Starting on November 29, one of the best photo exhibitions in the world is making its way to Barcelona. See full event details here.
World Press Photo is an independent non-profit association based in Amsterdam. Since 1955 they have hosted the world’s most prestigious annual press photography contest and exhibition. The original contest saw 42 photographers from 11 countries submit just over 300 photographs for consideration. The following year, that number quadrupled and in the five decades since, it has grown enormously.
Today, the contest attracts over 5,000 photographers from around 125 countries who submit over 95,000 photographs. The elite group of judges select just a few to win awards, in a number of categories. This award-winning selection is then collected into an exhibition which spends the following year touring the world.
Some of the most iconic photographs of the previous half-century have been celebrated by this exhibition, and this year’s selection is no exception. Last year (2011) was a busy year – the Arab Spring, the massive earthquake off the coast of Japan, the transfer of power in North Korea and the official end to the Iraq war were just a few of the highlights. These events and the people surrounding them are featured in the exhibition in thought-provoking and sometimes gut-wrenching clarity.
But it’s not all bad news: the exhibition is split in many categories and those of sport and nature promise to give you pause and perhaps the odd chuckle. Daily lives around the world are caught in the lens as well. It is truly a far-reaching theme and a wonderful exhibition. One word of advice – save the Sports and Nature sections for last. They are a nice way to end what can otherwise be a very saddening exhibition.
One photograph is selected every year to receive the prestigious World Press Photo of the Year Award. They are without fail compelling, moving and poignant, and this year’s selection is no exception. It shows a woman in Yemen holding a relative who was wounded during the demonstrations against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen on 15 October 2011.
The exhibition in Barcelona runs from November 29 to January 6, at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (better known as the CeCeCeBe) and it is not worth missing. It is perhaps the best photography exhibition you will ever see – until next year’s World Press Photo rolls around.