The world’s most popular traveling photo exhibition
As the famous director Jean-Luc Godard once said, photography is truth – a truth that can be both beautiful and uncomfortable. This is evident from the stunning but provocative collection of photographs currently on display at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, moments captured by photographers across the world as part of the World Press Photography exhibition.
The exhibition showcases photos nominated for the World Photo Contest prize, in which 4,783 photographers entered this year from 129 different countries. The 2019 winner was John Moore with his photo ‘Girl Crying on the Border’, showing a young girl, Yanela Sanchez, crying desperately whilst her mother is arrested by US border control in Texas. It’s a powerful photo summing up one of the year’s most controversial topics – and it’s just one of many powerful images at the exhibition. Equally evocative is Pedro Pardo’s image of Central American migrants climbing the border fence between Mexico and the United States near El Chaparral border crossing, and the story captured by Pieter Ten Hoopen of Central American migrants walking up to 50km a day in order to flee harsh economic conditions in the hope of a better life.
One particularly inescapable theme as you follow the exhibition’s path is the environment. Brent Stirton’s image of Petronella Chigumbura, a member of the women-only anti-poaching team Akashinga, fighting to achieve long term benefits for the local environment and community is in strong contrast with Mario Cruz’s photograph of a child floating on a mattress on a river of garbage in the biologically dead Pasig River in the Phillipines. Whilst they are powerful images of the destruction humankind has caused and certainly serve as a reminder of our struggle against environment, fortunately they also capture a more positive side to humanity – Jasper Doest’s ‘Flamingo Socks’ captures a Caribbean flamingo inspecting the improvised socks created to help heal its severe foot lesions, an initiative by the Fundashon Dier en Onderwijs Cariben, Curaçao.
One of the most memorable parts of the exhibition is the wall showing every winning photo since the competition began in 1955. It takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride of the major events across the world over the last fifty years – some we may have tried to forget, but remain printed in film to remind us of our past.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words – and without using any, this exhibition tells the stories of hundreds of people around the world. In a world where fake news is increasingly influential, it is clear just how important these photos are: they represent freedom of expression, freedom of the press and most importantly, the truth.
WORLD PHOTO PRESS EXHIBITION
TILL 26 MAY 2019
Palazzo delle Esposizioni
Via Nazionale, 194
Open Tues-Thurs, 10am-8pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-10pm; Sun, 10am-8pm; Mon closed
Entry fee €8-10