World Press Photo, launched their 6×6 Talent Program in August 2017. Each full cycle of the 6×6 program focuses on one region at a time and takes two years to highlight work from each of the six regions. The purpose is to recognize six visual storytellers from six global regions, to highlight talent from around the world, and present stories with diverse perspectives. The 6 regional categories are Southeast Asia and Oceania, South America, Europe, Africa, North and Central America, and Asia.
For each region, an international community of nominators puts forward visual storytellers that deserve larger recognition for their work. From the nominees’ submitted portfolios, a selection committee picks six visual storytellers to join the pool of the 6×6 Program’s talents from around the world. Salil Bera, India, deputy photo editor, The Week, Tanvi Mishra, India, photo editor, curator, writer, and creative director, The Caravan, Sudipto Das, India, staff photographer, The Times of India, and, independent photographers Saumya Khandelwal, Ritayan Mukherjee, and Showkat Nanda are part of the selection committee. It is worth noting here that, none of the selection committee members are from the Southern Part of India. World Press Photo does accept nomination suggestions as well as self-nominations, which can be done here.
The 6×6 program is not a contest, but a way to highlight emerging talent around the world. There are no categories, and the six individuals from each region are not ranked or awarded individual prizes. Instead, their work is recognized, published, and shared with World Press Photo’s global audience. 6×6 talents’ work will be exhibited and published on the World Press Photo Foundation’s platforms, including their online magazine Witness. 6×6 talents are also nominated for World Press Photo’s prestigious Joop Swart Masterclass, provided they meet the nomination criteria.
WPP announced the results of the second cycle, 6 new talents from Asia that includes four Indians, Debsuddha Banerjee; Deepti Asthana; Santanu Dey, and Sutirtha Chatterjee. The other two recognition goes to Mengwen Cao, China, and Parisa Azadi. In 2018, Senthil Kumaran, an independent visual storyteller from South India, and New Delhi based Saumya Khandelwal, who is now a part of the nomination team were recognized as 6×6 young talents.