The best photos of the year in Sweden

Svenska Dagbladet’s photographer Staffan Löwstedt took the picture of the year in Sweden 2020. Several of his colleagues in SvD and Aftonbladet were also awarded in the prestigious competition ”Årets bild 2021”.

”The picture of the year 2020 is like a scene from a science fiction movie with scenes we never saw before they became every day-experiences. Healthcare personnel covered in suits to protect them from a virus that paralyzed the world.”

That’s the Årets Bild jury motivation. The photographer behind the winning picture is Staffan Löwsted who has worked at Svenska Dagbladet for many years.

The picture was part of a story about how very sick Covid patients get intensive care on their way to the hospital, in the air and on the motor roads. It shows a patient arriving at Södersjukhuset in Stockholm.

”The picture mirrors the pandemic and the dystopia at the same time. I like the distance in it, but also the care the man with the bag containing the patient’s personal belongings is showing. And the fact that in the background there is a whole ”healthcare factory” ready to take over. It says something about the Corona year”, says Staffan Löwstedt.

The Corona pandemic has affected most of the work for Staffan and his colleagues the last year. For almost a month during spring 2020 he was present, day and night, at the Covid intensive care at Södertälje hospital, south of Stockholm. An assignment that was especially important and emotional since he and everyone at SvD lost a dear colleague who died in Covid-19 in the early days of the pandemic.

”I have taken pictures and cried while doing so. At times I have slept badly and I have had to work on my experiences, but I have tried just to do my job – to capture what is happening as truthfully as possible, Staffan says in this article in SvD, about the award.

Staffan Löwstedt wasn’t the only Schibsted photographer to be awarded. His SvD-colleague Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman got third prize in the category domestic news story. Andreas Bardell at Aftonbladet won the portrait category for a story showing how the covid-masks put marks on the faces of the health care personell.
Pontus Orre, also from Aftonbladet won the sports category with a picture of a curious spectator trying to get a glimpse of Armand Duplantis jumping.
Three more photographers at Aftonbladet were awarded:
• Portrait, second prize: Magnus Wennman
• International News story, third prize: Peter Wixtröm
• International news photo, third prize: Pontus Höök
You can see all the winners at the Årets bild exhibition at Galleri Kontrast in Stockholm until April 25.

In this story in Schibsted Future Report 2021 you can read more about photographers in the Corna front line, and see more great pictures from Schibsted photographers.

One of Andreas Bardell’s the portraits showing how the covid-masks put marks on the faces of the health care personell.

Pontus Orre’s photo that won the sports category.