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Powerful Scene Named Photo Of The Year

February 10, 2012 by staff 

Powerful Scene Named Photo Of The YearPowerful Scene Named Photo Of The Year, Spanish photographer Samuel Aranda won the 2011 World Press Photo of the Year award on Friday for an image of a veiled woman holding a wounded relative in her arms after a demonstration in Yemen.

Jurors said Aranda’s photo, taken for the New York Times, encapsulated many of the facets of the uprisings across the Middle East collectively known as the “Arab Spring,” one of the major news themes of the year.

The photo was taken Oct. 15 in a mosque in Sanaa, Yemen, that was being used as field hospital after demonstrators protesting against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed with government forces.

“The winning photo shows a poignant, compassionate moment, the human consequence of an enormous event, an event that is still going on,” said chairman Aidan Sullivan. “We might never know who this woman is, cradling an injured relative, but together they become a living image of the courage of ordinary people that helped create an important chapter in the history of the Middle East.”

The woman is almost completely concealed under black robes, and she is wearing rubber gloves as she clasps her relative, a thin man whose torso is bare, grimacing in pain.

“It stands for Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, for all that happened in the Arab Spring,” said juror Koyo Kouoh. “But it shows a private, intimate side of what went on, and it shows the role that women played, not only as caregivers, but as active people in the movement.”

The tsunami in Japan was another major theme of the competition, at which The Associated Press won three awards, including first place in the Arts and Entertainment Singles category, for David Goldman’s shot of a soldier playing the drums at a Canadian army base in Afghanistan.

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