Finally the bell rings and I can leave. I meet my mother and together we go to the World Press Photo Exhibiton 2016 in the WestLicht Museum in Vienna. It’s located in the 7th district, so we don’t need much time to get there.
I start with the photo that is not only on the first place (singles) in the category ‘Spot News’, but is also the ‘Photo Of The Year’. The picture was shot by the photojournalist Warren Richardson on August 28th, 2015 . Entitled ‘Hope For A New Life’, it shows with intensity the difficult journey and loss of the refugees. On the photo a man is seen. He is holding a Baby. No actually, someone gives it to him. They’re part of a group of refugees who found a hole in a barbed wire which should prevent them to cross the border from Syria to Hungary. My first thoughts are that this photo should get more attention. It tells so much, you don’t even have to read caption. The barbed wire stands for the problematic odyssey and great obstacles on their way. Another symbol for it could also be the darkness and bluriness. Those people don’t know exactly what to expect from their future. They just want to leave the past literally behind.
The meaning, all that what Richardson is showing us with this photo makes it so special. The intensity, simplicity…; they’re all factors which put it on the first place.
When you look at the photos at this exhibition, you have to see more than what’s on the surface. It’s art. It can show beautiful and horrible things. Sometimes it’s nice at the first sight, but when you take a closer look, you’ll find something behind the mask.
On John J. Kim’s photo ‘March Against Police Violence’ you see two people staring at each other. Dislike and hostile can be observed. That isn’t a surprise in view of the fact that it was made during, like the title says, a protest march against police violence. Very often you could hear or read that excessive brutality was used by the police against black people. Those incidents led to demonstrations like the one on this photo.
The colours of Tim Laman’s Story ‘Tough Times For Orangutans’ makes me feel a bit warmer for a second. I first see that photo that shows only one orangutan sitting on a branch. The sun is shining and makes the picture more lively, but the orangutan’s mouth is wide opened. Anger I guess. It looks agressive. Now I only pay attention at the face.
Laman took the photo in the Batang Toru Forest which is located in the Indonesian province Sumatera Utara (engl. Northern Sumatra). The animal on it is a Sumatran oragutan. That species is on the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red List. Not enough of that; it is listed as ‘critically endangered’.
The photo belongs to a story. The American biologist/photojournalist handed in more pictures. Baby orangutans getting a ride to the forest, a climbing orangutan, but also one which has to flee because there’s fire somewhere behind it or a baby orangutan which was held as a pet.
I’m going from picture to picture. Standing in front of each of them. I like every single photo. No matter what place they reached, longterm-projects, singles, stories or in what category they are. They’re all great.
The Exhibition in Vienna can be seen until October 16th. In Budapest, Hungary, it’s until October 23rd. For more dates and places: World Press Exhibitions
“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”- Ansel Adams
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” -Dorothea Lange