Photograph of an Assassination Wins World Press Photo of the Year
Burhan Ozbilici's photograph of an assassination at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey on December 2016 wins World Press Photo of the Year. The picture depicts the gunman's fury and determination as he stands next to the lifeless body of Andrey Karlov, Russia's ambassador to turkey, with one hand pointing to the sky and the other still holding the gun.
Earlier this month, the jury convened in Amsterdam to cast on what seemingly is a difficult close vote. As a result, the photograph of Karlov's assassination received a majority win thereby claiming World Press Photo of the Year, a prestigious photojournalism award. The picture had mixed sentiments as some praised its importance while others condemned its raw depiction of a man's fanaticism, TIME has learned.
World-renowned photographers offered their two cents on the split win. Mary Calvert claimed the photograph draws its power from its universality. "The picture is indicative of the hate and desperation and frustration that's so apparent in our society today," she said. "It encompasses what's happening in America, what's happening with Russia, and what's happening in Syria. You can draw parallels with all kinds of similar events happening around the world." For Tanya Habjouqa, the photograph of the assassination not only tells a raw truth but also begs questions about the killer's motivation.
In a statement, the Associated Press photographer said the purpose for which he took the photograph is to let the world know of the important role photojournalist play in the current times. According to him, journalism has been neglected in the last few years and the photograph of Karlov's assassination proves that society needs great journalism. He said that winning the World Press Photo of the Year gave him more responsibilities to his colleagues and voice to support great journalism.
Certainly, the photograph of the assassination is the most intense images the world has seen in 2016. It changed the way people view photojournalism and challenged photographers' integrity in bringing about a picture that not only captivates the eye but also tells a story of an impact. In a society where the media is upfront, photographers must go beyond their profession to display an avenue of awareness and sensitivity between their craft and viewers.