The World Around Us
Words by Rachel Trevarthen, feature image photo by Massimo Sestini, Italy.
Capturing and conveying the complex and diverse world of stories around us is no mean feat. Photojournalism is one medium that does this exceptionally well and at this, the annual World Press Photo exhibition presents the absolute best.
The World Press Photo of the Year for 2015 is of Jon and Alex, a gay couple sharing an intimate moment in St Petersburg Russia. It is one of the few winning photos in the past twenty years that doesn’t depict destruction in the midst of war and perhaps signals a shift towards softer contemporary issues in the news spotlight.
It highlights one of the key social issues of our time and the plight of those still facing social and legal discrimination, harassment and even violent hate crimes because of their sexuality.
Second place this year is the story of Chinese Christmas Factories. It shows Wei, a factory worker in Yiwu, eastern China, coating polystyrene snowflakes with red powder. Wearing a Christmas hat to protect his hair and using at least six face masks a day, Wei is not entirely sure what Christmas is, but thinks that it is a foreigners’ form of Chinese New Year.
From refugees aboard boats crossing the Mediterranean to a striking Eritrean wedding in the white washed buildings of Israel, the exhibition is a powerfully moving selection of stories seen through eyes other than our own.
Some of the iconic images which have arisen from previous contests include a naked girl running after a napalm attack in Vietnam, a Buddhist monk setting himself alight and a sole demonstrator standing in front of tanks on Tiananmen Square.
The World Press Photo Exhibition has been running for almost 60 years, beginning in 1955, with a persistent and lasting aim to inspire understanding through quality photojournalism.
It uses the power of visual storytelling to inform and shape us, to highlight issues requiring attention and pay tribute to the beauty, tragedy and diversity of the world we all call home.
Exhibitions are currently showing around the world with upcoming exhibitions throughout Europe and Asia as well as in Russia, Canada and New Zealand.
For more information click here.