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Destruction of the Amazon protagonist in World Press Photo 2022



A group of indigenous women and children look at drivers passing the Trans-Amazon Highway, waiting to be given some food. The body of a man in the street killed in an extrajudicial execution. Drunk and unconscious Indian on a bench. Panoramic views attest to the progress made in deforestation. A child on a stump surrounded by dead trees due to the diversion of the waters of the Xingú River towards the massive hydroelectric dam at Belo Monte & mldr;

It is the images through which its author, Brazilian Lalo de Almeida, bears witness to the devastation inflicted on the Amazon region. “I delve into the predatory paradigm that accelerated with former President Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-environmental rhetoric, which left indigenous peoples unprotected and supported and promoted timber exploitation, gold mining and land grabbing, empowering those who engage in these illegal activities,” the exhibition’s photojournalist explains that until 11 Dec Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) 24 winning projects at World Press Photo 2022.

In this 18th edition of the Perfect Photojournalism Competition, 4,066 photographers from 130 countries submitted 64,823 photos. Of the 24 winners from 23 countries, seven are women, and this time no Spaniard was included. If last year’s pandemic stained the image of the world press, now climate change, war conflicts (Guillaume Herbutt has already documented the heightened pre-war tension in Ukraine), citizen protests and, above all, the isolation of cultures emerge as thematic interlocutors of indigenous peoples. People, as with de Almeida, were given to “Amazon Dystopia” In the long-term project category (the Brazilian will give a free lecture on Friday at Casa Sete).

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De Almeida reveals how The illegal exploitation of the Amazon rainforest It caused “the displacement of the people from their places of origin and their separation from their traditional way of life”. He adds that after “Bolsonaro’s damned inheritance”, he wants to document whether there has been a “change of direction” with Lula da Silva’s return after the election last weekend.

With Lola, hope opens, as he takes another look at the Amazon (one of his ministers has reduced deforestation) and has climate change on the table. But you can not only fight deforestation from the environment, but you have to work to fight poverty socially, because many people from these indigenous communities today get income from these illegal activities and also live from it. We have to give them alternatives.”

It also affects the lack of indigenous protection, public image, work amber fernwhich shows red dresses hanging from crosses on the road, in honor of the 215 children killed at the Kamloops Canadian Aboriginal residence, who were found in unknown graves. And the winner in the graphic category, Matthew Abbott, featured images of bush burnings by Indigenous Australians to prevent bushfires.

Among the winners, unknown photographerWho maintains his identity for fear of political reprisals and imprisonment. The photo that participated in the competition via “The New York Times” shows protesters in Myanmar protesting against Burma’s military coup From February 2021 who are faced with a slingshot the real fire of the funnel that had already killed the previous day more than a hundred people.

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“When press freedom is in a critical state, it is very dangerous for local photographers to document this kind of protest against the government. There are countries that face disappearances and deaths, like Mexico, where there have been more journalist murders this year.” Marta Echevarria laments, World Press Photo actress, whose exhibition in Barcelona is organized by The Foundation for the Pictorial Social Vision, directed by Silvia Omides Together with the CCCB, which confirms that “19 winners out of 24 submitted works in their countries”, reflecting the result of the change in the rules of the competition, according to which a new regional model was adopted. To where the photo was taken, try to “prefer the representation of local photographers”.

Against fake news

The rules also state that the images shown must not be tampered with. With one exception: those competing in the open format category, which are experimenting with a new combo. One of the winners is the work Norway’s Jonas Bendiksen Phyllis’ book. The photos were posted as real, but six months later it was revealed that they were computer made. His goal: to show how easy it is to deceive people today with “fake news”. Hence the need CCCB Director, Judith CarreraSupporting the press, and in particular photojournalism, are fundamental pillars of democracy for its function of surveillance and denunciation of the danger of fake news, as seen in the Trump and Bolsonaro governments.

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