Friday, February 19, 2016

Across the barricades

While the image that has scooped first prize in the 2015 World Press Photo Awards - a stark picture of a baby being passed beneath a barbed-wire barricade by a migrant - isn't conventionally remarkable in a technical sense, its graininess and blurring undoubtedly contribute to the overall effect, and its virtue is its simplicity. Chair of the jury Francis Kohn underlined its value as a critical document of the current predicament - "We thought it had almost everything in there to give a strong visual of what's happening with the refugees" - though also argued that "at the same time it's timeless".

It's vital that such photos are taken and publicised - as was shown with the case of Aylan Kurdi back in September, images often do prove more effective than both rhetoric and statistics in bringing about positive change.

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