‘Contrast’ will be this year’s JSM theme

Introducing 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass masters

The World Press Photo Foundation is pleased to announce the masters selected for the 26th edition of the Joop Swart Masterclass, taking place 17-21 September 2019:

The five masters will lead the sessions on the conception, production, and distribution of high-quality visual reports and stories in the contemporary economy of media and photography.

Run as an immersive and interactive educational experience, the Joop Swart Masterclass encourages new and diverse approaches to visual storytelling. It enables the exchange of knowledge and experience, creating a meeting place for practitioners who often work alone.

“Working in such an intense way holds the possibility of great transformations. I am interested to hear from and share with the photographers how their images operate in this vast space called photography, image-making and meaning-making; what they think about our world and how we can see this in their images. For me the masterclass is about turning instincts into meaningful engagement,” says John Fleetwood, director of Joburg Photo, curator and 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass master.

“I am very excited to be fully immersed in a shared creative journey with the masterclass participants and masters in Amsterdam. I’m looking forward to exploring new ideas, while remaining open to challenges and learning from each other,” says Monica Allende, photo editor, curator, educator, and 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass master.


Each year, in preparation for the masterclass, the participants produce a photo essay on one single theme that will be discussed during editing sessions with the five masters. This year, the chosen theme is ‘Contrast’.

“In an increasingly polarized world, photographers can remind us of the importance to explore and see the world in complex and subtle ways. This year’s theme invites participants to unfold the many different layers and variations of their stories, going beyond simple binary oppositions to reveal a plurality of contrasts,” explains Juliette Garms, Programs and Outreach Coordinator, World Press Photo Foundation.

Through their individual projects, the participants will juxtapose, compare, associate, highlight and investigate the emotional, political, social or visual contrasts that they see in the world. Without the burden of necessarily providing answers, their investigations will illuminate the stories that matter to them and open our eyes to new perspectives.

Chosen from the 245 candidates nominated in March 2019, the participants are six women and six men from 12 different countries. Meet the 12 photographers selected for the 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass here and learn more about the selection process here.

Identifying, supporting and educating new talent

The Joop Swart Masterclass is World Press Photo Foundation’s best known educational program for emerging and early-career image makers in the field of documentary photography, visual journalism, and visual storytelling. The masterclass is part of the World Press Photo Foundation’s Develop programs, encouraging diverse accounts of the world that present stories with different perspectives. The Develop programs include the 6x6 Global Talent Program, the African Photojournalism Database, the Joop Swart Masterclass, the Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative, the Tim Hetherington Fellowship, and the West Africa Visual Journalism Fellowship.


About The World Press Photo Foundation

We are a global platform connecting professionals and audiences through trustworthy visual journalism and storytelling, founded in 1955 when a group of Dutch photographers organized a contest (“World Press Photo”) to expose their work to an international audience. Since then, the contest has grown into the world’s most prestigious photography competition, and through our successful worldwide exhibition program, we present to millions of people the stories that matter.

The World Press Photo Foundation is a creative, independent, nonprofit organization, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We appreciate the support of our global partner, the Dutch Postcode Lottery, and our Netherlands partner, PwC.

For more information, visit www.worldpressphoto.org, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube, or read more about new thinking and new talent in visual journalism and storytelling in our online publication Witness.


Contact us

For additional information or interview requests, please contact our Communications Team: communications@worldpressphoto.org