Haar lichaamstaal vertelt alles wat haar gezicht niet kan.
A thin man rests his head on the shoulder of a burqa-clad woman, the pair collapsed together against a wall. The expression on her face can’t be seen. But her body language – right arm wrapped tightly around his neck, left hand clinging to his arm – conveys everything her expression cannot.
This is Samuel Aranda’s World Press Photo of the Year, which Mr. Aranda shot in Yemen while on assignment for The New York Times last fall.
The image, which has the mood of a Renaissance painting, was one of the first Mr. Aranda filed from Yemen, where he spent more than two months shooting for the paper. He found the pair at the entrance to a mosque that had been converted into a hospital.
“I got back to my place and I saw the photo in the screen and I was like, ‘Wow,’” Mr. Aranda said. “The woman is not just crying. It was something more. You can feel that the woman is really strong.”
Mr. Aranda, 32, was born in Spain and is based in Tunisia. When he arrived in Yemen in early October, no one knew he was there. It had taken him more than a month to safely sneak into the country.
He fell in love with the place.
Still, it was a couple of weeks before he felt comfortable walking around with a camera. While covering protests in Taiz, he and a freelance reporter for The Times came under fire from government soldiers. As the only Western photographer in Yemen at one point, Mr. Aranda was helped by friendly local wire photographers – like Mohamed al-Sayaghi of Reuters.
That made it difficult to leave, which he did just before Christmas. “I remember saying ‘bye’ to Mohamed and he was super serious, looking at me, and he was like, ‘We have a big problem,’” Mr. Aranda said. “’You cannot leave the country now.’”