise © Irina Werning, Pulitzer Center
Antonella swinging her newly cut hair outside the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Nov 20, 2021, after returning to school, having missed 260 days of in-person classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She wanted to have her portrait taken there because her ambition is to study engineering after finishing school. Title: The Promise © Irina Werning, Pulitzer Center

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