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If this is world's best in photojournalism, then it is shocking. Make no mistakes. Most of the photographs, featured at the Annual World Press Photo Exhibition at Delhi, are in fact quite excellent. And that intensifies the disgust...

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Third World: disaster-prone? ( If this is world's best in photojournalism, then it is shocking. Make no mistakes. Most of the photographs, featured at the Annual World Press Photo Exhibition at Delhi, are in fact quite excellent. And that intensifies the disgust. What a waste of talent! For the first thing that struck this reviewer after watching the exhibition was: don't people get bored doing the same thing over and over again? The same hackneyed stereotypes of a disaster-ridden developing world, which, it seems, is cursed with death, desolation and disasters for posterity. The Serbian crisis; death in Rwanda, even as diamond hunters try to eke out a little fortune; desolation in Afghanistan; victims of the nerve gas attack in a Moscow theatre; petrified faces of the victims of the communal carnage in Gujarat. Granted that the developing world has its fair share of woes, and these should, by no means, go unrepresented. But does the crme de la crme of world press photography find nothing positive in the East?

Compare this with images from the developed world: of a satisfied look from fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent as he hung his boots after a long creative innings and of pubs in London, attempting to evoke a host of social questions about consequences of city's pubs remaining open through the night. Oh yes, there is a picture of a little disaster from the developed world: of fires raging in Australian bushes. But the panel makes it appear more of a visual delight: its bright colours almost resplendent in the gloom that shadows other photographs. And no human suffering from the fires; only fleeing kangaroos. Surely we can expect the world's best photographers to be less repetitive.

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