A photograph by Vojtěch Dárvík Máca, The Bucha Massacre, is the Photo of the Year in the 28th Czech Press Photo competition.


Czech Press Photo’s international jury of experts chose this picture as Photo of the Year 2022 out of a series of photos by Vojtěch Dárvík Máca, who documented wartime events in the cities of Bucha and Irpin. 234 photographers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia signed up for the 34th Czech Press Photo competition. They submitted over six thousand works. The winners of the main prizes and partner prizes of the 28th Czech Press Photo were announced at a gala ceremony in the National Museum on January 31st. The Czech Press Photo 2022 exhibition at the National Museum will be on display from 1 February and will run until 31 July 2023. The exhibition will present the work of Czech and Slovak photographers in three halls of the historic building of the National Museum.

Photo: Vojtěch Dárvík Máca

“This photograph uncovers the events in Ukraine. The fact that Czech photographers have come there to document war crimes and see everything firsthand is immensely important. It is important to show even images as shocking as this one, because people often do not know what really has happened there. The victims have been tortured and murdered, and the public must see these stories,“ , states jury member Evgeniy Maloletka, a Ukrainian photographer.

Speaking for the whole jury, its chairman Petr Mlch notes: “In some years it has been hard for the Czech Press Photo jury to decide what topic was dominant in the preceding twelve months. This was not one of those years. There was no need for debate. The whole world knows about the war in Ukraine. The jury reviewed considered powerful series depicting the refugee crisis caused by the Russian invasion, but ultimately the choice fell to our desire to show the reality of the war in Ukraine. Even though we are all affected by the war indirectly, it is only the people in Ukraine who are faced with this conflict’s true horror. The winning picture shows the body of a murdered inhabitant of Bucha. He has laid in place for several days. His faithful dog has lain next to him all this time, not wishing to leave his master even after the latter’s death. The dog’s innocent faithfulness is in contrast with all the horror of what lies before him. It reminds us that animals too suffer in war. Despite this, looking at the photo, we must ask ourselves: Who are the real animals in this war?“

“I arrived in both cities – Irpin and Bucha – just after the Russian army’s withdrawal. Civilians’ dead bodies were still laying on the streets... some had been there for weeks. Everywhere in and around the cities military equipment was still on fire, and the vast majority of buildings were shot up by artillery. Meanwhile some of the buildings were still on fire. I stayed in Bucha for several days – initially thanks to another private contact of mine. A mass grave counting over 300 bodies of civilians – in many cases brutally executed – became a sad symbol of this city. Right in the period when I was in Bucha, they found a place where the Russians had executed six people – two men and two women – with firearms. Allegedly one of the women was still just a teenager. All of the victims had been covered in a flammable substance and burned: the army had tried to thereby cover its tracks. Bucha, that’s images of things like collecting the human remains of murdered civilians, a dead man lying on the ground still holding a keyring in his hands, and a dog faithfully waiting by his master’s body,” says Vojtěch Dárvík Máca of the photo’s origins.

For this year’s contest, eight photographic categories were announced. 234 photographers participated, sending in over six thousand photographs. The submissions were sent in digitally over the entire course of August. The international jury of experts convened on October 13–15 at the Czech Photo gallery. Its members were: jury chairman – editor-in-chief of the ČTK photo bank Petr Mlch; the Ukrainian photographers working for AP Evgeniy Maloletka and Mstyslav Chernov; the Czech photographer and documentarist Dana Kyndrová; reportage photographer from the EPA agency Filip Singer; Press Photo Hungary representative Tamás Szigeti; and Adrian Evans from Great Britain, the director of Panos Pictures.

The competition’s other main award, the Prague Grant, went out to the freelance photographer Kevin V. Ton. His winning series documents construction in Prague. The grant winner was personally selected by Prague’s mayor Zdeněk Hřib.

“In recent years, Prague has been experiencing a record-breaking construction boom, in both the private and public sectors, and that’s why I decided to select a series of photos that maps this trend on our city’s territory. My congratulations go out to the Prague Grant’s winner, Kevin V. Ton, and I wish him many more successes,” says Hřib of his decision.

Alongside the Prague Grant, the photographer also won a prize from the photo reproduction company Pictoart for the printing of his exhibition.

This is the second year in which the announcement of results of the Czech Press Photo is being accompanied by announcements for Czech Photo Junior, a competition for young photographers from elementary and secondary schools. The students competed in three categories.

The exhibition of the winning and other selected photographs of the 28th year of the Czech Press Photo competition will be held in co-organization with the National Museum in the historical building on Wenceslas Square in Prague. The exhibition presents the award-winning images and other selected photographs that characterise the past dramatic year. Along with the images of Czech and Slovak photojournalists, the emerging young generation will also be presented. The exhibition collection includes Petr Vrabec's set Prague Peripheries, which was created on the basis of last year's grant from the Mayor of Prague, as well as a selection from the exhibition Siege of Mariupol - The Last Journalists in the Occupied City by Ukrainian photographers Evgeniy Maloletka and Mstyslav Chernov. In total, there are more than 450 printed photographs and 350 images in screens and projections by 120 authors. The exhibition will include an accompanying programme. Once again, a full-day programme - Day with Czech Press Photo - will take place on 25 March. The exhibition will be open to the public from 1 February to the end of July 2023, every day from 10.00 to 18.00.

Numerous activities will accompany this exhibition: lectures, guided tours, presentations by the photographers, and Canon and Samsung company days.

For more information and to see the individual photos, visit www.czechphoto.org.

Contacts and more information: Public relations – Anna Vacková, +420 777 093 690, vackova@czechphoto.org

The Czech Press Photo 2022 competition and exhibition are being organized by:

Czech Photo, o. p. s. and the National Museum

With the financial support of the city of Prague

Hl. m. Praha

under the patronage of the Czech Ministry of Culture and the mayor of Prague Ministerstvo kultury

General partner: Trigema

Partners: Koupelny Ptáček, Cewe, eContest, Siko, Renomia, Berlitz, Pictoart, Canon, Eizo, Samsung, Laufen, Soliter, Fomei, NEWTON Media, VDV, UNHCR

Media partners: Mafra, a. s. and Český rozhlas 1 – Radiožurnál, Reflex, ČTK, Rádio DAB Praha, Prima Zoom, and Lidé a Země Magazine


1st place: Vojtěch Dárvík Máca / freelance photographer / The Irpin and Bucha Massacre
2nd place: Jan Zátorský, Mafra / London, A Farewell to Queen Elizabeth II 1926–2022
3rd place: Gabriel Kuchta / Deník N magazine / Bucha

1st place: Milan Bureš / Respekt / Waiting for the Train out to Safety
2nd place: Petr Topič / Mafra / Refugees from Ukraine at the Main Station
3rd place: Lenka Klicperová / freelance photographer / The “Russian World” – Suffering in Ukraine

1st place: Jarmila Štuková / freelance photographer / An Operation on 18-month-old Yulia from Ukraine
2nd place: Petr Topič / Mafra / 22/2/2022, #22, 22:22
3rd place: Jiří Šneider / freelance photographer / The Labourers

1st place: Petr David Josek / AP / A final Glance at the Coffin Bearing Queen Elizabeth II.
2nd place: Michael Tomeš / freelance photographer / Martina Viktorie Kopecká Is One of the Most Visible Propagators of the Christian Faith in the Czech Republic.
3rd place: Jana Mensatorová, freelance photographer / Once This All Ends. The story of Tereza Vytlačilová, told for the “Bez frází” sports-journalism website.

1st place: Roman Vondrouš / ČTK / The naming of the prime minister
2nd place: Milan Jaroš / Respekt / Andrej Babiš’s Election Campaign
3rd place: Ondřej Deml / ČTK / The German Minister of Foreign Affairs Visits Lidice

1st place: Lukáš Bíba / Economia / Azyl 78
2nd place: Lukáš Kaboň / Deník / Colours of Ostrava 2022
3rd place: David Taneček / ČTK / Acoustic Test

1st place: Michal Červený / freelance photographer / The 2022 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup
2nd place: Petr David Josek / AP / The World Aquatics Championships, Budapest
3rd place: Vladimír Rys / freelance photographer / Fireworks between Life and Death

1st place: Michal Fanta / HZS ČR / Forest fire at the Bohemian Switzerland National Park
2nd place: Martin Veselý / Mafra / Sheet-metal Abstraction
3rd place: Igor Mikula / freelance photographer / Bohemian Switzerland – fire


1st place: Anežka Veselá / Czech Shrovetide Carnival
2nd place: Tomáš Mareš / A Flyboarding Show at the Nepomucký Pond
3rd place: Martin Havel / Rode This Way

1st place: Lukáš Polanský / Church Service in the St. Vitus Cathedral
2nd place: place: Štěpánka Nová / Rain
3rd place: place: Cailin Čech / Is Someone Here?

1st place: Klára Mia Krečmerová / Reportage from a Romani Funeral
2nd place: Sára Burešová / From the Life of a Greyhound Owner
3rd place: Hugo Kollar / Petržalka

Czech Photo Special Award: Tadeáš Kučera / The Aftermath of a Rocket Attack, Lviv

Partner awards:

In the yearly voting at the website for Lidé a Země magazine this year, Michal Fanta won out with his picture of Hřensko on fire, earning him the Lidé a Země Reader’s Choice award. The Canon Junior Award for young photographers goes to Nikol Macoszková for her series The Cult of the Body. The Committee of Good Will – Olga Havel Foundation prize was awarded to a series by Tomáš Řechtáček documenting the treatment of heavily addicted patients at the Horní Beřkovice Psychiatric Hospital The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) award went to Lukáš Kaboň for his series about the humanitarian train in Ukraine. The Czech News Agency’s special scholarship for young photographers 26 and under – to be awarded on-site at Czech Photo – went to Anna Boháčová for her series A Performance Event Protesting the Bucha Massacre. In cooperation with Samsung, an award was given to Martin Divíšek from the EPA agency for his series on the Winter Olympics.

You can find all the nominated photographs at our website www.czechphoto.org

Press release downloadable in format .pdf

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