A look back at the Swiss Press Photo 2018

7 December 2018

A look back at the Swiss Press Photo 2018

At the end of this year, the 2018 retrospective of one of Switzerland’s most famous photo competitions, the Swiss Press Photo, is taking place. Supported by the world-renowned organization World Press Photo, this event promotes the development of photojournalism. But not only that: it also highlights the importance of many social themes.

Origin and support of the Swiss Press Photo

The Swiss Press Photo event was developed thanks to the support of a specific actor: the Reinhardt von Graffenried Foundation. It was founded in 2009 by two leading lawyers and businessmen, Erwin Reinhardt and Charles von Graffenried. Since then, it has rewarded the performance of journalistic photos on all types of societal subjects.


In particular, it undertakes to support journalism and press photography. Its action is a key driver in the print and electronic media in Switzerland. It is non-profit and has no ties to any publisher. In addition, it is intended to be parallel to the World Press Photo’s worldwide association and event. Thanks to them, photographer reporters are brought to light.

The 2018 Edition

In mid-year, the best photographs from the Swiss press were therefore awarded in six different categories. The categories in question: News, Swiss Reports, Daily Life, Abroad, Sport and Portrait. There are obviously many criteria to hope to be among the elected journalist reporters. The competition is exclusively journalistic. This implies that the photos presented must have been published in the press (newspaper, magazine, website, etc.) during the year. In this case, it is the year 2017 for the 2018 edition of the competition.


In addition, they must show a commitment, a real artistic and societal bias of the photojournalist. This imperative is reflected first and foremost in the themes of the photos. These include the increase in the number of homeless people, the persecution of religious minorities, the fight against the disease… There are also very sensitive issues such as sexual abuse and the preservation of the planet. However, technical criteria also play a major role in determining the winners. They are indeed direct vectors of emotion in the viewer.


This year, the Château de Prangins, better known as the Swiss National Museum, is hosting the 27th edition of the exhibition devoted to the Swiss Press Photo. In addition to the work of the winners, the event brings together the best photos from the Swiss press of the year 2017 presented at the competition. A selection of images to be contemplated without reservation in the city of Prangins, as part of a temporary exhibition from 3 November 2018 to 3 March 2019.

The 2018 winners

Reto Oeschger wins first prize in the News category. The cause of this victory was the cliché “Die dunkle Seite des Jürg Jegge” (“The dark side of Jürg Jegge”).

A recognized and almost untouchable teacher in Switzerland, Jurg Jegge suffered a devastating decline after the publication of the book “La face sombre de Jürg Jegge”. Written by one of his former pupils, it depicts the sexual abuse of his young protégés in the 1970s and 1980s for which the teacher was responsible.


Nils Ackermann, already a winner in 2015, wins the first prize in the Swiss Reports category thanks to a photo by Pierre Maudet entitled “Operation Valmy”. The image shows his campaign for the Federal Council.


In the category Daily Life, it is Karin Hofer who stands out with her unexpected shot depicting the life and work of winegrowers. His work is described by the jury as “poetry in press photography”.


Simon Tanner was awarded the prize in the Sport category, thanks in particular to the particularly playful aspect of his photographic compositions linked to the world of football.


The Foreign category is not to be outdone: Alex Kühni’s reputation is built on a very strong image, that of a sniper in Mosul. Vibrant with emotion, this very committed cliché reminds us that “the art of war is not heroic, but devious and cowardly”, comments the jury of the Swiss Press Photo competition.


Finally, Guillaume Perret is the winner in the Portraits category for his series “Daniela – La traversée du cancer”. Cancer can be beaten: this is the message conveyed by this moving tribute to Neuchâtel’s Daniela, who shows her body without blushing after mastectomy and chemotherapy.


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