Starting on Friday, the World Press Photo exhibition at the Hungarian National Museum (MNM) will present almost 94 photographs from all over the world.
With the advent of the press photo and the photo, it became possible for events in remote parts of the world to come before our eyes in real life, so reality became much more relatable – said Balázs Orbán, political director of the Prime Minister, at the opening of the exhibition on Thursday, who called it a great honor to the exhibition presenting the best and most important photojournalistic and documentary photos of the past year will also visit Hungary in addition to 30 prominent locations.
Balázs Orbán put it this way: In this way, we Hungarians can get a little closer to the troubles and joys of distant continents, we can get closer to the reality of the world.
He highlighted that the task of the press photo is to warn, confront and spur action. He called it a worrying trend that action is needed in more and more parts of the world.
While a few years ago, the reports coming from Europe were about demonstrations, marches, and the fight against climate change, today only one topic appears, the war going on next door, he said, adding that Europe needs to change first of all what it thinks about its role and responsibility in the world, because today the continent is not even able to stop the senseless killing taking place in its own backyard – he emphasized.
According to Balázs Orbán, the lesson of the photos is that there is peace where there are well-functioning, strong states. In Hungary, we believe that such a state will be established, where the safety of the Hungarian people comes first – said Balázs Orbán.
He added: We are convinced that it is not national feeling, but national sovereignty that encourages peace the most. We have to embrace this realization here in Europe, so that more peaceful pictures of the continent can be taken again.
Désirée Bonis, the ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Budapest, spoke about this year’s World Press Photo prize-winning photo. The first-prize photo is a strong reminder that there is still a war going on not far from Budapest, while the exhibition material clearly shows that in addition to economic difficulties, the climate crisis is also the world has to fight.
He added that World Press Photo is an independent non-profit organization founded in Amsterdam in 1955, which has been a globally recognized platform for journalism ever since. As he emphasized, in order to have reliable information, it is essential that journalists can work freely.
László L. Simon, the director general of the MNM, expressed his joy that the museum can once again host the exhibition. Once again, the international jury made a selection from a rich selection of material. He mentioned that several accompanying events will join the exhibition. National Geographic Hungary turned 20 this year. On the occasion of the anniversary, World Press Photo presents the most exciting and beautiful Hungarian materials from the magazine’s two decades at the accompanying exhibition at the National Museum. In addition, the 24.hu online news portal’s selection of photos showing events in Hungary in the past year can be viewed on the fence of the museum. In the Museum Garden, the works of Czech-Polish-Slovak and Hungarian photographers on climate change can be seen – he listed.
The 94 award-winning photos shown at the exhibition were selected by an independent jury from more than 60,448 photos. The photo of the year was Jevhen Maloletka’s Air attack on the maternity ward of the Mariupol hospital. In the photo, a wounded mother is being rescued from a hospital damaged during a Russian airstrike on March 9, 2022. The child of the expectant mother, Irina Kalynyina, was stillborn, and half an hour later Irina also died. According to the jury, the photo represents an attack on the future of Ukraine.
The World Press Photo exhibition can be visited at the Hungarian National Museum until November 5.
Opening photo: Jonathan Fontaine’s photo The last journey of the nomad, recognized with the special prize of the jury, at the opening of the World Press Photo 2023 exhibition at the Hungarian National Museum on September 21, 2023. The 94 award-winning photos shown at the exhibition were selected by an independent jury from more than 60,448 photos. The exhibition can be visited until November 5. MTI/Zsolt Szigetváry