The Brisbane Powerhouse has transformed for the month of July with the 61st annual World Press Photo Exhibition showcasing the most compelling, controversial and moving photographs of contemporary issues.

Originally organised in 1955 by a group of Dutch photographers to expose their work to a global audience, the World Press Photo contest has since grown to become one of the world’s most prestigious photography competitions. The selection of prize winning photographs tours to more than 100 cities in 45 countries. The World Press Photo Foundation is a globally recognised, creative, independent and non-profit organisation. The winners were chosen by an independent jury that reviewed more than 73,000 photographs entered by 4548 photographers from 12 countries. Exhibition Manager and Curator Carla Vlaun spoke about the significance of the selected photographs and the power that they have to influence our conversations.

The main categories of photographs are environment, nature, people, sport and general news. The mesmerising images include depictions of the global waste crisis, the changing landscape of the Amazon rainforest and the increasing demand for meat. Among the confronting images were photos captured of the protests in Charlottesville in the United States, the plight of refugees in Iraq, the Venezuela crisis and the Las Vegas music festival massacre tragedy. The exhibition provides viewers with a confronting and fresh perspective of global issues by connecting the viewers with the faces of the people affected. However, the exhibition isn’t exclusive to shocking and controversial images, photographs also depict the power of human connection through sport and the beauty of animals.

The unique exhibition connects the world with stories that matter, delving beyond the singular photographs to educate us about complex and prominent news affairs, human struggles and environmental issues. The exhibition is exceptional, thought provoking and definitely worth a visit – or 10.

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