The World Press Photo exhibition is on display again in the Hungarian National Museum – you can view press photos displayed with their stories, that were taken last year, and were selected by an international jury from nearly eighty thousand applicants.
Many beautiful pictures got into the final selection – however, most pictures aren’t nice, and well-composed, but should rather be defined as strong pictures. This strength comes from their interesting, shocking or even horrifying backstories.
It can be shocking to realize how many wars are still happening outside of Europe. If one doesn’t have enough time to be invested in what’s happening every day or isn’t interested in politics, it’s easy to miss the numerous armed conflicts still going on in many places.
Wikipedia’s List of ongoing armed conflicts lists 45 wars defined as armed conflicts, that have yet to end in peace. Not all of these are still active, but one couldn’t call those places peaceful either for sure. In the pictures taken last year, we can see injured and victims from Syria, Yemen, Kongo or even Venezuela. Mexico’s and the Philippines’ governments’ struggle against drug cartels can also be seen in the exhibition.
There are relatively few European, or north-American pictures on display – on one hand this means that we won’t come across many familiar sights in this exhibition, on the other hand, it means our lives are peaceful, there weren’t any events that could be displayed next to Mexican families weeping for their lost loved ones, or injured Syrian children.
Aside of pictures depicting burning social and global problems, one can view happier, more harmonic images amongst the award-winning nature category – we can even be proud of a Hungarian winner: Bence Máté won first place with his picture of frogs released back into the water in Kovászna, after having their legs amputated.
One can run into many medicine-related pictures: amongst the winners, there’s a series of a Czech Paralympic, many pictures documented the medical care of war-torn regions, or even the self-portrait of a woman suffering from cancer. A taste of the pictures:
Catalina Martin-Chico: Being Pregnant After FARC Child-Bearing Ban
As members of FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) women were not allowed to bear any more children or to even raise them. Guerilla life is obviously not compatible with caring for children.
After the peace treaty signed in 2016 by both the Columbian government and the revolutionary movement, there was a sudden spike of children born to female combatants – after taking up arms and the continuous mortal danger they must try to return to their daily lives
Brent Stirton: Akashinga – The Brave Ones
In this photograph, thirty-year-old Petronella takes part in a training exercise as part of Akashinga in the Phudundu National Park in Zimbabwe.
The meaning of the expression Akashinga is “The Brave Ones”, it’s a group of women, who in the interest of longevity protect natural values and animals. It offers jobs to socially handicapped women, and it always keeps the interests of the locals in mind. It offers help not from the outside, but rather tries to improve the situation from the inside.
Sarah Blessener – Beckon Us from Home
This is a long-term work, it’s a series of photos that depict the methods and programs, that the US and Russia use to evoke patriotism and interest towards military service in children. In the picture above, Russian girls make each other laugh in a marching and singing competition.
Don’t think for a second, that only Russia gives weapons to the hands of the youth, gives camouflaged clothes to children, or start their military training in high school during summer camps – the same thing is happening in the USA, whether in the colors of the navy, or the air forces.
The exhibition gives a colorful image of the entire world. Some familiar photos might return from last year’s sensations, but it definitely holds many surprises. The World Press exhibition is accompanied by the pictures of Flóra Borsi – a talented young photographer, who only just finished her studies in MOME, but already has made a name for herself. We can make sure with our own eyes how skilled she is with Photoshop, and how she can turn an everyday portrait into something shocking and upsetting.
If you got into the mood to view the exhibition(s), here’s when, and where you can do this:
Where? The Hungarian National Museum.
When? Until the 23rd of October.
How much? A full-priced ticket costs 2100 Ft, the discounted ticket for students (from ages 6-26) costs 1000 Ft.