World Press Photo 14

World Press Photo 2014, Forum Maia (7)

I’ve written about World Press Photo before, blogging three years of exhibits at Brookfield Place in Toronto when I worked across the street at Royal Bank Plaza (200 Bay).

World Press Photo 2009
World Press Photo 2010
World Press Photo 2011

This annual photojournalism exhibit shows in 100 venues in 45 countries, but I was still surprised to find out (via search on the World Press Photo website) that here in Portugal there is no Porto venue, only Maia. Tomorrow is the final day of the exhibit, so I scurried over to Fórum da Maia to check out this year’s installment.

If you have never seen a World Press Photo exhibit, I would recommend not eating directly beforehand. Apart from technical skill, the photos in the exhibit are curated for emotional impact and if you are particularly sensitive, it could impact your ability to keep the latest meal down. The exhibit covers world events of which natural disasters and warfare are typically the most graphic, but I also find the man-made disasters make my stomach turn, too — in 2013 that would include the collapse of the Rana Plaza in Savar, Bangladesh, where the death toll reached 1,129.

But one of the first set of photos I viewed hit much closer to home for me: Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The photo above by Philippe Lopez of France carries the following description:

18 November 2013
Tolosa, Leyte, Philippines

Survivors carry religious images, ten days after Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the central Philippines. One of the strongest typhoons ever recorded, Haiyan raged through 47 provinces, causing immense destruction. Over a million houses were damaged, half of them totally destroyed, and more than 4 million people were displaced. Large areas were left without electricity or an adequate water supply for weeks, and the devastation of infrastructure made food distribution and medical services difficult. Many people made their way to less-affected areas, such as the capital Manila, and some cities reported a near doubling of their populations.

The exhibit covers more than headline news, however, there are human interest stories and portraiture (although to a lesser extent), the natural world and wildlife, too. No need to bring airline-grade sick bags to World Press Photo, it’s merely a very small caution about a certain section of pictures. The rest are more thought-provoking than nausea-provoking and definitely worth at least an hour of viewing time. But for heaven’s sake, save your appetite for later!

World Press Photo 2014, Forum Maia (5)

World Press Photo 2014, Forum Maia (6)

World Press Photo 2014, Forum Maia (4)

World Press Photo 2014, Forum Maia (3)

World Press Photo 2014, Forum Maia (2)

World Press Photo 2014, Forum Maia (1)

December 17, 2014
Album: Portugal [Autumn 2014]