For the first time in 50 years, Ghana is hosting the annual World Press Photo exhibition. The tour is showcasing the works of prizewinning photojournalists around the world. A non-profit group in the Netherlands that promotes the works of professional press photographers called World Press Photos, or WPP, selected the pictures from a contest. They received more than four thousand entries. VOA English to Africa reporter Joana Mantey covered the exhibition.
An old adage says a picture is worth more than a thousand words. That is certainly the case with the photographs in the World Press Photo exhibit; from the surreal through the sublime to the bizarre, they tell their own stories.
Some of the pictures show exquisite body movements of ballet dancers in South Africa, the gaiety of the fashion world in New York and the destructive nature of wars in places such as Liberia.
Dr. Kwesi Owusu is the local partner of World Press Photo.
“The saddest picture was taken in Sierra Leone. It depicts someone who has lost both arms and whose shirt is being buttoned by his little son. That’s quite sad. Again the little boy comes to the rescue of the father to perform such a mundane task of everyday life. That’s really sad because a lot of the amputees lost their limbs not from action. A lot of them did not take part in the war.”
Perhaps the most moving picture is one labeled “The 2005 World’s Best Photograph” taken in Niger by Finbarr O’Reilly of Reuters Canada. It shows the fingers of a one-year-old malnourished child pressed against the lips of his mother as they wait in a queue at an emergency feeding center. The deep wrinkles on the child’s arm, together with the vacant look of hopelessness on the mother’s face, show the worst side of hunger.
Dr. Owusu says took the picture during the recent drought in Niger.
“I think technically it is excellent. I say so because it was not taken under the best of conditions. It’s not a studio photograph; it was actually taken in the field. And for the photographer to get all the technicalities right, I think it’s exciting.”
The photographs, which are assembled in a traveling exhibition, are currently being shown in Accra and Johannesburg. They will soon move to Colombia, South Korea, Germany Spain and Chile. For more information, go to http://www.worldpressphoto.nl/.
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