The right photo in the right place at the right time can shake the world. From Steve McCurry's "Afghan Girl," to Richard Drew's "Falling Man" taken on 9/11, to Nilüfer Demir's photo of three-year-old refugee Aylan Kurdi, who drowned trying to escape Turkey, powerful images can have material influence on the state of public opinion, and occasionally international policy. The World Press Photo Competition is a celebration of this sort of excellence in storytelling with a single frame. This year, judges judged just shy of 100,000 entries from over 5,000 photojournalists from 131 countries, and the cream of the crop will go on display at the Southbank Centre in London starting Thursday, November 4th.
The photos on display will include this year's winning entry, which comes from Danish photographer Mads Nissen's series, Homophobia in Russia, and depicts a gay couple's passion in defiance of their country's condemnation of the LGBTQ community. Another photo by US photographer Anand Varma captures an ant's head being penetrated by an aggressive fungus. A third documents the trauma of a monkey being trained to ride a bicycle in a Chinese circus, captured by local photographer Yongzhi Chu. The winning entries are divided into the categories of News, Nature, Sports, Contemporary Issues, Long-Term Projects, and General, so no one should leave the exhibit without sore feels.
An interactive element will enable visitors to view background information and captions by tapping their phones agains the panel. If you make it to the Southbank Centre, you'll be able to see the complete sets each photo was taken from, hear the photographers talk about the image, and check out more of their work. If not, you can check out a selection of the images below.
Learn more about the World Press Photo Exhibit on the Southbank Centre's website.