The Year of Endurance
Hope and uncertainty amid a pandemic that wouldn’t end.
In 2021, the pandemic forced us all to think hard about who we do and don’t trust
Introduction by david rowell.
As a nation, we are supposed to be built around trust. Look at the back of the bills in your wallet. “In God We Trust.”
Trust the system.
Trust but verify.
Trust your instincts.
Love may be the emotion we like to think ultimately propels us, but it’s trust that informs how we go about our daily lives. And yet. Our level of trust, our very foundation, has been crumbling for a long time now. Scandals, abuse and corruption in the major pillars of our society — religious institutions, education, business, military, government, health care, law enforcement, even the sports world — have made us a wary people.
When the pandemic came, first as murmurs that were easy to tune out, then as an unbounded crisis we couldn’t tune into enough, our relationship to trust was newly infected with something we didn’t fully understand. And before long, who and what we trusted — or didn’t — in the form of elected leaders, scientists and doctors became one more cause of death here and all over the world. In this way, distrust was a kind of pandemic itself: widely contagious and passed by the mouth.
As the first American casualties of covid-19 were announced, President Trump kept insisting it would disappear “with the heat” or “at the end of the month” or “without a vaccine.” Like a disgraced, fringe science teacher, he entertained this idea at one coronavirus news conference: “I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?” With leadership like this, the country was receiving an injection — of chaos.
The pandemic ripped through the rest of 2020, and America was not only more splintered than ever, but also a dangerous place to be. Some politicians declared to the public, “I trust the science,” as if that were an unprecedented and heroic stance.
As we navigated our way into 2021, questions about what to believe led — painfully and predictably — to doubts about the most reliable way we had to stay safe: wearing masks. With the return to schools looming, the debate about masks and children — masks as protectors, or masks as educational folly — played out like a plague of rants. No one seemed to trust others to do the right thing anymore, whatever that was. By summer’s end, trust felt like the latest variant to avoid.
Trust takes lots of forms, but can we actually see it in a photograph the way we can identify a cloud or a wave, or an overt moment of joy or sadness? The photo essays that follow capture a full tableau of human responses in year two of the pandemic — trepidation, but also a sense of renewal; celebration, but caution as well. And despite rancor and confusion still being in as steady supply as the vaccine itself, the permutations of trust have their own presence here, too, if we’re open enough to seeing them.
When Jay Wescott went on tour with rock band Candlebox, he was documenting one of the many performing acts that returned to the road this summer, after the long hiatus. On tour there’s a lot variables you can control, and just as many, if not more, that you can’t — and in the time of covid, control and trust form their own essential but perilous interplay. The picture of the band’s drummer, Robin Diaz, who is vaccinated but unmasked, setting up his kit in such proximity to road manager Carlos Novais, vaccinated and masked, not only captures that still-odd dynamic that goes into making any live performance happen right now; it is also a welcome contrast to all the images of masked and unmasked protesters screaming at each other about what and whom to trust. On tour with Candlebox, Westcott observed how trust is carrying the band forward, creating harmonies on and off the stage.
Much farther away, in Michael Robinson Chavez’s pictures from Sicily, we bear witness to religious celebrations as part of saint’s days, which were canceled last year because of the pandemic. The celebrations resumed, though stripped down, this September, with vaccines readily available, but then, as Chavez notes, the people of Sicily were vaccinated at lower numbers than those in other regions of the country. In one image, we see a tuba player, his mask down below his chin as he blows his notes out into the world. Behind him are masked adults and maskless children. And, perhaps all through the festival, a trust in God to watch over them.
Lucía Vázquez trained her lens on the eager crowds of young women who descended upon Miami, a city known for its own style of carnival-type celebrations, though decidedly less holy ones. These women have left masks out of their outfits and are trusting something not quite scientific and not quite political, but more personal: their guts. Such a calculation comes down to a conviction that either you won’t get the coronavirus, or, if you do, you’ll survive. It means placing a lot of trust in yourself.
As a visual meditation, the pictures in this issue offer a portrait of a historical moment in which trust and distrust have defined us. Ultimately, the photographs that follow, reflecting various realities of the pandemic, are tinted with hope that we can reclaim our lives. Not exactly as they were in the past, but in a way that still resembles how we had once imagined them for the future. These images remind us that even in our fractured, confused and suffering world, it remains possible that where we can find trust again, we can be healed.
Ready to Rock
Unmasked fans and mayflies: on tour with the band candlebox, text and photographs by jay westcott.
I n February 2020, after a dear friend passed away (not from covid), all I could think about was getting on the road with a band so I could lose myself in the work and create something that would bring joy to people. The world had other plans, though.
Sixteen months later, I headed out on tour with Candlebox. Almost 30 years has passed since the Seattle hard-rock group released its debut album and saw it sell more than 4 million copies. Frontman Kevin Martin and his current lineup invited me along to document the first part of their tour. I packed up my gear, drove west, and met the band at Soundcheck, a rehearsal and gear storage facility in Nashville, as they prepared for the tour.
Whenever people learn that I photograph musicians, inevitably they ask me what it’s like on a tour bus. I tell people it’s like camping with your co-workers from the office where you all sleep in the same tent. For weeks on end. That sours their midlife fantasies about digging out that guitar from the garage and hitting the road to become a rock star.
The people who do tour and play music, build the sets, mix the sound, sell the merch and lug the gear night after night are some of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met. They are a special breed of artists, deep thinkers, poets, masters of their instruments. Music has the ability to make you move and stop you in your tracks, to change your mood, make you smile, cry, think. The goal is the same: Put on a great show. Every night. Play like it could be your last show.
It’s easy to sit back and armchair quarterback on social media about the risks of holding festivals and rock concerts amid the pandemic, but this is what people do for a living. Few people buy albums or CDs or even download music anymore. It’s all about streaming and grabbing viewers on social media now. Touring and merch sales are about the only way musicians have to make money these days. Music is meant to be performed in front of people, a shared experience. With everybody on the bus vaccinated and ready to go, we headed to Louisville for the first of a 49-show run.
The crowd of mostly older millennials and GenXers were ready for a rock show. They knew all the words to the hits in the set — especially Candlebox’s mega-hit from the ’90s, “Far Behind” — and were into the band’s new songs too. It felt good. Then came the mayflies, in massive swarms.
The next stop on the tour was a festival along the Mississippi River in Iowa. I was up early, and as soon as we pulled in you could see mayflies dancing in the air all around us. As the day wore on, the flies intensified, and by nightfall any kind of light revealed hundreds upon hundreds of them, dancing in their own way like the crowd of unmasked fans below them. Also there were Confederate flags everywhere. Boats tied together on the river flew Trump flags in the warm summer breeze.
I was asleep when we crossed the river and made our way to St. Louis, the third stop on the tour and my last with the band. A great crowd: Close your eyes and you can easily picture yourself at Woodstock ’94. But it’s 2021 and Kevin Martin and company are still here.
Jay Westcott is a photographer in Arlington.
‘He Gave Me Life’
A cuban single mother reflects on isolation with her son, text and photographs by natalia favre.
S ingle mother Ara Santana Romero, 30, and her 11-year-old son, Camilo, have spent the past year and a half practically isolated in their Havana apartment. Just before the pandemic started, Camilo had achieved his biggest dream, getting accepted into music school. Two weeks after classes began, the schools closed and his classes were only televised. A return to the classroom was expected for mid-November, at which point all the children were scheduled to be vaccinated. According to a UNICEF analysis, since the beginning of the pandemic, 139 million children around the world have lived under compulsory home confinement for at least nine months.
Before the pandemic, Ara had undertaken several projects organizing literary events for students. After Havana went into quarantine and Camilo had to stay home, her days consisted mainly of getting food, looking after her son and doing housework. As a single mother with no help, she has put aside her wishes and aspirations. But Ara told me she never regretted having her son: “He gave me life.”
Natalia Favre is a photographer based in Havana.
Life After War in Gaza
A healing period of picnics, weddings and vaccinations, text and photographs by salwan georges.
A s I went from Israel into the Gaza Strip, I realized I was the only person crossing the border checkpoint that day. But I immediately saw that streets were vibrant with people shopping and wending through heavy traffic. There are hardly any working traffic lights in Gaza City, so drivers wave their hands out their windows to alert others to let them pass.
Despite the liveliness, recent trauma lingered in the air: In May, Israeli airstrikes destroyed several buildings and at least 264 Palestinians died. The fighting came after thousands of rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, where at least 16 people died. Workers were still cleaning up when I visited in late August, some of them recycling rubble — such as metal from foundations — to use for rebuilding.
I visited the city of Beit Hanoun, which was heavily damaged. I met Ibrahim, whose apartment was nearly destroyed, and as I looked out from a hole in his living room, I saw children gathered to play a game. Nearby there is a sports complex next to a school. Young people were playing soccer.
Back in Gaza City, families come every night to Union Soldier Park to eat, shop and play. Children and their parents were awaiting their turn to pay for a ride on an electric bike decorated with LED lights. In another part of town, not too far away, the bazaar and the markets were filled ahead of the weekend.
The beach in Gaza City is the most popular destination for locals, particularly because the Israeli government, which occupies the territory, generally does not allow them to leave Gaza. Families picnicked in the late afternoon and then stayed to watch their kids swim until after sunset. One of the local traditions when someone gets married is to parade down the middle of a beachfront road so the groom can dance with relatives and friends.
Amid the activities, I noticed that many people were not wearing face coverings, and I learned that the coronavirus vaccination rate is low. The health department started placing posters around the city to urge vaccination and set up a weekly lottery to award money to those who get immunized.
I also attended the funeral of a boy named Omar Abu al-Nil, who was wounded by the Israeli army — probably by a bullet — during one of the frequent protests at the border. He later died at the hospital from his wounds. More than 100 people attended, mainly men. They carried Omar to the cemetery and buried him as his father watched.
Salwan Georges is a Washington Post staff photographer.
Beyond the Numbers
At home, i constructed a photo diary to show the pandemic’s human toll, text and photographs by beth galton.
I n March 2020, while the coronavirus began its universal spread, my world in New York City became my apartment. I knew that to keep safe I wouldn’t be able to access my studio, so I brought my camera home and constructed a small studio next to a window.
I began my days looking at the New York Times and The Washington Post online, hoping to find a glimmer of positive news. What I found and became obsessed with were the maps, charts and headlines, all of which were tracking the coronavirus’s spread. I printed them out to see how the disease had multiplied and moved, soon realizing that each of these little visual changes affected millions of people. With time, photographs of people who had died began to appear in the news. Grids of faces filled the screen; many died alone, without family or friends beside them.
This series reflects my emotions and thoughts through the past year and a half. By photographing data and images, combined with botanicals, my intent was to speak to the humanity of those affected by this pandemic. I used motion in the images to help convey the chaos and apprehensions we were all experiencing. I now see that this assemblage is a visual diary of my life during the pandemic.
Beth Galton is a photographer in New York.
Finding Hope in Seclusion
A self-described sickle cell warrior must stay home to keep safe, text and photographs by endia beal.
O nyekachukwu Onochie, who goes by Onyeka, is a 28-year-old African American woman born with sickle cell anemia. She describes herself as a sickle cell warrior who lives each day like it’s her last. “When I was younger,” she told me, “I thought I would live until my mid-20s because I knew other people with sickle cell that died in their 20s.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes sickle cell anemia as an inherited red blood cell disorder that causes those cells to become hard and sticky, and appear C-shaped. Healthy red blood cells are round and move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen, whereas sickle cells die earlier and transport less oxygen. The disorder can cause debilitating pain and organ failure.
In June 2020, Onyeka began preparing her body for a stem cell transplant — a new treatment — and underwent the procedure in April. She is now home in Winston-Salem, N.C., recovering from the transplant. Despite the positive results thus far, Onyeka’s immune system is compromised and she is at greater risk of severe illness or death from viruses.
I asked about her life during the pandemic. She told me: “My new normal includes video chat lunch dates. I have more energy now than ever before, but I have to stay indoors to protect myself from airborne viruses, among other things.” Onyeka believes she has been given a new life with endless possibilities — even though she is temporarily homebound.
Endia Beal is an artist based in Winston-Salem, N.C.
A fun-loving, self-taught baker decides to open her shop despite the pandemic, text and photographs by marvin joseph.
T iffany Lightfoot is the owner and founder of My Cake Theory, where she merges her love of fashion with her gifts as a baker. Undaunted by the pandemic, she opened her first brick-and-mortar shop on Capitol Hill last year. Lightfoot, 41, combined the skills she learned as a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology with dozens of hours watching the Food Network and YouTube videos — and spun her self-taught baking into a business. With these photographs I wanted to show how much fun she has baking — while building a career she clearly loves.
Marvin Joseph is a Washington Post staff photographer.
Leap of Faith
Despite low vaccination rates, sicilians resume religious parades, text and photographs by michael robinson chavez.
T he island of Sicily has been overrun and conquered by numerous empires and civilizations. The year 2020 brought a new and deadly conqueror, the coronavirus. The lockdown was absolute — even church doors were shut tight. But in 2021, Sicilians brought life and traditions back to their streets.
Saint’s days, or festas, are important events on the Sicilian calendar. Last year, for the first time in more than a century, some towns canceled their festas. The arrival of vaccines this year seemed to offer hope that the processions would once again march down the ancient streets. However, a surge in summer tourism, while helping the local economy, also boosted the coronavirus infection rate.
Sicily has the lowest vaccination rate in Italy. Nevertheless, scaled-down celebrations have reappeared in the island’s streets. In the capital city of Palermo, residents gathered for the festa honoring the Maria della Mercede (Madonna of Mercy), which dates to the 16th century. Children were hoisted aloft to be blessed by the Virgin as a marching band played in a small piazza fronting the church that bears her name. Local bishops did not permit the normal procession because of the pandemic, so local children had their own, carrying a cardboard re-creation of the Virgin through the labyrinth of the famous Il Capo district’s narrow streets.
As the fireworks blossomed overhead and the marching band played on, it was easy to see that Sicilians were embracing a centuries-old tradition that seems certain to last for many more to come.
Michael Robinson Chavez is a Washington Post staff photographer.
After long months of covid confinement, a fearless return to 2019 in miami beach, text and photographs by lucía vázquez.
O n Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive I’ve seen drunk girls hitting other drunk girls, and I’ve seen men high on whatever they could afford, zombie-walking with their mouths and eyes wide open amid the tourists. I’ve seen partyers sprawled on the pavement just a few feet from the Villa Casa Casuarina, the former Versace mansion.
I’ve seen groups of women wearing fake eyelashes as long and thick as a broom, and flashing miniature bras, and smoking marijuana by a palm tree in the park, next to families going to the beach. I’ve seen five girls standing on the back of a white open-air Jeep twerking in their underwear toward the street.
My photographs, taken in August, capture South Beach immersed in this untamed party mood with the menace of the delta variant as backdrop. They document young women enjoying the summer after more than a year of confinement. Traveling from around the country, they made the most of their return to social life by showing off their style and skin, wearing their boldest party attire. I was drawn to the fearlessness of their outfits and their confidence; I wanted to show how these women identify themselves and wish to be perceived, a year and a half after covid-19 changed the world.
Lucía Vázquez is a journalist and photographer based in New York and Buenos Aires.
A Giving Spirit
‘this pandemic has taught me to be even closer to my family and friends’, text and photographs by octavio jones.
M arlise Tolbert-Jones, who works part time for an air conditioning company in Tampa, spends most of her time caring for her 91-year-old father, Rudolph Tolbert, and her aunt Frances Pascoe, who is 89. Marlise visits them daily to make sure they’re eating a good breakfast and taking their medications. In addition to being a caregiver, Marlise, 57, volunteers for a local nonprofit food pantry, where she helps distribute groceries for families. Also, she volunteers at her church’s food pantry, where food is distributed every Saturday morning.
“I’m doing this because of my [late] mother, who would want me to be there for the family and the community,” she told me. “I’ve had my struggles. I’ve been down before, but God has just kept me stable and given me the strength to keep going. This pandemic has taught me to be even closer to my family and friends.”
Octavio Jones is an independent photojournalist based in Tampa.
First, people paused. Then they took stock. Then they persevered.
Text and photographs by anastassia whitty.
W e all know the pandemic has challenged people and altered daily routines. I created this photo essay to highlight the perspectives and experiences of everyday people, specifically African Americans: What does their “new normal” look like? I also wanted to demonstrate how they were able to persevere. One such person is Maria J. Hackett, 30, a Brooklyn photographer, dancer and mother of a daughter, NiNi. Both are featured on the cover.
I asked Maria her thoughts on what the pandemic has meant for her. “Quarantine opened up an opportunity to live in a way that was more healthy while taking on much-needed deep healing,” she told me. “It was my mental and emotional health that began breaking me down physically. ... I put things to a stop as my health began to deteriorate. I decided I will no longer chase money — but stay true to my art, plan and trust that things will come together in a healthier way for us. I focused more on letting my daughter guide us and on her remaining happy with her activities and social life.”
“Enrolling her in camps and classes like dance and gymnastics led me to develop a schedule and routine,” Maria explained, “opening room for me to complete my first dance residency in my return to exploration of movement. I made time to share what I know with her and what she knows with me.”
Jasmine Hamilton of Long Island, 32, talked in similiar terms. She too became more focused on mental health and fitness. She told me: “The pandemic has demonstrated that life is short and valuable, so I’m more open to creating new experiences.”
Anastassia Whitty is a photographer based in New York.
About this story
Photo editing by Dudley M. Brooks and Chloe Coleman. Design and development by Audrey Valbuena. Design editing by Suzette Moyer and Christian Font. Editing by Rich Leiby. Copy editing by Jennifer Abella and Angie Wu.
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Flood survivors, former sex slaves, fantastic masks: top global photo stories of 2021.
This year, Goats and Soda published a number of photo essays from photographers and artists from around the globe.
One story gives a human face to the problem we've all heard about: food insecurity in the pandemic, from the Philippines to Tennessee. Readers were so moved they wrote in asking to make donations to the people we profiled. Another tells the story of a library aimed at kids that was started in two shipping containers in a violence-torn neighborhood in South Africa. Yet another shows the 15 things folks can't live without in a pandemic, from ants to holy water.
Here is a selection of our favorite global photo stories of 2021.
Prize-winning photos capture the grit and suffering of flood survivors in South Sudan
The photo series Unyielding Floods recently won its fifth award. It captures the strength and hardship of those affected by flooding of biblical proportions in South Sudan. Published Nov. 20, 2021
Nyayua Thang, 62, left, stands in waist-deep floodwaters in front of an abandoned primary school in South Sudan. Members of her village, displaced by extreme flooding as a result of heavy rainfall, are using the building as a refuge. Only small mud dikes at the entrance of the door are keeping the water out. (November 2020) Peter Caton for Action Against Hunger hide caption
Nyayua Thang, 62, left, stands in waist-deep floodwaters in front of an abandoned primary school in South Sudan. Members of her village, displaced by extreme flooding as a result of heavy rainfall, are using the building as a refuge. Only small mud dikes at the entrance of the door are keeping the water out. (November 2020)
Mumbai falls in love with its forgotten fountains all over again
They're majestic. They're neglected. And now they're slowly being fixed up. Conservationists are preserving them — and officials hope the fountains will supply free water for the city's impoverished. Published April 11, 2021
Mumbai's grand Keshavji Nayak fountain towers above the street and serves as a place of respite for thirsty passersby. It's one of dozens of ornate fountains in the city, built during the British colonial era. Viraj Nayar for NPR hide caption
Mumbai's grand Keshavji Nayak fountain towers above the street and serves as a place of respite for thirsty passersby. It's one of dozens of ornate fountains in the city, built during the British colonial era.
The Hot-Spot Library was born in two shipping containers in a Cape Town slum
It started with a guy who had a dream — bringing books to kids in a neighborhood torn apart by drug abuse and gang violence. It's the Hot-Spot Library of Cape Town, South Africa. Published June 27, 2021
Terence Crowster, who has been an avid reader since he was young, solicited donations to start the Hot-Spot Library in the Scottsville neighborhood in Cape Town, so kids would have a safe place to connect with books. Tommy Trenchard for NPR hide caption
Why a Zimbabwean photographer asked her subjects to pose in Victorian garb
African Victorian , a series of unconventional portraits by Zimbabwean photographer Tamary Kudita, combines Victorian fashion with her country's culture to examine the impact of the colonial era. Published May 31, 2021
In Rwendo , an African woman in an old-fashioned satin gown traverses a somber landscape. Tamary Kudita hide caption
In Rwendo , an African woman in an old-fashioned satin gown traverses a somber landscape.
The pandemic sends a single mom in the big city to a simpler, happier life
Ella Guity lived in the capital of Honduras with her daughters and mother. COVID-19 was surging. She sent them all to the fishing village where she grew up. Could she — should she — go too? Published Jan. 30, 2021
With the sun setting off the coast of northern Honduras, Ella Guity watches her daughters, Jirian and Eleny, swim in the warm Caribbean waters of the village of Rio Esteban, home to a group with African and Indigenous roots known as the Garifuna. Ella had left years earlier for life in the big city, but the pandemic led her back home. Tomas Ayuso for NPR hide caption
With the sun setting off the coast of northern Honduras, Ella Guity watches her daughters, Jirian and Eleny, swim in the warm Caribbean waters of the village of Rio Esteban, home to a group with African and Indigenous roots known as the Garifuna. Ella had left years earlier for life in the big city, but the pandemic led her back home.
The new faces of pandemic food insecurity: hungry, worried ... yet generous
A lawyer who lost her job. A single mom with HIV. A grandmother who thought she had enough money to get by. A onetime golf coach. They're among the millions now struggling to put meals on the table. Published Sept. 17, 2021
Salman Khan Rashid, 24, with his mother, Sana Rashid, at home, lost his job as a golf coach at a Mumbai sports club during the pandemic. The household, which includes Salman's three sisters, is now surviving on savings. Viraj Nayar for NPR hide caption
Salman Khan Rashid, 24, with his mother, Sana Rashid, at home, lost his job as a golf coach at a Mumbai sports club during the pandemic. The household, which includes Salman's three sisters, is now surviving on savings.
Former sex slaves from WWII still fight for justice in the Philippines
Soldiers in the Japanese army systematically raped women in the Philippines. What's become of the aging survivors of this wartime atrocity in the midst of the pandemic? Published Sept. 24, 2021
Isabelita Vinuya, 88, reflected in mirror, bids farewell to Perla Bulaon Balingit in the village of Mapaniqui in Pampanga. They are two of the last living "comfort women" of the Philippines. On Nov. 23, 1944, Vinuya, Balingit and some 100 other girls and women were taken to the Red House and systematically raped by the Japanese Imperial Army. Cheryl Diaz Meyer for NPR hide caption
Isabelita Vinuya, 88, reflected in mirror, bids farewell to Perla Bulaon Balingit in the village of Mapaniqui in Pampanga. They are two of the last living "comfort women" of the Philippines. On Nov. 23, 1944, Vinuya, Balingit and some 100 other girls and women were taken to the Red House and systematically raped by the Japanese Imperial Army.
15 things folks can't live without in a pandemic, from ants to holy water
An anthropologist put out a call: Take a photo of 15 essential items that help you cope. She heard from 1,000-plus people in 50 countries. There's a lot of laptops — as well as wonderful surprises. Published July 2, 2021
Anthropologist Paula Zuccotti put a call out on Instagram asking people to send her a photo of 15 items that are helping them survive the pandemic. The submissions above are from Maria Belen Morales of Ecuador and Liliana Cadena of Colombia. Lockdown Essentials hide caption
Anthropologist Paula Zuccotti put a call out on Instagram asking people to send her a photo of 15 items that are helping them survive the pandemic. The submissions above are from Maria Belen Morales of Ecuador and Liliana Cadena of Colombia.
Vaccine history repeats itself — sometimes
From the first vaccine (for smallpox) the questions have been the same. How do we transport it? Who's next to get it? Why so much hesitancy? The answers can be similar — or dramatically different. Published May 14, 2021
Dr. Sergen Saracoglu (left) and nurse Yilzdiz Ayten (center) arrive at the village of Guneyyamac in Turkey on Feb. 15 as part of an expedition to vaccinate residents 65 years and older with Sinovac's CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine. Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
Dr. Sergen Saracoglu (left) and nurse Yilzdiz Ayten (center) arrive at the village of Guneyyamac in Turkey on Feb. 15 as part of an expedition to vaccinate residents 65 years and older with Sinovac's CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine.
Mexican masks portray COVID as a tiger, a devil, a blue-eyed man
Two professors invited Indigenous artisans to make masks portraying the agent of the pandemic — the coronavirus — through the lens of their cultural traditions. Published Aug. 28, 2021
Mestizo Man , created by Nahua artisan Zeferino Baltasar Basilio, symbolizes COVID-19, which was seen as having foreign origins, as an outsider. Toya Sarno Jordan for NPR hide caption
Mestizo Man , created by Nahua artisan Zeferino Baltasar Basilio, symbolizes COVID-19, which was seen as having foreign origins, as an outsider.
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The World Through a Lens
Helping to Reveal a Still-Shuttered World
Our weekly photo essay series offered readers a glimpse of distant places and cultures that, for a second straight year, remained largely inaccessible.
By Stephen Hiltner and Phaedra Brown
- Dec. 27, 2021
In March 2020, as lockdowns fell into place worldwide, The Times’s Travel desk launched a new visual series to help readers cope with their confinement. We called it The World Through a Lens — and, frankly, we didn’t expect it to last this long.
But as the weeks turned into months, and the months into years, we’ve continued publishing photo essays each Monday morning, carrying you — virtually — from the islands of Maine to the synagogues of Myanmar , and nearly 100 other places in between.
We hope the series has offered you a little solace and a little distraction throughout the pandemic — and perhaps a chance to immerse yourself, if momentarily, in a distant place or culture that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Below are some of our favorite World Through a Lens essays from the past year. (You can browse the full archive here .)
Touring Alaska in an R.V.
For Christopher Miller, a photographer based in Juneau, Alaska, two roads — the Glenn Highway and the Richardson Highway — formed the backbone of a stunning late-spring road trip. And instead of sacrificing comfort, he traveled in style: in an R.V., the quintessentially American automobile.
“I gazed out the window at the late-spring flora, which hemmed the Matanuska River Valley, until a jolt in the road brought me back to my reality: I was hurtling down the road, lurching and swaying with the equivalent of an efficiency apartment as a back-seat passenger.” Christopher Miller
Read more about R.V. life on the Alaskan highway →
The Stunning Grandeur of Soviet-Era Metros
Between 2014 and 2020, Frank Herfort visited more than 770 Soviet-era metro stations — including stations in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Uzbekistan. He also visited a handful of cities whose metro systems, while not formally attributed to the Soviet Union, were either built or substantially altered during the Soviet era, including the metro stations in Bucharest, Budapest and Prague.
His goal? To create as close to a full archive of the metros as he possibly could.
“Often the project felt like a game of cat and mouse. At certain moments I felt like a criminal, despite the fact that my only intentions were to capture the stations’ beauty.” Frank Herfort
Read more about metro stations across the former Soviet Union →
Intimate Portraits of Mexico’s Third-Gender Muxes
On the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico, the local Zapotec community has long accepted — and celebrated — a group of people known as muxes, who are born male but who adopt roles and identities associated with women.
The photographer Núria López Torres first learned about Mexico’s muxes, who are broadly considered a third gender, after working on a series of projects about gender identity in Cuba and Brazil.
“My first visit to Juchitán, in 2014, coincided with a series of festivities, during which seemingly everyone I encountered — young, old, men, women, muxes — danced, ate and drank in celebration. The days were long and intense, full of joy and euphoria.” Núria López Torres
Read more about gender nonconformity in the Mexican state of Oaxaca →
A Cyclist on the English Landscape
In 2020, Roff Smith, a travel photographer grounded by the pandemic, began to bring a camera and tripod with him on his morning bicycle rides, shooting them as though they were magazine assignments.
What began as simply something to do — a challenge to try to see his familiar surroundings through fresh eyes — soon blossomed into a celebration of traveling close to home.
“You don’t need to board a plane and jet off to the far side of the world to experience a sense of travel or the romance of difference. It lies waiting on your doorstep — if you look.” Roff Smith
Read more about Roff’s adventures in southeast England →
A Stunning Look at the Hidden Mysteries of Glacier Caves
For more than 15 years, the geologist and photographer Jason Gulley has explored and mapped glacier caves from Nepal to Greenland, venturing into vast, icy labyrinths to study their relationships with glacial melting and climate change.
Among his findings: Rising temperatures are forming caves inside glaciers in the Everest region of Nepal that are rotting the glaciers from the inside out.
“As my eyes adjusted to the lower light, I found myself staring down into a chasm that was far bigger than anything I thought we might find beneath the surface of the Greenland ice sheet.” Jason Gulley
Read more about glacier caves in Alaska, Greenland, Nepal and Svalbard →
Living on the Margins, ‘Surfing’ on the Buses
In the Brazilian city of Olinda, a group of thrill seekers took up an illegal and death-defying hobby: riding on the outside of public buses.
The photographer Victor Moriyama first learned of the pastime via a video posted to Facebook. Within an hour, he was exchanging messages with the surfers and planning his trip to Olinda.
“During my weeklong visit with the bus surfers in 2017, I felt happy and free. In a way, they allowed me to revisit my own roots: During my teenage years, growing up in São Paulo, I, too, engaged in certain risky and transgressive behavior.” Victor Moriyama
Read more about Brazilian bus surfers →
Exploring Greece’s Unseen Corners
After a chance encounter in Olympos piqued his interest in traditional Greek clothing, the photographer George Tatakis decided to make a project of exploring the unseen corners of his country — to meet the people, learn about their traditional practices and make images along the way.
“To me, photography is about much more than just the images themselves. I have a passion for rural Greece, and I enjoy exploring the concept of xenia, or hospitality — a central virtue that can be traced back to ancient Greece.” George Tatakis
Read more about Greece’s vibrant traditional culture →
Agony and Ecstasy on the Scottish Archipelago of St. Kilda
For centuries, the archipelago of St. Kilda, one of the most remote and unforgiving outposts in the British Isles, has electrified the imaginations of writers, historians, artists, scientists and adventurers. Its tantalizing history is replete with a rich cultural heritage, distinctive architecture and haunting isolation — not to mention disease, famine and exile.
When Stephen Hiltner, an editor on the Travel desk, visited the archipelago with his brother and sister, the 85-mile boat ride through rough seas left some passengers huddling in discomfort. But the windswept scenery was otherworldly.
“St. Kilda’s natural features are almost comical in their splendor. Jagged sea stacks rise like bundled knives from the opaque water; clamoring seabirds float nonchalantly above precipitous cliffs; swooping fields blanket an otherworldly landscape utterly devoid of trees.” Stephen Hiltner
Read more about the isolated archipelago in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides →
In Los Angeles, Glimpses of an Oasis With Deep Immigrant Roots
Emerging like a mirage from their surroundings, the San Pedro Community Gardens have for decades provided physical and spiritual nourishment to multiple generations of immigrant Angelenos.
When the photographer Stella Kalinina discovered the gardens in 2019, she instantly connected with the expressions of longing for ancestral lands.
“As a Russian-Ukrainian American who moved to the United States as a teenager and later married a second-generation Mexican American, I find myself drawn to stories of migration, severed connections, longing for one’s culture and the making of new homes.” Stella Kalinina
Read more about the San Pedro Community Gardens →
A Personal Pilgrimage to a Downed Warplane in Papua New Guinea
In 1986, when he was 12 years old, Joel Carillet — whose family had moved to Papua New Guinea to work with a Bible-translation organization — visited the site of a World War II plane that crashed in the jungle near the village of Likan.
His return, some 33 years later, prompted a series of reflections on the various ways that the site — and his experiences in Papua New Guinea as a child — shaped him, then and now.
“As the plane lined up for landing on the grass airstrip, I felt a deep joy — the sort you feel when, after a quarter century of wandering, you are returning to a central place in your life.” Joel Carillet
Read more about a World War II crash site in Papua New Guinea →
Portraits of Kolkata’s Rickshaw Pullers
The dense metropolis of Kolkata is among the only places in India — and one of the few left in the world — where fleets of hand-pulled rickshaws still ply the streets. The men who operate them are called rickshaw wallahs; some pull their rickshaws more than 10 miles a day while carrying several hundred pounds.
The photographer Emilienne Malfatto documented the men and their work while on a scholarship for a photography workshop.
“Rickshaw wallahs don’t earn a living serving tourists. Their clientele consists mainly of local Kolkatans: shoppers coming to and from markets, or residents transiting the city’s narrow side streets.” Emilienne Malfatto
Read more about Kolkata’s rickshaw wallahs →
The Searing Beauty, and Harsh Reality, of a Kentucky Tobacco Harvest
Driven by his interest in the cultures and traditions of his home state of Kentucky, Luke Sharrett photographed his first tobacco harvest eight years ago. Each year since then, he has eagerly returned.
At Tucker Farms in Shelby County, 25 men from Nicaragua and one from Mexico perform the grueling seasonal work that Americans largely avoid. The labor is physical, repetitive and exhausting. Long days are punctuated by a few short breaks and a lunch of home-cooked beans and rice.
“Documenting the tobacco harvests is a highlight of working as a photographer in Kentucky. Reuniting each year with the crew is a joy. I marvel at their skill, ingenuity and efficiency.” Luke Sharrett
Read more about the seasonal tobacco workers in Shelby County →
On Horseback Among the Eagle Hunters and Herders of the Mongolian Altai
Deep in the Altai Mountains, where Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia meet, Kazakh people have for centuries developed and nurtured a special bond with golden eagles.
In October 2019, after living and working in northern Iraq for almost three years, the photographer Claire Thomas began working on a personal photography project that drew on her background and affinity with horses.
To start, she flew to western Mongolia to meet and photograph the iconic Kazakh hunters, horsemen and animal herders.
“Outwardly, documenting the traditional ways of life in western Mongolia stands in stark contrast to my time spent photographing scenes of conflict and suffering in Iraq. But the two subjects share a common theme: the human struggle not just to survive, but to build a better future for oneself and one’s family.” Claire Thomas
Read more about Kazakh eagle hunter in western Mongolia →
Glimpses of Sudan’s Forgotten Pyramids
Throughout the 30-year dictatorship of Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who led Sudan through a long series of wars and famines, the pyramids of Meroe saw few international visitors and remained relatively unknown.
But after the revolution that led to Mr. al-Bashir’s ouster in 2019 and the removal of Sudan from the United States’ list of state sponsors of terrorism, the country’s archaeological sites were finally poised to receive broader attention and protections.
In early 2020, the photographer Alessio Mamo traveled to Sudan to visit the ancient city of Meroe, whose pyramids were built between 2,700 and 2,300 years ago.
“The Meroe pyramids — around 200 in total, many of them in ruins — seemed to be in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape, as if the wind had smoothed their edges to accommodate them among the dunes.” Alessio Mamo
Read more about Sudan’s archaeological treasures →
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Stephen Hiltner is an editor on the Travel desk. You can follow his work on Instagram and Twitter . More about Stephen Hiltner
2022 reflections, photo essays.
Photo Essay By
“2020 being a 'uniquely challenging year' is the passive descriptor that covers a wide array of events, but paramount of those crises is COVID-19. A major part of my job here at UF Health Jacksonville is capturing photography, and much like other jobs and careers, COVID-19 affected it greatly. Looking back on 2020 now, a large part of me just feels extremely grateful that my employment remained relatively unaffected throughout these long months...”
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, everyone has been forced into some form of isolation: quarantining at home for the healthy or mildly sick and isolating from everyone other than clinical caregivers for those who are severely sick...”
“Covering COIVD-19 for the last year has been a challenge. The limitations of not showing patients or PHI can make things more complicated than usual. Many of the images all start to look the same. Nurses are donning PPE, gathering and administering medications, and transporting patients between units...”
What a Year! Photo Essay Captures an Extraordinary 2021
From remote learning to the return to campus life this fall, a year unlike any other in BU history
Bu today staff.
Before we get too far into 2022, we wanted to take a look back at 2021. It was a remarkable year by any measure, overshadowed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which by December had claimed more than 800,000 lives in the United States.
2021 marked year two of mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing on BU’s campuses, but also heralded the arrival of coronavirus vaccines and boosters. And it was a year that saw not one, but two Commencement ceremonies: the first, in May, for the Class of 2021 without family members or guests present, and another in October for the Class of 2020, whose ceremony was delayed 17 months because of the pandemic.
This photo essay from BU Today photographers Janice Checchio, Jackie Ricciardi, and Cydney Scott, and others, captures how the year played out on campus, tracing the transition from remote learning to the resumption of residential life, live performances, and fans in the bleachers.
Below, take a look back chronologically at an unforgettable year.
Ayush Kadakia (ENG’24) moves back into his West Campus digs for the spring 2021 semester on January 21. The weather was anything but springlike. Photo by Cydney Scott
Instead of its usual role of hosting large University gatherings, such as celebrations and appearances by well-known speakers, on January 25, the Metcalf Ballroom was the site of the semester’s first History of International Relations Since 1945 class, taught by Igor Lukes, a CAS professor of history and international relations. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi
BU Athletics annual Pride Week Celebration supporting the LBGTQIA+ community was held January 31 through February 6, with various panels and events hosted via Zoom by Athlete Ally, the Athletics student-led organization that fosters an inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ student-athletes and allies. The women’s hockey Terriers—among them Jesse Compher (SHA’21) (from left), Clare O’Leary (CAS’24), Mackenna Parker (CAS’22), and Kaleigh Donnelly (CAS’22)—wore rainbow masks to show support before their February 5 game against Merrimack. Photo courtesy of Patrick Donnelly
When club sports started back up at FitRec in February, there was much rejoicing. Water polo club members, among them Laith Hijazi (CGS’21), on February 21 follow University-approved health and safety protocols, including distancing during practice, but are able to go mask-free while in the water. Photo by Cydney Scott
A cross? A lowercase “t”? No, it’s the COM Lawn, viewed from the Kilachand Center top floor, with some additions—Adirondack chairs placed around campus by the University so everyone can enjoy the much-anticipated, much-longed-for spring weather (while social distancing) on March 23. Photo by Cydney Scott
On April 10, Boston University Upward Bound, a federally funded TRIO Program providing outreach and student services to low-income and first-generation college students from Boston Public Schools, celebrated its 30th anniversary. Former Upward Bound student William Onuoha, executive director of Boston’s Office of Fair Housing and Equity, read a proclamation from Boston Mayor Kim Janey declaring April 10 Upward Bound Day. The proclamation recognizes “30 years of collective work of helping students access educational opportunity and [celebrates] being part of this family,” said Upward Bound director Reggie Jean (CAS’95, Wheelock’04) (holding proclamation). Photo courtesy of Wheelock College
The BU women’s tennis team won their fifth Patriot League championship in eight seasons on Sunday, May 2, beating Navy 4-3 and earning them a spot in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Photo courtesy of BU Athletics
Yuqing Wu (COM’23) receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot from Healthway RN Kristin Lopes at FitRec May 4. Boston Medical Center had provided the University with several thousand doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for BU students, faculty, and staff needing their first or second shot. Photo by Cydney Scott
Whole lotta studyin’ goin’ on: Jack Gardiner (Sargent’22) (left) and Julia Lee (Sargent’22) are among the finals-minded Terriers working on the BU Beach outdoor village April 20. Photo by Cydney Scott
Seniors Camden Kronhaus (ENG’21) (standing) and Mrinal Ghosh (ENG’21) having fun on the BU seal on Marsh Plaza, May 11, ahead of their Commencement. Photo by Cydney Scott
As BU graduates do every year, the 2021 grads participated in a more than century-old tradition at the 148th Commencement on Nickerson Field, May 16. But, in an effort to provide adequate social distancing, the ceremony was broken into two separate events: one for graduate students in the morning, and one for undergraduates (above) in the afternoon. And families and friends were unable to attend due to the pandemic. Photo by Cydney Scott
Seniors Camden Kronhaus (ENG’21) (standing) and Mrinal Ghosh (ENG’21) having fun on the BU seal on Marsh Plaza, May 11, ahead of their Commencement. As BU graduates do every year, the 2021 grads participated in a more than century-old tradition at the 148th Commencement on Nickerson Field, May 16. But, in an effort to provide adequate social distancing, the ceremony was broken into two separate events: one for graduate students in the morning, and one for undergraduates (above) in the afternoon. And families and friends were unable to attend due to the pandemic. Photos by Cydney Scott
On June 13, a Campus Climate Lab team installed an herb garden on the Warren Towers fourth floor patio, with the intention of creating a living-learning lab for students to better understand the importance of urban gardening. Sidney Hare (CAS’22), who has worked on the idea for some time, and nine other students brought in crates, dirt, herbs, and flowers and got to work. Photo by Lauren Richards (COM’22)
Celebrating a partnership: On July 12, Boston University and Steward Health Care’s St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (SEMC) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the new five-year affiliation between BU and SEMC, which went into effect July 1. Helping to wield the scissors: Anna Hohler, SEMC chair of neurology (from left); Harrison Bane, president of Steward Health Care North Region; James Terwilliger, SEMC president; Karen Antman, MED dean and Medical Campus provost; Sanjay Shetty, Steward North America president; and Frank Pomposelli, SEMC chair of surgery. Photo by Cydney Scott
Members of BU School of Medicine’s Class of 2025, Austen Mauch (from left), Nisha Mathur, Saaz Mantri, Avni Madhani, and Kendra Lujan, embark on their medical careers at MED’s annual White Coat Ceremony on Talbot Green, August 2. Photo by Cydney Scott
An annual sight: students rolling yellow bins up and down Comm Ave during Move-In. August 16 presaged the return of a fully occupied campus, albeit with pandemic-necessitated safety protocols in place. Photo by Cydney Scott
The BU Class of 2025 Matriculation procession, August 29: In a long-standing tradition, incoming class members march to their welcome and initiation ceremony. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi
BU’s ceremony honoring 2021’s 27 Thomas M. Menino Scholars and 57 BU Community Service Award scholarship recipients, all graduates of Boston Public Schools (BPS), was held August 31 at the Questrom School of Business. Robert A. Brown (left), BU president, Brenda Cassellius (center), BPS superintendent, and 2018 Menino Scholar Jami Huang (CAS’22) spoke at the ceremony. Bumping elbows with Cassellius is 2021 recipient and Boston Latin School grad Christian Badawi (CAS’25). Photo by Jake Belcher
What’s a sure sign of a new BU school year? Correct—it’s Lobster Night! The annual event has become a wildly popular tradition. Yan Huang (Questrom’22) (left) and Zitong Zhao (Questrom’22) enjoyed their lobsters at Marciano September 9. Photo by Lauren Richards (COM’22)
The Newbury Center, BU’s support hub for first-generation students—undergrad, grad, and nontraditional—held a grand opening and open house for the BU community on September 3. Maria Dykema Erb, center director (at podium), welcomed guests on Marsh Plaza. Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer, and Crystal Williams, former vice president and associate provost for community and inclusion, were among the speakers. Photo by Cydney Scott
The all-female Veronica Robles Mariachi Quartet was among the vibrant performers at the fourth annual BU Global Music Festival on September 18. Because of COVID, the performances were outdoors, at the BU Beach and on Marsh Plaza—“a silver lining” to the event, according to CFA’s Marié Abe, festival artistic director. Photo by David Green
Teddy Heinrich, a BU Environmental Health & Safety senior specialist, takes advantage of one of the many free offerings at the September 23 Sustainability Festival on Marsh Plaza: a bike safety check from Tristan Djaafar of CommonWheels, a do-it-yourself community bike organization. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi
The final beam for the Center for Computing & Data Sciences building on Comm Ave was put in place September 30. After a lunch on the COM Lawn for about 350 people, who were able to sign the beam, it was moved to the project site to be hoisted. Among those at the momentous occasion: Robert A. Brown, BU president (from right to left), Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer, and Azer Bestavros, associate provost for computing and data sciences. In the photo at right, the final beam, covered in signatures, is in place. The event celebrated the “topping-off” tradition milestone and was a thank-you to the workers. Photos by Cydney Scott
A history-making Commencement: on Sunday, October (not May) 3, the BU Class of 2020, and the University, celebrated a pandemic-postponed graduation ceremony on Nickerson Field. The exuberant grads were unfazed by a bit of afternoon drizzle. Photo by Janice Checchio
When Ethan Wang left for a BU Study Abroad semester in Sydney in 2019, it was with anticipation and excitement. A few weeks later, a surfing accident made it look like he would never walk again. But with grit, determination, his family’s support and encouragement, and the best medical care in Singapore and Boston, Wang (CAS’20) (front right) on October 2 walked across the stage at the Class of 2020 College of Arts & Sciences Recognition Event, and was handed his diploma by his father, Willis Wang, BU vice president and associate provost for global programs. The event was held in Agganis Arena as part of BU’s historic delayed 2020 Commencement. Photo by Cydney Scott
On October 2, Wheelock Family Theatre celebrated four decades of entertaining families with a 40th Family Reunion held on the Fenway Campus green. Billed as “part picnic, part performance, part creative playground,” the reunion included performances from past productions. Actor, director, and composer Jane Staab (center), a theater cofounder and co–artistic director for 33 years, was among the celebrants. Photo by Michael D. Spencer
Boston University’s 39th annual Joint Service Pass-in-Review was held on Nickerson Field October 23. Each year, cadets from BU’s Division of Military Education Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps ROTC programs, consisting of cadets from several area schools, join together for the ceremony, one of the Army’s long-standing traditions. Pictured above: Color Guard Commander Cadet Nathan Tadigiri of UMass Boston (from left), Cadet Kenneth Ziniti (Questrom’24), Cadet Salem Adda-Berkane (CAS’23, ENG’23), Cadet Joseph Carey (CGS’22), Midshipman Sasha Wong, Midshipman Ian Benitez-Rio, Cadet Jacob Bresnahan, and Cadet Ju Young Kang (Questrom’24). Photo by Chris McIntosh
A memorial service for BU President Emeritus Jon Westling (Hon.’03), BU’s eighth president, was held at Marsh Chapel on October 27. Westling came to the University in 1974 and his career at BU spanned 46 years and included several top leadership posts. His son, Matthew Westling (CGS’04, CAS’06), read the Wallace Stevens poem, “Invective against Swans,” during the service. Photo by Jacob Chang-Rascle (COM’22)
After Travis Roy was paralyzed from the neck down in his first BU hockey game in 1995, he went on to establish the Travis Roy Foundation, which helps those with similar injuries and has donated millions in grants for spinal cord research. On October 29, the one-year anniversary of his death, BU honored Roy (COM’00, Hon.’16) at Agganis Arena. Pictured are: Albie O’Connell (CAS’99), men’s hockey head coach (from left); Jack Parker (Questrom’68, Hon.’97), former head coach; Roy’s parents, Brenda and Lee; Jay Pandolfo (CAS’96), associate head coach; and Drew Marrochello, assistant vice president and athletics director. Photo by Chris Lyons
A scene from Colossal , a movement-heavy piece following a star college football player in the wake of a spinal cord injury, tackles themes of love, ability, masculinity, and how we use our bodies to communicate along the way. The piece was part of CFA’s annual Fringe Festival. Rehearsing (above): Donovan Black (CFA’22). Photo by Jackie Ricciardi
MBTA Green Line B Branch’s Amory Street Station Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, November 16: Andres Achury, senior director, project, Green Line Transformation (GLT) (from left); Desiree Patrice, GLT senior director, project; Angel Peña, chief of capital transformation programs; Steve Poftak, MBTA general manager; Kenneth Green, chief, MBTA Transit Police; Derek Howe, BU senior vice president of operations; and Shauna Connelly, GLT senior project coordinator. Photo by Janice Checchio
Trans Listening Circle treasurer Kaiden Kane (Sargent’21) (center) and circle members placed 400 trans flags on Alpert Mall (aka the BU Beach) November 19 in remembrance of the 375 transgender people reported murdered internationally within the last year. They did so in observance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, held annually on November 20. Photo by Jake Belcher
Rabbi Shmuel Posner of Chabad House of Greater Boston lights the menorah outside the George Sherman Union during the fourth night of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, on December 1. Photo by Cydney Scott
The 20th Aurora Borealis: A Festival of Light and Dance was performed at the BU Dance Theater December 6, presented by the CFA School of Theatre and the Department of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. The annual event features dance and movement pieces by faculty and students in a vibrant exploration of the relationship between light and form. Photo by Jacob Chang-Rascle (COM’22)
Another revered and much-anticipated University tradition was held in person on December 10: Marsh Chapel’s 48th annual Service of Christmas Lessons and Carols. The liturgy, based on the University of Cambridge King’s College iconic century-old Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, included a selection of Christmas carols, motets, and anthems. Photo by Jake Belcher
Each year around the holidays, Terrier student-athletes visit Boston public elementary schools to read to students and give them a book. BU soccer player Claire Orson (Questrom’22) and several fellow athletes were able to visit in person this year on December 13, much to the enjoyment of Blackstone School students. Last year’s visit had to be virtual because of the pandemic. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi
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2021 Photo Essay - New Photo 2
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Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles
Photo contest winners, 2021 qtr. 3 photo essay, february 15, 2022 guest user, joe vitti & charlie nye , quarter 3 judges.
It was a strong selection of pictures. Winning stories and essays were well edited. The photographs that stood out in all categories were story-telling pictures as well as technically strong. The winning pictures were smartly cropped, but many pictures entered had good content but were too loosely composed and would have been strengthened by cropping.
We read captions on many pictures to help us understand the context and importance of the photographs and the ones we read were well written and providing good information — good work by everyone on the captions.
First place: ERIC THAYER, BLOOMBERG
A man crosses onto the shore into Mexico carrying two children over the Rio Grande River near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico, on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021.
Migrants pause after crossing the Rio Grande River near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico, on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.
U.S. Border Patrol agents push back migrants illegally crossing into the United States from Mexico over the Rio Grande River in Del Rio, Texas, U.S., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.
Migrants cross the Rio Grande River near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico, on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.
A helicopter flies over migrants at a makeshift camp in a park near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico, on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021.
Migrants wait at sunrise to illegally cross between the United States and Mexico over the Rio Grande River in Cuidad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico, on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.
Clothes dry in a park near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico, on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021.
A migrant crosses the Rio Grande River into the United States near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico, on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021.
Migrants in a park after crossing from the United States to Mexico over the Rio Grande River in Cuidad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico, on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.
Migrants line up for food at a makeshift camp in a park near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico, on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021.
Second Place: jay l. clendenin, la times
831644_Ca-Clint Eastwood profile_JLC
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, CA - September 02: A portrait of Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood, 91, photographed with an 8x10-inch film camera, amongst the oak trees, on the grounds of his Tehama Golf Club, in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA, in support of his newest film, which he also stars in, “Cry Macho,” Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021.
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, CA - September 02: Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood drives his truck, with a photographer in-tow, around the grounds of his Tehama Golf Club, in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. Eastwood directed a new film, which he also stars in, “Cry Macho.”
Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA - September 02: The dashboard in the Lincoln truck drove by Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood is covered in a layer of dust, while driving around the grounds of his Tehama Golf Club, in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021.
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, CA - September 02: Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood climbs a fence to his horse corral, during a tour of the grounds of his Tehama Golf Club, in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. Eastwood directed a new film, which he also stars in, “Cry Macho.”
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, CA - September 02: Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood, photographed with a tilt-shift lens, pauses after greeting horses in his corral, during a tour of the grounds of his Tehama Golf Club, in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. Eastwood directed a new film, which he also stars in, “Cry Macho.”
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, CA - September 02: Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood greets one of his rescued horses, during a tour of the grounds of his Tehama Golf Club, in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. Eastwood directed a new film, which he also stars in, “Cry Macho.”
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, CA - September 02: A final portrait of Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood, 91, ending a day of touring the grounds of his Tehama Golf Club, in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA, in support of his newest film, which he also stars in, “Cry Macho,” Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021.
Third place: ringo chiu, associated press
Firefighters watch as a helicopter drops water at the South Fire burning in Lytle creek, San Bernardino County north of Rialto, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.
The South Fire burns near the power lines in Lytle creek, San Bernardino County north of Rialto, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.
A sculpture is seen at a burning burning house as the South Fire burns in Lytle creek, San Bernardino County north of Rialto, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.
A firefighter tries to extinguish the flames at a burning house as the South Fire burns in Lytle creek, San Bernardino County north of Rialto, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.
Animals stand near a fence while a firefighter works to extinguish flames from the South Fire, at a farm in Lytle Creek, near Rialto, Calif., in San Bernardino County on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.
A burned vehicle is seen near a burning house at the South Fire in Lytle creek, San Bernardino County north of Rialto, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.
Homeowner Jose Lamas, right, and his daughter Astrid Covarrubias survey the charred debris left in his burned-out home from the South Fire in Lytle Creek, San Bernardino County, north of Rialto, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.
Homeowners Jose Lamas, center, his wife Maria Covarrubias, right, and his daughter Astrid Covarrubias walk through the smoke after visiting their burned out home during the South Fire in Lytle creek, San Bernardino County north of Rialto, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.
A decorate sculpture is shown charred by the South Fire burns in Lytle creek, San Bernardino County north of Rialto, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.
Meet Our Judges, Joe Vitti & Charlie Nye
Joe Vitti attended first Marquette, then Ohio University, working on student publications until 1977, when he began an internship at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson and never looked back. He served as staff photographer, page designer and assignment coordinator until 1984. He then moved to the Los Angeles Times, where he was a staff photographer in the paper’s San Fernando Valley zone section, which covered a region of some 600 square miles.
In 1990 he moved to Indianapolis as photo editor for the News. When the News and Star papers merged in 1995, he continued as photo editor. In 1998 he transitioned back to photographer. Around 2010 he took on the combined photographer/weekend photo editor role in which he served until 2014.
Charlie Nye is a retired photojournalist living in Indianapolis. He worked for newspapers in Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, Oregon and Indiana, and also served as a National Geographic photography intern two summers while attending Ohio University (undergraduate) and the University of Missouri (graduate school). His first job out of college was as editor of a twice-weekly newspaper in Minnesota. In the 1970s-2000s he held a variety of other positions at newspapers, including staff photographer, director of photography/graphics (Eugene Register-Guard, Indianapolis News) and assistant managing editor for photo and graphics (Indianapolis Star).
Hope is Growing 2021 Photo Essay Program
We’re pleased to present the results from our 2021 Photo Essay Program. Click the community name to learn more.