|DRAIN THE SWAMP. The tidal basin in Washington DC overflows its banks following heavy rain from tropical storm Ophelia on September 23, 2023. Photo AP J. David Ake.|
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GUEST BLOG / By The Associated Press--The mission of photojournalism is to capture moments that represent — and, at their best, truly reveal — the endless spectrum of the human experience.
Associated Press photographers across the world have spent 2023 doing exactly that — sometimes at great risk or personal exertion, always with ethics and compassion and quality, and with an eye forever trained toward the memorable.
When those photographers encounter the world, though — from Israel and Gaza to Brazil, from Mongolia to the American heartland and beyond — often they have no idea what they’ll find until it is upon them.
Here is some of what they found in 2023, in all its contradictions: Conflict. Ambition. Anger. Injustice. Striving. Merriment. Poverty. Blood.
The quest for excellence, no matter the arena.
The human body, in glorious and panicked motion and, too often, sadly stilled. Struggle — to protect loved ones, to navigate a warming planet, to escape strife and oppression, to survive nature’s capriciousness.
Death, life and more death — in all its unwelcome permutations.
Bursts of joy in unexpected places.
Tears upon tears upon tears.
Wars that have just begun, wars that continue, wars already almost forgotten.
The gamut of human existence.
Today, in a connected and absurdly complex world, a single year contains far more cataclysmic news than we can ever begin to process. Ways to make sense of it are rare. But using technology to freeze moments — capturing them in unforgettable photography — offers a small chance to pause and say: At this particular hour in our civilization, this is what happened to us.