Monday, 30 January 2012

Young Lebanese drive through devastated neighborhood of South Beirut

Picture author: Spencer Platt
Picture date: 15 August 2006

The disturbing picture shows young Lebanese driving in red convertible, observing the devastated neighbourhood from the comfort of their car. The photo shows contradictions of a country where destruction and the love of fun are unbearably juxtaposed. The background is brown and grey, but the car is sparkling red, and the white T-shirt of the blonde woman in the car are whiter than the shirt of a passer-by behind the car. the driver of the car looks as a pop star or a famous actor.

Many people found this picture controversial, but it is in fact a stunning metaphor, a perfect example of war photography. It shows the act of taking photos in tragic situations: if there is a contradiction, it is in the encounter between art, beauty and tragedy.

The picture won the World Press Photo contest. World Press Photo jury chair Michele McNally describes the winning image:
It's a picture you can keep looking at. It has the complexity and contradiction of real life, amidst chaos. This photograph makes you look beyond the obvious.

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