World Press Photo of the Year: Ronaldo Schemidt
The jury of the 2018 World Press Photo Contest selected Venezuelan photographer Ronaldo Schemidt‘s image as the World Press Photo of the Year.
The World Press Photo of the Year honors the 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.
The jury, chaired by Magdalena Herrera, director of photography Geo France, awards the prize to Ronaldo Schemidt‘s picture entitled ‘Venezuela Crisis’ – which also won first prize in the Spot News Single category. Ronaldo Schemidt (b. 1971) is a staff photographer for Agence France-Presse, based in Mexico.
The image shows how José Víctor Salazar Balza (28) on fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela. Salazar was set alight when the gas tank of a motorbike exploded. He survived the incident with first- and second-degree burns.
Jury member Whitney C. Johnson, deputy director of photography National Geographic, said about the picture: “It’s quite symbolic, actually. The man, he has a mask on his face. He’s come to sort of represent not just himself and himself on fire, but sort of this idea of Venezuela burning.”
Image courtesy of Ronaldo Schemidt/Afp