AFP staff photographer Ronaldo Schemidt has won the 2018 World Press Photo Award for his image entitled Venezuela Crisis. The image also won the first prize in the Spot News Single category. The image shows José Víctor Salazar Balza on fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela. Salazar was set alight when the gas tank of a motorbike exploded. He survived the incident with first- and second-degree burns. Schemidt is a staff photographer for Agence France-Presse, based in Mexico.
Magdalena Herrera, director of photography Geo France and chair of the jury, said, “It’s a classical photo, but it has an instantaneous energy and dynamic. The colours, the movement, and it’s very well composed, it has strength. I got an instantaneous emotion.”
The World Press Photo of the Year award carries a cash prize of 10,000 euros. In addition, Canon presented the winning photographer with a selection of camera equipment.
Nominees have their travel and lodging paid for by the World Press Photo Foundation to Amsterdam so they can attend the Awards Show and the World Press Photo Festival, an event taking place 13-14 April featuring photographer presentations, screenings, and talks. They also receive a diploma and a Golden Eye Award at the Awards Show.