26 February 2013, Djibouti City, Djibouti — African migrants on the shore of Djibouti city at night, raising their phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia—a tenuous link to relatives abroad. Djibouti is a common stop-off point for migrants in transit from such countries as Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, seeking a better life in Europe and the Middle East. Photo: John Stanmeyer, USA, VII for National Geographic
An image of people holding their phones up to a bright full moon would normally imply that they are Instagramming or Snapchatting it to their friends. But John Stanmeyer, a photographer for VII and National Geographic, captured a moment on the shores of Djibouti City, where migrants gather to try catch a cell connection from Somalia. The photo portrays a romantic look at the globalization of technology and what technology means to people around the globe. On Friday, the World Press Photo Association awarded the image 2013 Photo of the Year after it beat out more than 98,000 images, ranging from the war in Syria to the shooting at Kenya’s Westgate mall.