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Njiokiktjien and Van Gelder win 2012 WPPh Multimedia Contest

March 2012

The 2012 World Press Photo Multimedia Contest has been won by the production ‘Afrikaner Blood’ by Dutch journalists Elles van Gelder and Ilvy Njiokiktjien that tells the story of the indoctrination of South African boys into adopting apartheid beliefs. CPN spoke to the jury chair of the contest, filmmaker Vincent Laforet, about the judging and you can watch the exclusive interview by clicking on the play button in the banner (above).

The winning entry, ‘Afrikaner Blood’, documents the activities of Kommandokorps, in South Africa, which organises camps during school holidays for young white Afrikaner teenagers to teach them self-defence and how to combat a perceived black enemy. The group’s leader, the self-proclaimed ‘Colonel’ Franz Jooste, served with the South African Defence Force under the old apartheid regime and eschews the vision of a multicultural nation.

The jury chair Vincent Laforet called ‘Afrikaner Blood’: “An incredibly well crafted and nuanced piece with a very cohesive structure and refined execution. We, as the jury, appreciated the restraint that the authors demonstrated in the telling of this story. All of the multimedia elements and careful attention to detail served to push the narrative forward, as opposed to distracting from it.”

© Ilvy Njiokiktjien

A still image from ‘Afrikaner Blood’: one of the boys cries from pain during one of the tough exercises at the nine-day Kommandokorps camp.

Second place in the multimedia contest went to US freelance photojournalist and producer Maisie Crow for the production ‘Half-Lives: The Chernobyl Workers Now’, that documents the long-term aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Third place in the contest was awarded to ‘America’s Dead Sea’ by James Lo Scalzo, a staff photographer for the European Pressphoto Agency, that told the story of the Salton Sea in the Colorado Desert, USA. In addition, a ‘Special Mention’ was made for the production ‘Punched Out: The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer’ by The New York Times, and videographers/photographers Shayla Harris and Marcus Yam, which explores the life and death of National Hockey League player Derek Boogaard.

As well as Vincent Laforet the 2012 World Press Photo Multimedia Contest jury included Alan Stoga (President of Zemi Communications, USA), who acted as secretary, Claudine Boeglin (multimedia director, Reuters, France), Iatã Cannabrava (photographer and director, Brazil), Jessica Dimmock (documentary photojournalist, USA), Keith Jenkins (supervising senior producer for multimedia at National Public Radio, USA), Wang Jingchun (director of Visual Center of Southern Metropolis Daily, China), Poul Madsen (photojournalist and multimedia producer Bombay Flying Cub, Denmark), and Anna Zekria (founder and MD of Saltimages, Russia).

The judging was conducted at the World Press Photo offices, Amsterdam, where the jury viewed all the 287 entries from 48 countries and discussed their merits over a four-day period, from 10-13 March 2012. This was the second year of the multimedia contest following the inaugural contest in 2011.

The Managing Director of World Press Photo, Michiel Munneke, commented: “This year, participation was open for photographers and producers and we are glad to have had such a broad field of entries from around the world. It is clear from the discussions with the jury that multimedia is continuously moving and developing, and there are no set definitions yet. We are delighted that World Press Photo, through this contest, can contribute to the development of the medium and of the visual journalism profession.”

Representatives of the winning productions in the 2012 World Press Photo Multimedia Contest will receive a ‘Golden Eye Award’ and a certificate during the World Press Photo Awards ceremony in Amsterdam on Saturday 21 April 2012, with the winning team additionally receiving a cash prize of €5,000.