Asahi Shimbun photograher Toshiyuki Tsunenari was honored by the World Press Photo Foundation for his heart-wrenching picture of a barefooted woman sitting amid the destruction of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
“I took the photo because I thought it would convey the sadness felt by the disaster victims that was just not possible in an aerial photo,” Tsunenari said. “At that time, I could not find any words to encourage the woman (in the photo), but I have continued to keep in touch with her to find out how she is doing.”
Tsunenari’s iconic photo was awarded third prize in the General News Singles category of the 55th World Press Photo contest in Amsterdam on April 21 among all images concerning the March 11, 2011, disaster.
Tsunenari, 44, who belongs to the newspaper’s main Tokyo office, received a commendation certificate and a commemorative plaque at the awards ceremony.
His photo showed a woman in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, weeping against a background of destroyed buildings and debris. It was carried on the front page of The Asahi Shimbun’s morning edition on March 14, 2011.
“I received many different responses to the photo from not only people in Japan, but also from many around the world,” Tsunenari said. “Hearing that the photo helped some individuals share in the sadness of the disaster victims made me proud to have been able to transmit some of that pain.
“The only thing I can do is to convey (through my camera) what is happening to disaster victims. I pray for the early reconstruction of the disaster regions.”
The contest drew 101,254 entries from 5,247 photographers in 124 countries and regions. A total of 57 photographers received prizes.
Other Japanese winners included Koichiro Tezuka, a photographer for The Mainichi Shimbun, and Yasuyoshi Chiba, who works for Agence France-Presse’s Sao Paulo Bureau.
The World Press Photo 2012 exhibition, featuring the winning images, will be held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, as well as in Osaka and other cities across Japan, starting in June. The exhibition will be sponsored by The Asahi Shimbun and other organizations.
- « Prev
- Next »