Het wereldnieuws van een jaar in 152 foto’s

A year's world news in 152 photographs

15 September 2017

More than 80,000 photos of world news from the past year have been submitted for the World Press Photo of the Year. Of these, the jury has selected 152 as prize winners and, as it does every year, the prize-winning exhibition is travelling to over a hundred places worldwide. One venue is Vertigo.

In Plaza Vertigo the photos are hung in categories. Photographers have sent in either series or single photographs. The one of a weeping man with a blood-covered child in his arms lingers in my thoughts. The photograph of four little Chinese girls at a gymnastics school doing toe exercises for 30 minutes in an impossible posture also sets me thinking.

For neither of these photos do I need to read the accompanying text, but looking at the photo of the countless monarch butterflies I wonder what the news angle is. I also read the text when I come to the series about male rugby players, in one picture fanatically playing their sport, in another all spruced up and wearing make-up and corsets in the changing room. 'A gay-friendly rugby team'. Ah, now I understand.

Hard news

On December 19 2016, while giving a speech in an art gallery in Ankara, a Russian ambassador was murdered by an off-duty Turkish police officer. The newspaper photo showing the perpetrator standing next to his slain victim, his finger pointing upwards, is still etched in my memory. As you'd expect, the photo is on display at WPP 2017. Next to it hangs a photograph showing the other side of that gallery. A group of visitors has crept away into a corner and sits there in fear of their lives. That image brought the event back to me.

The 152 photos are all moving in some way. They spark memories, an unpleasant feeling or a smile. Until October 6 they are on view here every day. At lunchtime on Thursdays, Studium Generale will be giving a guided tour lasting 30 minutes, in both English and Dutch. Register here. Entry to the exhibition is free.

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