World Press Photo 2012 exhibition visits Edinburgh (4 stars)

This article is from 2012

World Press Photo exhibition Edinburgh 2012

Photograph by Alex Majoli

A photo essay of the world, richly deserving of the term ‘definitive’

Once again returning to Edinburgh for its annual summer visit to coincide with the Festival of Politics, the World Press Photo exhibition is a source of marvel and inspiration, even for those of us who keep in touch with the news. As well as collating most of the year gone by’s biggest stories into one expansive photo essay of the world, it also serves as a potent reminder of photography’s sheer power when it comes to transmitting a sense of place and circumstance, particularly as so many of the images involved are truly breathtaking when divorced from the murky reproduction of print.

The pictures selected run a gamut from the already iconic to the deeply personal: the former selection includes Mohammed al-Law’s shot of a relaxed, almost laid in state Hosni Mubarak being wheeled into court on a hospital bed, or Remi Ochlik’s ghastly study of Colonel Gaddafi’s corpse laid out on display, part of a series on the battle in Libya; the latter, for example, Alex Majoli’s detailed study of the faces of angry Tahrir Square demonstrators (above) or Li Yang’s once in a lifetime action shot of a young Chinese woman being saved from suicide at the window of an apartment block, her body and wedding dress defying gravity as if she were a crucified angel.

From the horror of Japan during and post tsunami to images of global poverty and uprising in the Middle East, to studies of prostitution, bare-knuckle sports and a daring feminist activist in Russia and the Ukraine, this is a selection which richly deserves the term ‘definitive’.

World Press Photo 2012 runs at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, until Sat 28 Jul.

World Press Photo Exhibition

The World Press Photo Award highlights the best press photography from around the world.

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