More than 55,000 visitors attended 2019 World Press Photo Montreal

Sports – First prize stories — Forough Alaei, Iran — In Iran, there are restrictions on female fans entering football stadiums. As football is the nation’s most popular sport, the ban has been a controversial public issue. On 1 March 2018, FIFA President Gianni Infantino met with the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, to address the issue. Social-media groups also put the president under pressure, and on 20 June a ruling allowed Tehran’s Azadi Stadium to admit selected groups of women for international matches.The concession to women fans applied only to international matches, and after a senior judicial officer objected in October, it was withdrawn. On 10 November, the FIFA president, who was attending the AFC Cup match in Tehran, asked to be shown that women were being allowed to attend. A selection of women was permitted to enter, though many others were barred.

For its fourteenth Montreal edition, presented at Bonsecours Market in Old Montreal from August 28 to September 29, the World Press Photo Montreal exhibition welcomed over 55,000 visitors, among them nearly 20,000 students. Montreal’s flagship cultural event of the fall season continues to be a hit, having reached full operational capacity in terms of duration and operating hours, following a steady growth in attendance over many consecutive years.

The World Press Photo Montreal team thanks its visitors, partners and guests of honour – Monia Chokri, spokesperson for its 2019 edition; photographers Bénédicte Kurzen (France) and Sanne De Wilde (Belgium), joint winners of a First Prize in the Portraits (Stories) category; and Samira Donato, representative of the Amsterdam team – who were in attendance in Montreal during the event’s opening week.

“This ever-growing success can be attributed to the sheer quality of the exhibitions on view and to the exceptional bond the event has fostered with visitors over the past 14 years,” notes Matthieu Rytz, president of Arkar and producer of the event. “What’s perhaps most encouraging is to see how sensitive such a large number of people remain to societal challenges, to the media’s role, to a creative kind of quality photojournalism, and to the place an exhibition of this calibre can have in Montreal.”

As a reminder, the World Press Photo Montreal exhibition presented the 150 prizewinning images of the world’s most prestigious annual press photography contest, as well as six complementary exhibitions: Crépuscule amour, je te sais intime by Monia Chokri; L’Itinéraire: 25 Years of Stories; The Faces Behind International Volunteering by Oxfam-Québec; Montréal Through the Lenses of La Presse’s Photographers; ICI RDI’s Perspectives from the Field as well as Age Old Cities: A Virtual Journey from Palmyra to Mosul, presented by Ubisoft.

“The success of this fourteenth edition of World Press Montreal would not have been possible without the invaluable support and the spirit of openness of our incredible partners, who came together to promote the mission and experience of our event, which has become an annual autumn ritual in Montreal,” explains Yann Fortier, director general of World Press Photo Montreal.

The World Press Photo Montreal team is already working on the 15th edition of this major international exhibition, often dubbed the Oscars of photojournalism. The event will be presented in Montreal from September 2 to October 4, 2020 at Bonsecours Market.

Founded in 1955, the World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organization with its headquarters in Amsterdam. The foundation is committed to supporting and advancing high standards of photojournalism and documentary storytelling worldwide. Throughout the year, the exhibition travels to more than 100 cities in over 45 countries.

—World Press Photo

—AB

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