Exploring our World through Photography: Reporters without Borders 2012

Currently inside the Warner Theater, a gallery for fotoweek, with an exhibition called Reporters without Borders is on display. Upon entering the exhibit, I felt as if I stepped back into time and was able to travel to every significant event the world has seen since the 1950’s. The show span through multiple rooms and down several hallways, allowing anyone so intrigued to spend an entire evening pondering the faces and places that each picture depicts. 

Since Reporters without Borders has been a show since the fifties, the front room presented works from each past year. Before evening examining this year’s work, I became lost in events that I had only every read about. Events like the Rwanda genocide, JFK’s assassination, the Bosnian genocide, and the Iraqi war were depicted in manners that caused a serge of emotions; it was an intense awakening to the realities of our world. For one to see and truly grasp the beauty and destruction that the world has witnessed is so powerful and vital to becoming world citizens. These photographers are more than artists; they are storytellers, writing a history that is legible in all language.

Moving on into the gallery, this year’s featured artist works are hung all around, there were small rooms dedicated to different locations, artists, and events.  The giant prints surround the viewer and can temporarily let them drift into the location in which the photograph was taken. One photo that captivated me was an image of four Haitian women who, due to serious injuries in the 2010 earthquake, were amputees. The women were all dressed in brightly color clothing and stood in a line, upon first glance they looked rather jovial; than peering closer, I noticed a pain that could be seen in the eyes of each woman, and then I noticed the missing limbs. They stood together in an exercise class; overcoming hardships and showing the strength they have as individuals and as symbols of their nation’s resilience.

The earthquake that devastated Haiti is only one of the recent events that Reporters without Border documented. These events are life changing, and crucial to how our society exists. These artists do amazing work that allows the world to become connected and for citizens of all nations to begin to conceptualize how others live and what they have endured in there lifetime. Reporters without Borders is on display until Sunday, November 18th and guarantees to be one of the most moving photography shows of the year.

Bringing the Art in DC to You,

Abigail