World Press Photo: The Other Deadly Side of the Lens
Demonstrators on Tahrir Square, Cairo, react to a televised speech on 10 February, in which contrary to prior expectations, Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak said he would not give up power | Photo: Alex Majoli, Magnum Photos
“World Aquatics Championships”, Shanghai, China | Photo: Adam Pretty, Getty Images
For over a decade now the Westlicht Gallery has hosted the annual World Press Photo exhibition, offering viewers a reminder of the reality of the world where we live. However, it also reminds us of the costs photographers sometimes pay.
This year’s crop zooms in on the familiar grim subjects of war, conflict, death and natural disasters. The Arab Spring, the tsunami in Japan, Anders Breivik’s massacre on Utøya island, and the continued violence associated to Mexican drug cartels figure prominently in the work of the 57 photographers from 24 countries.
The winning photo is Samuel Aranda’s portrait of a woman holding an injured protester in Yemen, but the most moving image is a seemingly unremarkable portrait of a rebel fighter in Libya, winner of the first prize for General News stories. Moving, because its photographer Rémi Ochlik, a 28-year-old rising star, was killed with journalist Marie Colvin in Homs, Syria on 22 February 2012, caught in the line of fire, while in the line of duty. The photo description in the World Press Photo exhibition neglects to mention this detail.
Annual visitors will recognize a few names from recent years. After the tsunami in Japan, the AP’s David Guttenfelder snapped at least his seventh award-winner, footprints in the drying mud. Yasuyoshi Chiba’s portrait of a cruise boat on a house after the same disaster follows up a prize in 2008. Russian Yuri Kozyrev’s snapshot of Libyan rebel fighters is his sixth winner. Other multiple recipients include Tomasz Guzowaty portraits of lucha libre competitors in Mexico, Adam Pretty’s repeat with yet another swimmer’s treat, and another underwater stunner from Donald Miralle, Jr.
World Press Photo 2012
Through 21 Oct.
7., Westbahnstr. 40
(01) 522 66 36 60
For a review of the 2011 World Press Photo exhibit, see “Finding Beauty in Hardship” in TVR Oct 2011.