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Storytelling Technology Image is World Press Photo of the Year

Posted on Apr 12, 2014

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Photo by JOHN STANMEYER

Such a beautiful image. Could this be a group of people taking a selfie? Of perhaps a picture of the moon? Not quite.

African migrants on the shore of Djibouti city at night, raising their phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia—a tenuous link to relatives abroad. Djibouti is a common stop-off point for migrants in transit from such countries as Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, seeking a better life in Europe and the Middle East.

The storytelling image beat out more than 98,000 others to nab the top spot. Jury member Jillian Edelstein, a South African-born but UK-based photographer, said, “It’s a photo that is connected to so many other stories — it opens up discussions about technology, globalization, migration, poverty, desperation, alienation, humanity.

“It’s a very sophisticated, powerfully nuanced image. It is so subtly done, so poetic, yet instilled with meaning, conveying issues of great gravity and concern in the world today.”

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