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Viewing vulnerably at World Press Photo


I admit I'm not discovering anything new in this post.

The World Press Photo Exhibition is autumn's rite of passage for amateur and pro photogs alike in celebrating their craft and challenging their own boundaries of perception and expression.

On the inside cover of the exhibit's program Mayor David Miller writes, "I am delighted to congratulate and recognize the photojounalists whose hard work give us the unique opportunity to see the beauty of the world in all its extremes."

The exhibit definitely shows a world of extremes.

As a viewer I sided with vulnerablity when I gazed at the portrayals of human calamity from around the globe. For fleeting moments a few subjects seemed like relatives who I'd never been introduced to. And when I walked from one image to the next my family tree seemed to grow.

What's poignant about World Press Photo is its effectiveness in delivering a message that draws viewers. Our rainy night increased pedestrian traffic through BCE Place forcing those who wouldn't usually enjoy the exhibit to take a look at what our visual historians have collected. Perhaps the passersby are richer for viewing a single picture that unlocks a new line of thought.

It's safe to say raising awareness of social, political and ethical issues covered in the exhibit is the point. As a wordsmith 3,000 of my very best words can't match Yannis Kontos' frame titled Boy helps his father to dress.

I suggest you find out for yourself.

World Press Photo 06
Until Oct. 22
7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Allen Lambert Galleria
BCE Place, 181 Bay Street


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