The World Press Photo Exhibition has been brought to Christchurch for the first time giving Cantabrians the chance to get up close to see, watch and connect with some of the award-winning, thought-provoking images from across the globe.
This is the 57th time the exhibition has toured the world and the first time it has been hosted in Christchurch – previously it has been seen it Wellington and Auckland.
Around 10,000 photographs had been submitted this year for judging by an independent international jury but the work of only 53 photographers were featured in the exhibition.
Judging panel chairman Gary Knight said the pictures had been judged on the issues and the event not the event and its issues.
Exhibition supervisor Annalee Jones said the exhibition had received mixed reactions because some photographs were “depressing” highlighting important global issues of poverty and violence.
She said the photographs had evoked different emotions – especially with what Christchurch people had experienced over the last three years following the earthquakes.
University of Canterbury staff member Julie Roberston-Steel said she had come to see the powerful images and the issues that were highlighted in the photographs.
“I think its fabulous highlighting current issues s all around the world.”
Law and science student George Mander said the images were an eye-opener – he had seen bodies, violence and abuse – “It’s quite raw and real”.
“It really shows what is happening in other parts of the world.”
University of Canterbury Health Centre staff member Meera Sivasubramaniam said the photos had reminded her how beautiful human beings were and made her think about people’s relationship with spaces and the world around them.
“There is a mystery to life.
“We’re forming a connection with the picture.”
The photo exhibition was founded in the Netherlands in 1955 to promote professional press photographers at an international level.
World Press Photo will be open for public viewing until August 24 at the James Hight Building at University of Canterbury.