Pat and Susan are visiting for a couple of weeks. On Monday we went in to Amsterdam for lunch, and visited the World Press Photo exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk. For as long as we’ve lived here, I’ve seen the billboards and posters advertising it go up around this time each year, but this is the first time that I’ve gone in. I was reminded of it last weekend when I fell down an internet rabbit hole and ended up browsing around PetaPixel. That’s where I learned about the controversy around the prize last year, which led to the organization adopting a code of ethics. I had not known that World Press Photo contest was started in the Netherlands, and has been around for 60 years.
I had expected to be impressed; I had not been expecting to be moved to tears. I followed the main path through the exhibition, looking at striking and beautiful photographs of nature, sports, and people. But the many images of refugees, leading up to the final, winning photo were harrowing. I had seen the image itself elsewhere before, but the context of the exhibition, and seeing it blown up to life size made it much more powerful.
The exhibition is on display around the world. It’s worth a visit. I’m going to make a point of seeing it again next year.