A Shocking Image Of A Protester On Fire Wins The World Press Photo Of The Year

A picture of a burning protester by Ronaldo Schemidt has taken the top honour in the World Press Photo of the Year.

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Ronaldo Schemidt / AFP

©  Ronaldo Schemidt / AFP


Ronaldo Schemidt's image of a Venezuelan protester turned into a human torch during clashes with riot police was voted Photo of the Year by the jury of the prestigious World Press Photo competition.

Ronaldo Schemidt, a Venezuelan national, started working with AFP in 2004 and in 2006 joined the Mexico City bureau where he is now based. He has covered many events for the Agency, including the Copa America in Argentina, the World Cup in Brazil and Mexico's drugs war. 

His first-place winning image also took the top prize in the 'Spot Singles' category. 

Ronaldo Schemidt's image was chosen from 73,044 images taken by 4,548 photographers from 125 different countries.

The annual World Press Photo of the Year, now in its 61st year, honours a photographer 'whose visual creativity and skills made a picture that captures or represents an event or issue of great journalistic importance in the last year.'

Magdalena Herrera, director of photography Geo France and chair of the jury, said about selecting the World Press Photo of the Year: "The photo of the year has to tell an event, that is important enough, it also has to bring questions...it has to engage and has to show a point of view on what happened in the world this year."

Commenting on the winning image, Magdalena Herrera added: "It’s a classical photo, but it has an instantaneous energy and dynamic. The colours, the movement, and it’s very well composed, it has strength. I got an instantaneous emotion…"

Last year, Burhan Ozbilicil was awarded the top title for his image that showed how Mevlüt Mert Altintas, a 22-year-old off-duty police officer, assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, at an art exhibition in Ankara. 

View all the awarded images on the World Press Photo website.

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