best photos of 2011.

I didn’t really realize, or at least recall, what an intense year 2011 was––uprisings, natural disasters, war, famine. When I stumbled on this collection of “The 45 Most Powerful Images of 2011,” I was reminded pretty quickly.

This collection of images, to me, is a reminder of the importance of photography. The photographs here astonish and capture the viewer in a way that words seldom can. They challenge the viewer’s perspective on another person, on an event, on life. They are shocking and provocative. They pose questions or, more importantly, cause the viewer to ask questions.

Of the 45 images, this is my favorite:

by @NevineZaki

It’s not the most technically composed photograph in the bunch (it was tweeted from a camera phone), but this is one of the most incredible images I’ve ever seen. Snuck into this reminder of what a destructive year 2011 really was for many people in the world is this image of provocative hope: Egyptian Muslims in prayer, encircled by a group of Christians, protecting them from attacks during the Arab Spring uprisings.

This is the way people should be. This is the way religion should be. This is the way the world should be.

It is important that photographers’ images cause us to posit questions like: How might we be better? How might we be neighbors? Witnesses? And while it is important that they capture images that illustrate the realities of our world––famine, war, disaster––it is equally as, if not more, important that they––we––fulfill our responsibility to capture hope.

Question: Which of the 45 images stuck out to you the most and why?


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