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Surreal shot of African migrants looking for a cell signal wins World Press Photo of the Year

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john stanmeyer world press photo
john stanmeyer world press photo

World Press Photo has awarded its illustrious Photo of the Year award to American photographer John Stanmeyer for his surreal image of African migrants in Djibouti searching for cell signals from neighboring Somalia. It's a scene that quite literally couldn't have happened just a few years ago; a bright moon illuminates the subjects trying to establish wireless contact with relatives abroad. The photo was shot for National Geographic, and was one of nearly 100,000 photos submitted by 5,754 photographers for this year's award. "It's a photo that is connected to so many other stories," says World Press Photo jury member and photographer Jillian Edelstein. "It opens up discussions about technology, globalization, migration, poverty, desperation, alienation, humanity." Stanmeyer is no stranger to success — his photos having graced the cover of Time magazine 12 times.

The award carries a cash prize of €10,000 and a professional DSLR camera and lens kit from Canon. For the full gallery of award-winning photos spanning nine categories, head over to World Press Photo.