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04.09.2007 - 21.10.2007


From September 4th till October 21st 2007, WestLicht. Showplace for Photography presents the World Press Photo Exhibition for the sixth consecutive year. On show in the world’s largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest, are the best press photographs of the year 2006. As icons of contemporary history, the approximately 178 exhibited single images and series summarize the events of the past year and show incidents from the field of politics, sport, art and entertainment, nature and science. Last year the exhibition attracted a record number of 15.600 visitors. 

The annual exhibit is shown each year at over 90 venues in 40 countries and is seen by more than two million visitiors. This travelling show is not only an impressive overview of international photojournalism, but also a unique recapitulation of world and every day events of the past year. 
Winner of the 50th award is the American Spencer Platt (Getty Images) with his photo of a group of young Lebanese driving in a red Convertible through a South Beirut neighbourhood devastated by Israeli bombings. The picture was taken on August 15th 2006, the first day of the ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah when thousands of Lebanese started returning to their destroyed homes. In no way does Platt want to criticize these young people: “One is tempted to see them as Sunnites, Shiites, Christians or Druses, to categorize them as rich or poor” explains Platt, “but for me they are above all that […] nobody was immune against the bombs.” Instead he questions the stereotypical representations of war victims and wants to uncover the contradictions of war. “It’s a picture you can keep looking at” explains the 2007 World Press Photo jury chair Michele McNally (USA) the jury’s decision. “It has the complexity and contradiction of real life, amidst chaos“.

Each premiered Photo has a story to tell. The Dutch Peter Schols received the first prize in the category „Sport Action“ for his snap-shot of Zinedine Zidane infamously headbutting the Italian Marco Materazzi during the Soccer World Cup final. “Actually I was one second too late, because Materazzi was already falling” comments Schol the first image of the series. The following sequences show the “last moments of a great soccer player“- a dialog between the team and the referee, the presentation of the red card and Zidane’s dejected departure from the field. 

This year’s competition attracted 4.460 professional photographers from 124 countries. 78.083 photos had to be judged, 98 percent of these were in digital form. The jury awarded 60 photographers from 23 countries in ten theme categories: General News, Spot News, Nature, Sport Feature, Sport Action, Arts and Entertainment, Portraits, Daily Life, Contemporary Issues and People in the News. 

The winners of the 50th World Press Photo Award represent the following nations: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Palestinian Territories, People’s Republic of China, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the USA.

World Press Photo of the Year 2006 © Spencer Platt, USA, Getty Images. Young Lebanese drive through devastated Beirut neighborhood, 15
© Akintunde Akinleye, Nigeria, Reuters. Man at the scene of petrol pipeline explosion, Lagos, Nigeria, 26 December
© Jan Grarup, Denmark, Politiken/Newsweek. Flüchtlinge in Dafur, Afrika, November
© Peter van Agtmael, USA, Polaris Images. Night raids, Iraq, January-August
© Oded Balilty, Israel, The Associated Press
© Arturo Rodríguez, Spain, The Associated Press. Tourists on Tejita Beach help migrants, Tenerife, Spain, 30 July/3 August
© Max Rossi, Italy, Reuters. World Championship Gymnastics, Denmark, 14 October
© Lorenzo Cicconi Massi, Italy, Contrasto. Students of Beijing Guoan Football Club school
© David Butow, USA, Redux Pictures for US News & World Report. Street corner, New York
© José Cendón, Spain. Psychiatric hospital inmates, Burundi and DRC
© Damon Winter, USA, Los Angeles Times. Clint Eastwood
© Carolyn Cole, USA, Los Angeles Times. Singer Debbie Davis prepares for her show, New Orleans
© Michael Nichols, USA, National Geographic Magazine. Serval cat, Zakouma National Park, Chad
© Paul Nicklen, Canada, National Geographic Magazine. Leopard seal hunting, Antarctica
© Peter Schols, The Netherlands, Dagblad De Limburger/GPD/Reuters. Zidane’s exit from World Cup final, Berlin, 9 July