A photo-based video project that narrates a chaotic night in the life of an Iranian nurse as she saves the life of a young protester is among the 24 winning images in the regional categories from this year’s World Press Photo Contest.
The jury said it selected the collaborative project between Iranian photographer Hossein Fatemi’s Middle East Images Agency and IranWire because it offered “a rare glimpse into the dangers faced by protestors on the streets of Iran today.”
Fatemi encountered the nurse in the footage titled “Woman, Life, Freedom.” Images in the video were captured by local photojournalists, the nurse herself and a photographer on assignment to cover her story.
According to the jury, “the successful combination of photography, narrative audio, and video provides thorough information from the perspective of a nurse.”
“The project managed to connect with the jury…by recording the personal thoughts and emotions of the nurse while also communicating the bigger picture of the fight for women's freedoms in Iran,” it added.
Iran has been swept by anti-government protests since the September 2022 death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, while in police custody.
Security forces have cracked down hard on the women-led protest movement, killing more than 520 people and unlawfully detaining over 20,000, activists say. Following biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.
Anyone injured in the protests risks arrest and violent abuse upon seeking medical attention, while journalists and photographers attempting to report on the demonstrations also face reprisals from the authorities.
For this reason, many of the photographers who captured the images seen in the video “Woman, Life, Freedom” will remain anonymous.
Fatemi has received numerous awards, including the Picture of the Year International in 2016 and 2014 in two categories.
He is the founder and director of the Middle East Images Agency, which provides educational opportunities for aspiring journalists.
The annual World Press Photo Contest recognizes and celebrates the best photojournalism and documentary photography produced over the last year.
The global winners in four categories - Photo of the Year, Story of the Year, Long-Term Project Award and Open Format Award - will be announced on April 20.