In the world there are many interesting, scary, beautiful, terrible moments and events. Some of them are close to us but others stay far away. They are somewhere “there”, where we are not. Really far away, unimportant,with no effect on our daily lives. But one unexpected event might break our daily routine and leave us vulnerable, wounded and feeling unsafe. Simply look back on Estonian history! How was year 1939 possible? Deportations to Siberia? Sinking of Estonia?
Elmar Mikael Õun took the only known photos about sinking Estonia on 1994. One of them speaks a story about life and death. “ I did see Mariella’s and Silja’s lights far away and remembered the camera in my pocket. I held it just in front of me and tried get attention with the flash. I also took one photo from above in case there is a chopter” tells Õun about the birth of these two photos.
Today World Press Photo exhibition opens the doors, where there are exposed best press photos of year 2019. There will be captured moments among long term projects. Many organizations and companies have worked hard so that this exhibition can be shown in Estonia, the biggest role has been on Netherlands embassy in Tallinn.
In year 1955 a group of Dutch photographers decided to organize a contest to show their work globally. Many of those photos have become signs of the era and still tell their story today. For example, a photo taken by Nick Ut of a naked girl after the napalm attack. Phan Thj Kim Phuc currently lives in Canada and has stated on many occasions that this photo changed his life. He was made a symbol of the Communist Party, fled to Canada, a tourist attraction, etc …
Press photos are powerful. While most are sinking into oblivion, there are also those which will always accompany us. One of the nominees for the year, Chris McGrath’s “The Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi” illustrates the current era and shows the importance of freedom.