2019 Joop Swart Masterclass projects

Discover the 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass projects 

The 26th edition of the Joop Swart Masterclass, the World Press Photo Foundation’s most prestigious education program, took place from 17-21 September in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Run as a week-long intensive program, the Joop Swart Masterclass identifies, supports and educates new talent in the field of documentary photography, visual journalism, and visual storytelling.

This edition’s program featured master lectures; editing sessions; guest lectures by Henk Wildschut, visual storyteller, and Marina Paulenka, Unseen Platform’s artistic director; a guided tour to the international photography fair Unseen Amsterdam by Darius Himes, Christie's International Head of Photographs; and a visit to the EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam.

2019 participants

For the first time, there was no age limit to participate in the masterclass. Chosen from the 245 candidates nominated in March 2019, the 12 participants - seven women and five men from 12 different countries - were: Abdo Shanan, Algeria; Christopher Gregory-Rivera, Puerto Rico; Fabiola Ferrero, Venezuela; Hannah Reyes Morales, Philippines; Nikita Teryoshin, Russia; Nydia Blas, United States; Shahria Sharmin, Bangladesh; Sofía López Mañán, Argentina; Soumya Sankar Bose, India; Thandiwe Msebenzi, South Africa; Yoppy Pieter, Indonesia; and Zied Ben Romdhane, Tunisia.

2019 masters

Working closely with the 12 participants were five professionals leading sessions on the conception, production, and distribution of their stories: Aida Muluneh, Ethiopia; Diana Markosian, United States; John Fleetwood, South Africa; Monica Allende, Spain; and Munem Wasif, Bangladesh.

'Contrast' theme

Each year, in preparation for the masterclass, the participants produce a visual storytelling project on one single theme that is discussed during editing sessions with the five masters. This year, the chosen theme was ‘Contrast’.

“Working in such an intense way holds the possibility of great transformations. (...) For me the masterclass is about turning instincts into meaningful engagement,” says John Fleetwood, director of Photo:, curator and 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass master.

“The whole group was challenged in different ways. That's the core of the whole program, to question your own work and see if you are on the right path. (...) It's not just about the aesthetics and the editing of your work, but also about the content and the process of how you got there, and how you plan to move forward,” said Fabiola Ferrero, 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass participant.

On Saturday 21 September, the participants presented their masterclass project at the World Press Photo House as part of UNSEEN’s Open Gallery Night. Over 80 visitors attended the presentations.

About the Joop Swart Masterclass

Launched in 1994, the Joop Swart Masterclass has contributed to the development of generations of visual storytellers. Participants have later gone on to lead the masterclass themselves, be awarded in the World Press Photo Contest and have their work published in some of the most prestigious publications around the world.

The Joop Swart Masterclass is part of the World Press Photo Foundation’s Develop programs, encouraging diverse accounts of the world that present stories with different perspectives. We showcase those stories to a worldwide audience, educate the profession and the public on their making, and encourage debate on their meaning.

The Develop programs include the 6x6 Global Talent Program, the African Photojournalism Database, the Joop Swart Masterclass, the Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative, the West Africa Visual Journalism Fellowship, and the Tim Hetherington Fellowship.

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