I have been looking at this photograph today for hours.
The photo is called “Hope for a New Life” and it is the winner of The World Press Photo of the Year, taken by an Australian freelance photographer and a refugee activist Warren Richardson.
In the photograph, the man is handing a baby through the barbwire to the other side. His face is twisted in agony, fear or exhaustion. Maybe all of them.
What really struck me in the picture is that it could be from any era, from any war or from any past century. But this is a picture of our time.
The photo was captured at night in August, on the border between Horgoš in Serbia and Röszke in Hungary. There’s nothing pretentious here, nothing glorious. No flash, no stunts or tricks. It’s utterly human.
The photographer describes the moment before pressing the shutter:
“I must have been with this crew for about five hours and we played cat and mouse with the police the whole night. I was exhausted by the time I took the picture. It was around three o’clock in the morning and you can’t use a flash while the police are trying to find these people, because I would just give them away. So I had to use the moonlight alone.”
All the winner photos are dark, violent or threatening.
That tells something about our time.
I want to believe in the title. Hope for a new life. Hope for the better tomorrow.
See the other section winners here.
Author: Sara Kärpänen
Photo: World Press Photo / Warren Richardson