Photo by Walter Astrada
World Press 2010
To say an image speaks a thousand words is perhaps a truism and nowhere more so than in the world of photojournalism.
Where words can’t express a story, through censorship or otherwise, a captured photo of a newsworthy event can make a significant impact.
The locations featured in the ‘News’ divisions of the World Press Photo exhibition are rarely surprising, more often than not they’re from the world’s worst trouble spots. One thing that does always catch you out is the exceptional level of photography. Here are the world’s best photographers and this is their work on the wall.
The ‘General News’ and ‘Spot News’ winners of the 2010 competition, show images snatched from Gaza, Somalia, Kabul, Tijuana and Tehran. They show a world at conflict and of people in trouble. They show protest, death, violent crime and mass poverty; going to see this exhibition is never easy but always greatly rewarding. It’s a bleak reminder of the world and its problems and the issues that confront people on a daily basis.
The overall ‘World Press Photo of the Year’ winner is Italian photographer Pietro Masturzo, whose shot shows women on a Tehranian nighttime rooftop shouting protest over the contested presidential elections in Iran. It does what photojournalism should; convey the personal side of a news story and give the conflict a very human context.
There is relief though and it comes in the form of the ‘Sports’, ‘Arts and Entertainment’ and ‘Nature’ sections. Less instantly emotive perhaps but no less arresting these categories include the visually stunning work of Tommaso Ausili, who reveals the insides of an Umbrian slaughterhouse and manages to create beauty out of carnage. In the portrait section the Dutch photographer Annie van Gemert’s photo story (pictured) is a subtle look at androgynous children. Her delicate portraits look to challenge stereotypes of gender definition.
This exhibition is about more than just photography, it’s about the world we live in. You will leave thankful that you have the luck and good fortune to observe these events from afar and not as an eyewitness on ground level.