Open Format winner 2022

This year, the World Press Photo Contest has adopted a new competition model . The model is divided on the basis of regions and has not two, but four global winners. One of the new categories is open format. This category is for projects that use different or mixed media, with photography as the main focus. Isadora Romero takes the first 'World Press Open Format of the Year' with her project 'Blood is a Seed'.

By: Thijs Borcheld

‘Blood is a Seed’

In the course of the 20th century, about 75% of agricultural plant species have been lost. Using personal stories, Romero addresses the phenomenon of the disappearance of seeds. Indigenous knowledge is lost due to forced migration, racism and colonization. As a result, traditional agriculture dies, which leads to less biodiversity. Romero portrays this problem through her father, who emigrated from Colombia in 1981 to escape the violence that prevailed there at the time.

Comment from the jury

“This is a very strong project that approaches a global problem from a personal perspective, by thinking about personal loss. Exploring her own roots and ancestors, the photographer explores the violent and strategic erasure of cultural knowledge, which continues to have deep-seated implications for new generations, the wider society and the planet. The combination of methods and sensory layers, sound and collaborative drawings builds on a clear language that is both personal and political. The video is well paced and is a great example of how the Open Format category is a space where photographers can use different media in a coherent and imaginative way to produce a story of global relevance.”

'Blood is a Seed' can be admired from November 11 to December 4 during the NonFiction Photo Festival in Groningen. The project is part of the World Press Photo Exhibition. Visit our festival page for more information about the festival.


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Stichting NonFiction Photo
Kerklaan 30, 9751 NN, Haren
ANBI | Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling


NonFiction Photo Festival Groningen
November – December 2022
Synagoge – Folkingestraat 60


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