Friday, 15 February 2013

World Press Photo Again!

 Picture by Micah Albert: Pausing in the rain, a woman working as a trash picker at the 30-acre dump, which literally spills into households of one million people living in nearby slums, wishes she had more time to look at the books she comes across. She even likes the industrial parts catalogs. “It gives me something else to do in the day besides picking [trash],” she said.
 The World Press Photo winners are up and well, what can I say that hasn't been said before, with knobs on and sprinkles on top. The world is a pretty small, unsophisticated, reactionary place, where the men shoot first and the women become crack addicts, prostitutes and get acid attacked.
There are some amazing pictures and stories up there - the pepper spraying of a protestor in Jerusalem is just so direct and spiteful. It's strange how that youthful spite carries so much more weight (for me at least) than the bodies lined up in the awards. 
But overall, I do feel that this is a kind of failed year, that the balance is wrong, that I don't understand the world better because of what I see, that if one made a world map based on this year's WPP winners, the Middle East would be way too big and other places way too small. It puts me off photography, in its lumpen misery with no respite - not that the misery doesn't need to be shown, but a less reactionary, knee-jerk visualisation of the world would be good. Here we mostly see just the pawns going about their depressing business and getting killed and tortured for their efforts. It would be good to go beyond the pawns to see how the world operates, to get the venality, spitefulness and deceit of the people and events that make these things happen.
 Anyway, I'll probably change my mind on that, because this is an off-the-cuff reactionary little blog. But my favourite picture so far is this one by Micah Albert. Here's the story.

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