If not for photographs, the world would be robbed of innumerable memories and milestones. Serving as a peek into the days gone by, photographs are so much more than just an instrument of nostalgia. It is an important tool in the preservation of history and an effective mode of storytelling that transcends the boundaries of languages and time. Therefore, it only seems fitting that a day is set aside to acknowledge and honour the magic of photography. World Photography Day is observed on August 19 every year, across the world. The day was chosen to mark the purchase of the patent to the daguerreotype camera by the French government, who made it free for use to the entire world.
On this World Photography Day, we take a look at some of the most viral photos of the year, so far.
600 Afghans Crammed Into US Plane
Even as information continues to pour in about the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, photos and videos of devastation and losses continue to flood the Internet. A photo of 600 Afghans crammed into a US Air Force transport plane is a defining image of the conflict the people of the country find themselves in. It features hundreds of panicked men, women and children without any luggage, huddled together in the C-17 Globemaster.
Olympian Diver Tom Daley Knitting
Given that the Tokyo Olympics was held amid the COVID-19 pandemic it was different from the other editions of the game in several ways. While countries competed with each other to add some medals to their tally and bring some cheer to an otherwise sombre 20 months, one picture managed to bring smiles to the faces of people across the globe. The image featured Britain’s Olympian Tom Daley knitting as he watched the women’s 3m springboard final. The 27-year-old had won the gold in the synchronised 10m platform diving just days before his photograph went viral. Daley, who is also an LGBTQ icon, is an avid knitter and crocheter.
Team Huddles Around Christian Eriksen
Football fans across the world missed a heartbeat as they witnessed Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen collapse on the ground amid play during a match in June. As Eriksen lay motionless on the ground, teammates and members of the opposing Finland team rushed to his aid. As fans and fellow players watched amid tears, Eriksen’s team stood around him providing the privacy and respect he needed at such a vulnerable moment. The photo of the same went viral as one of the year’s most striking images of brotherhood and kinship. Eriksen recovered and has returned to the Inter Milan training ground.
Myanmar Nun Pleading With Military
As Myanmar found itself in chaos after the military ouster of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, one image became the face of compassion and courage in the conflict zone. Its subject was a nun, Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng, who knelt before a group of heavily armed police officers and begged them to spare “the children” and take her life instead. The image of the Catholic nun in a simple white habit, with her hands spread across, became the symbol of peace, empathy and bravery.
Mass Cremations For COVID-19 Victims
As India found itself in the grips of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, deaths due to the virus grew to unprecedented numbers. This also put the healthcare system as well as crematorium services under tremendous strain, with many families finding it difficult to give their loved ones a proper burial or cremation. The tragedy and its equally difficult aftermath were captured in a photo that displayed an aerial view of the mass cremation of COVID-19 victims at a crematorium ground in New Delhi.