A moonlit image of migrants trying to get mobile phone signals on a Djibouti beach has won the World Press Photo of the Year award for US photographer John Stanmeyer.
A 19-member jury awarded the prestigious prize for the haunting photograph of African migrants holding phones up to the sky to capture a signal so they can call home, as they make their way to a hoped-for better life in Europe.
“It’s a photo that is connected to so many other stories – it opens up discussions about technology, globalisation, migration, poverty, desperation, alienation, humanity,” jury member Jillian Edelstein said.
Fellow jury member Susan Linfield said: “So many pictures of migrants show them as bedraggled and pathetic… but this photo is not so much romantic, as dignified.”
Stanmeyer’s website says the US-based VII agency photographer, who took his prize-winning shot for National Geographic, focuses on “social injustices, eradication of global poverty, human rights”.
The World Press Photo jury of photography professionals, presided over by VII Agency founder photographer Gary Knight, spent the last two weeks judging photos in Amsterdam.
Almost 100,000 images were submitted by 5754 photographers from 132 countries and judged anonymously, organisers said.
Top winner Stanmeyer will be awarded a cash prize of 10,000 euros ($A15,300) and a camera during a ceremony in Amsterdam in April.