Crusading Photojournalists Exhibit in Ottawa

By Susan Hallett
Susan Hallett
Susan Hallett
August 7, 2013 Updated: August 7, 2013

OTTAWA—Once again, the Canadian War Museum is showcasing the best of international photojournalism in “World Press Photo 13,” an exhibition of award-winning and eminently imaginative images from the prestigious annual World Press Photo contest.

Everything from brutality, pathos, kindness, and loving tenderness is represented. The war-related photos should not blind viewers to the immense cultural and historical values so evident in many of the more than 150 outstanding images from 2012.

These photos document newsworthy subjects and events from around the world, including recent and ongoing conflicts, competitive sport, an elderly woman caring for her dementia-afflicted spouse, and various endangered species.

James Whitham, director general of the Canadian War Museum, expressed his delight in hosting the World Press Photo exhibition for the sixth year.

“The remarkable photographs in this exhibition will give visitors a visual tour of the current global situation and the opportunity to better understand the impact of conflict in the lives of individuals and entire communities,” he said.

The photo by U.S.-based Micah Albert of a woman sitting by a box of waste she had salvaged at the municipal dump near Nairobi, Kenya, is striking. This photo won first prize in the Contemporary Issues, Singles category. It is an unforgettable image. Somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 people eke out their living from this dumpsite.

Paul Nicklen of Canada won first prize in the Nature Stories section for his striking and very colourful image of an emperor penguin and the bubbles with which it surrounds itself to confuse predators. 

Wei Seng Chen of Malaysia took first prize in the Action Singles category for his amazing shot of mud cow racing in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Called Pacu Jawi, this 400-year-old tradition is held after the rice harvest once the paddies have been cleared.

Established in the Netherlands in 1955, the World Press Photo Foundation is a non-profit organization that encourages high professional standards in photojournalism and promotes a free and unrestricted exchange of information. The aim of its annual exhibit is to generate a wide public interest in and appreciation for “the work of photographers and other visual journalists.” 

Visitors to this exhibition might also want to see another one currently taking place at the War Museum called “Peace – The Exhibition,” showcasing Canada’s diverse actions and choices for peace. This show, which opened in May, continues until Jan. 5, 2014.

“World Press Photo 13” runs until Aug. 28, with the exception of Aug. 10 and 11. For more information, visit www.warmuseum.ca

Susan Hallett is an award-winning writer and editor who has written for The Beaver, The Globe & Mail, Wine Tidings, and Doctor’s Review among many others. Email: hallett_susan@hotmail.com

Susan Hallett
Susan Hallett