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This photograph got the World Press Photo of the year award this year.
March 16, 2002 10:27 PM   Subscribe

This photograph got the World Press Photo of the year award this year. Check out the other winners too. There some absolutely amazing images there.
posted by justlooking (34 comments total)

 
via PDN. Forgot .....
posted by justlooking at 10:44 PM on March 16, 2002


Am I the only one that finds it completely unsurprisng that even after the untold thousands of unforgettable photographs taken on 9/11, many of which will still be considered classics 100 years from now, this organization just happened to pick a largely unknown photo of a dead Afghan civilian child as its winner?

Oh well, at least the photo's from June so they can't blame the US.
posted by aaron at 10:51 PM on March 16, 2002


There are plenty of 9/11 photos news category.

I liked the winning photo, but I wondered what the context was and how the heck it was taken. Weird angle for a funeral parlor, or wherever the kid was dressed.
posted by phatboy at 10:56 PM on March 16, 2002


This seemed entirely too much like a posed shot.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 11:07 PM on March 16, 2002


Yeh. Personaly I think this image is the most powerfull, (I can't say I like it) that I've seen. You can almost make out the guy's features. this WTC photo is also good, I like the composition. this one also struck me, I was like "what war torn 3rd world contry was this taken in?" and then I read the caption...

I really wish they had higher resolution though :(

oh, and this is very cool :P
posted by delmoi at 11:10 PM on March 16, 2002


Slightly off topic: What kind of dongle do they have on the site that makes a pop-up that says "This image is protedted by copyright. We request you not to copy it" whenever you click on the images? I've never seen this sort of copy protect method before.

That said, I didn't like the winning shot either. Very posed, and very standard kind of pathos. And why black and white? It just seems too deliberate, and doesn't come near the effectiveness of some of the other photos. I think pictures of dead children are too easy, and perhaps disrespectful. And even though the pictures of people falling are horribly awesome (in the true sense of that word), I cringe when I see them and move on quickly. I just feel like those people who jumped deserve some measure of privacy in their last moments, whether you can make out who they are or not. I don't really like them turned into images.

I also agree that many of their choices seem rather politcally one sided. It must be hard for the other contenders who took great pre-9/11 photographs to know that their work will be overshadowed by other, less interesting work. I mean, what the heck is with this one? Seems a very bland shot.
posted by evanizer at 11:46 PM on March 16, 2002


From Reportage:

"Discussing the new winning picture, the president of the 2001 jury, the British photojournalist Roger Hutchings said that the judges had favoured the fact that it had been taken before September 11th. The jury wanted to avoid having to choose from one of the no doubt thousands of apocalyptic hard news pictures on offer of the terrorist attack and the subsequent reprisals. Once again, this seems to be a decision with a strong political message. September 11 was a news event unequalled in recent history but the jurors wanted to turn our gaze away from the playing out of international conflict and concentrate it on the experience of innocent people caught up in these power games."

Phatboy: As per the description in that site, its the corpse of a kid who 'died of dehydration being wrapped up in white shroud according to the Muslim tradition. His family, originally from the northern part of Afghanistan, sought refuge because of the political situation in their country and because of the drought which deprived them of food.'
posted by justlooking at 11:50 PM on March 16, 2002


aaron, it actually isn't that surprising, but for another reason. These professional competitions tend to play down pure news value in favor of metrics such as composition, lighting, human interest. The Afghan child photo wasn't on as many front pages (maybe none), but it did get circulated -- I think there was a point at which it was on Yahoo's most e-mailed list, and a number of bloggers linked to it. It's an amazing photograph, even if there was some clear intentionality in its arrangement -- the religiosity of the moment comes through, as well as the humanity of the touching hands, which is the power of the photo. It's a
legitimate contender.

Note that Alan Diaz's Elian photo won the Pulitzer last year (over, for example, the amateur shots of the flaming Concorde). The reason was the human interest of the faces in close-up and in extremis.

(Besides, I thought the moment at which it was assumed that Afghan refugees represented the enemy, more than our allies or protectorates, passed somewhere in October.)

evanizer: it's a fairly standard no-right-clicky javascript trick. What net have you been browsing these last seven years?
posted by dhartung at 12:03 AM on March 17, 2002


Best link in a long while, thanks.
posted by sudama at 12:12 AM on March 17, 2002


Aaron, there have been so very many photos of 9-11 that we are all over familiar with by now. I think it's good that there is recognition that other world events actually took place this year. Yes, the WTC bombing was a tragedy, but thousands of other people also died in wars this year and the world needs to know about that as well. Maybe if the focus is taken away from 9-11, people can start to heal and move on. Havn't we seen enough of those photos anyway?
posted by Jubey at 12:23 AM on March 17, 2002


Always with the death and destruction, oy gevalt. And copy protection? Oh please... nothing you can't get around with a little Print Screen and CTRL V action.
posted by insomnyuk at 1:30 AM on March 17, 2002


Re: The popup.
Just hold down the right click button, and hit space or enter. It'll go away, wait for the right click menu to appear.

Re: The image.
For once I'd like a cheerful image to win.
posted by riffola at 1:45 AM on March 17, 2002


dhartung: I've been on the same net as you, and i've honestly never seen it. I have almost exclusively used Apples, as I am using now, so I have no right click, just a one button optical mouse. Maybe it usually doesn't work on Mac OS...
posted by evanizer at 2:07 AM on March 17, 2002


Oh well, at least the photo's from June so they can't blame the US.

That's the problem with us over commercialized USians. That's the fucking problem. A death is a death. A photo is a photo. Art is art. Humans are humans. No preaching to you of course. No preaching to anyone on the right. But when are you gonna find yourselves a little unconditional humanity? When?
posted by crasspastor at 2:59 AM on March 17, 2002


I am left wondering wqhy a photo of my marriage--a classic--did not win. The event was sad and gloomy but no deaths took place. Did that make the difference?
posted by Postroad at 4:45 AM on March 17, 2002


I didn't get any religiosity from that photo. I thought it was a sleeping child until I read the caption. I guess if the committee is not considering newsiness but just the "art", posed shots should be expected to win.
posted by mischief at 5:37 AM on March 17, 2002


I was struck by the respect conveyed by the winning photo. The photographer's position and composition added to his intent.

Don't know if this image just "happened" or whether the photog directed it in some way. But it get's the point across clearly, simply, and elegantly. And, in this respect, is successful.

It's hard in these competitions to compare such different photographs. It's like apples and oranges. In any competition the winners are a reflection of the judges who made the decisions. Human foibles, prejudices, politics, and nature are just part of it.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 5:48 AM on March 17, 2002


Ditto.

I thought the winning photo was good... especially all the wrinkles on the hands of the adults. I don't care if it's posed or if it was spontaneous. I'm betting it was only half-posed. The photographer obviously stood on a chair or a step ladder, but I'm thinking he never told the old people to hold the sheet just so.

I must admit, most of the photos left me cold. this one is neat, though.
posted by crunchland at 6:08 AM on March 17, 2002


Oh, and aaron. Yes. You are the only one.
posted by crunchland at 6:09 AM on March 17, 2002


In order to be chosen, did the photographer have to have a high degree of smugness and self-righteousness, or was a large dollop of sanctimoniousness sufficient?
posted by mikegre at 7:23 AM on March 17, 2002




Suddenly, we've been magically transported to Cliff Yablonski Land!
posted by MrBaliHai at 8:36 AM on March 17, 2002


In order to be chosen, did the photographer have to have a high degree of smugness and self-righteousness, or was a large dollop of sanctimoniousness sufficient?

I'm betting the rules say "camera required, 'our tragedy is worse than yours' types need not apply".
posted by vbfg at 9:31 AM on March 17, 2002


For what it's worth, the winning photography wasn't posed at all. It's taken in the Afghan Jallozai refugee camp, and the photographer pretty much happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Quite remarkably, the photographer is nothing more than a trainee at the newspaper. It's the first time a photographer under education has won the WPP.

Danish article about the winning photography.
posted by Hjorth at 11:00 AM on March 17, 2002


Oh, and aaron. Yes. You are the only one.

Nice try. Too late. You're wrong. So sad.
posted by aaron at 12:04 PM on March 17, 2002


Aaron is speaking in candy heart dialect today.
posted by rodii at 12:23 PM on March 17, 2002


Oh, and aaron. Yes. You are the only one.

Nope. He's not. I'm with him.
posted by tomorama at 2:34 PM on March 17, 2002


We are all. Talking. Like Bush.
posted by vbfg at 3:08 PM on March 17, 2002


Nice try. Too late. You're wrong. So sad.

Sad? Yes. But not for the reason you're thinking.
posted by crunchland at 3:21 PM on March 17, 2002


I'm with aaron too.

"But when are you gonna find yourselves a little unconditional humanity? When?"

Oh, the humanity! Sanctimonious, much? I have no unconditional anything. No such thing, dear.

On the subject of posed photographs, I was thinking about
the controversy over the veracity of Alfred Eisenstaedt's photo of a sailor and woman kissing in Times Square. While I remain unsure of whether it was posed or not, my feelings about it would definitely change if it was porven to be staged. There's something about the image (and most journalistic images) that resonates so much because of its spontaneity, something that would be dimished if it was staged.
posted by evanizer at 9:43 PM on March 17, 2002


If I was a computer whiz I would code a script to embed surreptitious sanctimony in every post I send off.

ie: What it is to be human.
posted by crasspastor at 2:06 AM on March 18, 2002


evanizer: CONTROL-Click on Mac does the trick just fine.
posted by silusGROK at 2:38 PM on March 18, 2002


Am I the only one that finds it completely unsurprisng that even after the untold thousands of unforgettable photographs taken on 9/11, many of which will still be considered classics 100 years from now, this organization just happened to pick a largely unknown photo of a dead Afghan civilian child as its winner?

Yes, the vast international shadow conspiracy to badmouth America actually planted that dead child where the winning photographer was sure to find him. Then they used secret Russian photography labs to develop and craft the photo so that it would win the competition and further infuriate the folks who whine about America's image (my country right or wrong!) above all.

Oh well, at least the photo's from June so they can't blame the US.

Oh well. Oh well. There are sure enough other dead Afghani children that the U.S. can be blamed for. Doesn't that make you proud to be an American?

In order to be chosen, did the photographer have to have a high degree of smugness and self-righteousness, or was a large dollop of sanctimoniousness sufficient?

Nope, probably just a heart...

I think pictures of dead children are too easy, and perhaps disrespectful.

This may be news to some, but it's even more disrespectful to kill them. Haven't heard much of an outcry from some folks about that. But oh, then there's that nationalism thingie. It's the United States that's doing the killing. That automatically makes it right.

I always forget that part.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:17 PM on March 18, 2002


Everybody has to go sometime.
posted by evanizer at 7:29 PM on March 18, 2002


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