A Shocking Return For World Press Photo Exhibition

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 21 months ago

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A Shocking Return For World Press Photo Exhibition

Warning: this article contains some distressing images. We'll ease you in gently with some orang-utans.

These baby orang-utans look extremely cute but they have all been orphaned due to the destruction of their habitat and poaching. Copyright Tim Laman.

We all know what's happening in Syria is horrific, but often it takes a photograph to stop us in our tracks and really think about it. These preview photos, part of this year's World Press Photo exhibition, are extremely shocking, and set quite a precedent — we expect that each and every visitor will be moved when the exhibition opens in November.

This is a particularly difficult photograph to look at, with the grief palpable in the man's eyes as he holds his daughter's lifeless body in his arms. She was killed in an air strike. Copyright Abd Doumany.

There will be horrific sights including children maimed and killed in air strikes in Syria, and gang violence in Honduras. Natural disasters and environmentalism will also be widely represented.

The aftermath of gang related violence in Honduras. Copyright Niclas Hammarstrom.

It may be hard to stomach, but it's a sign of powerful and successful photojournalism when the images force you to stop and think. It's this success that the World Press Photo exhibition recognises, with a selection of the most powerful photographs over the last year — and it's been quite a distressing year judging by these images.

The raw power of volcanic lightning is awe inspiring, at the Colima volcano in Mexico. Copyright Sergio Tapiro.

The exhibition returns to its usual location of Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre, and the preview images suggest it will be another year of hard-hitting photographs.

Another arresting and harrowing image of children caught up in the war in Syria. Copyright Abd Doumany.

London is spoiled with the number of annual photography exhibitions we have, but this is one we always make the effort to visit.

World Press Photo 16 is on at Level 2, Royal Festival Hall from 4-21 November. Entrance is free.

For more photography check out this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition or Astronomy Photographer of the Year.

Last Updated 19 October 2016