World Press Photo Exhibition: The Harrowing Stories of Reality

The World Press Photo Exhibition 2018 is on display in Sydney, showing evoking and eye-catching photographs.

Photo Credit: Anna Boyiazis, (United States), Second Prize Stories, from “Finding Freedom In The Water.”

The World Press Photo Foundation, founded in 1955, holds a yearly photo contest to expose unremarkable photographs from photographers all over the world.  The State Library of NSW in Sydney is currently exhibiting the 61st edition of the World Press Photo Exhibition until June 24. The exhibition travels through 100 cities and 45 countries; 150 breathtaking images of today’s reality have been put on view. It is a must-see: portraying general news, contemporary issues, daily life, environment and nature, people, and sport.

Each photograph tells a unique story. You’ll find portrayals of heartbreak and fear, but also of change and hope. And while many of the photographs offer a confronting and often-shocking display of the world’s climate, it’s an important education in current affairs.

Here is a list of the five Nominees for the photo of the year:

Ronaldo Schemidt (Venezuela) won photo of the year with his photograph captured in Caracas, Venezuela. His subject is a 28-year-old man who survived a motorbike gas tank explosion with first- and second-degree burns during a protest against President Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas on May 3, 2017. The image is hugely triggering display of the violent social conflicts between government and protesters, and it’s exactly this shocking nature that the judges praised about Schemidt’s capture.

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Australian photographer Patrick Brown portrays bodies of Rohingya refugees who were trying to flee to Myanmar. The boat drowned off the coast of Bangladesh on September 28, 2017. This photograph evokes loss, showing the rawness of humanity and the brutal reality of millions of refugees.

Rohingya Crisis
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Australian photographer Adam Ferguson captured a kidnapped 14-year-old girl, being assigned a suicide bombing mission. The power of positivity overruled and her destiny was to escape.

Toby Melville (UK) witnessed the immediate aftermath of the attack on Westminster Bridge in London, on March 22, 2017. He captured an injured women lying on the ground whilst another woman takes care of her. Pain and fear lie in the victim’s eyes, but as with many world disasters, you get a glimpse of humanity’s decency.

Two of Ivor Prickett‘s (Ireland) images were nominated. One shows the civilians that remained in west Mosul after the Battle on March 15, 2017. Take a look deep into the people’s eyes, read their body language and you will notice a glimpse of relief and hope. The other photograph shows a boy being carried out of the ISI controlled area in the Old City of Mosul after the Battle. A helping hand in the war zone depicts a glimpse of hope in an otherwise desperate image.

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Dive into a journey of photo stories from around the world, a journey of fear, pain, anger, loss, and – above all – reality. You may want to bring your tissues as you wander through the cruelty and inhumanity of vulnerable faces and voices. But please, take a deeper look, and acknowledge the hope and positivity that radiates from the images.

What is your favourite photograph from the exhibition? Let us know in the comments below!