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Photographers Narrate 21 Most Compelling Stories of 2018

World | Reuters | December 22, 2018, 9:18 am
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 Honduran migrant protects his child after fellow migrants, part of a caravan trying to reach the U.S., stormed a border checkpoint in Guatemala, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico. Reuters photographer Ueslei Marcelino:

Honduran migrant protects his child after fellow migrants, part of a caravan trying to reach the U.S., stormed a border checkpoint in Guatemala, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico. Reuters photographer Ueslei Marcelino: "The migrants had already broken through the first police barricade on the Guatemalan side of the bridge. After a while, they moved towards the second barricade on the Mexican side. The push by the migrants to enter Mexico had eased and suddenly women and children formed a line and started to walk towards the police. There was a bit of pushing and shoving, and then things started to get increasingly chaotic. It was a march that turned into a protest and ended up in confusion. Of course, it affected me. I'm also a father of a nine-year-old girl. It was impossible not to think about being that father caught up in that panicked situation. After taking the photo, I took others of families coming out of the restrictive cordon created by police. The confusion was brought under control after gas was used to disperse them, and the migrants were pushed back to the Guatemalan side." (Image: Reuters)

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 Supporters of the National Socialist Movement, a white nationalist political group, give Nazi salutes while taking part in a swastika burning at an undisclosed location in Georgia, US. Reuters photographer Go Nakamura:

Supporters of the National Socialist Movement, a white nationalist political group, give Nazi salutes while taking part in a swastika burning at an undisclosed location in Georgia, US. Reuters photographer Go Nakamura: "I never fathomed capturing this image. Earlier in the day, I had been covering a very uneventful white supremacy rally in Newnan, Georgia, run by a neo-Nazi group called National Socialist Movement, the same group involved in the infamous Charlottesville rally in 2017. A couple of colleagues told me that the group might hold some sort of secret ritual outside of town afterwards. Together, we approached the head of the movement who granted us permission to document the ritual. After waiting for several hours, we reached the backyard of a bar in the middle of nowhere where we saw a big wooden swastika and cross set up on the ground. Then, a group of some 15 neo-Nazis lit up their torches as they encircled the swastika and performed a Nazi salute. It was surreal. Adrenalin was rushing through my body, but I remained focused on capturing what was unfolding in front of my eyes. The ritual reached its climax when the group lined up in front of the burning swastika and began chanting and performing a final salute. We left immediately after it ended. As we drove away, I set about unravelling the tangle of emotions I experienced that day that led to this photo." (Image: Reuters)

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 White House Communications Director Hope Hicks leaves after attending the House Intelligence Committee closed door meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2018. Reuters photographer Leah Millis:

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks leaves after attending the House Intelligence Committee closed door meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2018. Reuters photographer Leah Millis: "This was one of my very first stakeouts after I joined Reuters as a staff photographer in Washington, D.C. After an earlier assignment at the Supreme Court on Feb. 27, I was asked to join colleague Kevin Lamarque at the Capitol, where White House Communications Director Hope Hicks had been testifying to the House Intelligence Committee. After about seven hours of waiting, Hicks suddenly appeared at the end of the hallway. I grabbed my backpack and broke into a sprint towards the northern exit with a videographer and no other photographers. We then backpedalled with Hicks for the long walk up the stairs that lead to First Street from the Capitol. I noticed the lit-up Capitol building behind her as we climbed the stairs and had the presence of mind to get it in the background of the photograph. When we reached the top of the steps, Hicks and her team hailed a taxi, got in and they were off. Seven hours of waiting had culminated in a few minutes-long feverish dash and climb up the stairs. Hicks and myself were the only women at the scene. One of the videographers made a comment about her looks as we were walking, and I felt the need to show that she held her own, never stumbled or looked like a victim in that situation. Moments like these transcend barriers. I'm a photojournalist and she was my subject in that situation. But, in that moment, I could relate to her from one woman to another." (Image: Reuters)

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 Former President Manuel Zelaya is helped by aides while being overcome by tear gas during a protest against the re-election of Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez in Tegucigalpa, Honduras January 12, 2018. Reuters photographer Jorge Cabrera:

Former President Manuel Zelaya is helped by aides while being overcome by tear gas during a protest against the re-election of Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez in Tegucigalpa, Honduras January 12, 2018. Reuters photographer Jorge Cabrera: "I was covering a protest against Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez in the capital Tegucigalpa when things turned violent. Some protesters vandalized the front of the Marriott Hotel, and police responded with tear gas and warning shots. Among the protesters was former president Manuel Zelaya. Zelaya tried to quell the clashes but got caught in the middle of the scuffle and his hat fell on the ground. As he tried to retrieve it, Zelaya was gassed and attacked by police. The photo I took captured his bodyguards as they tried to get him to safety while Zelaya catches his breath, holding a gas mask. What struck me the most was how the former president seemed to ignore the danger - the teargas and bullets - and he appeared solely focused on getting his hat back. But police soon charged again, and Zelaya never managed to retrieve it." (Image: Reuters)

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 Ayah, 37, a wearer of the niqab weeps as she is embraced by a police officer during a demonstration against the Danish face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, August 1, 2018. Reuters photographer Andrew Kelly:

Ayah, 37, a wearer of the niqab weeps as she is embraced by a police officer during a demonstration against the Danish face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, August 1, 2018. Reuters photographer Andrew Kelly: "I travelled to Denmark in May to cover a new, controversial law that banned the wearing of face veils in public. As I followed a large demonstration in Copenhagen protesting against the ban, I came across a scene that was emblematic of the polarizing issue. I noticed a female police officer talking to some women in niqabs, the veil worn by some Muslim women. I wasn't sure whether the police officer was going to fine them, but I quickly realized she was being very friendly. She spoke with one of veiled women, Ayah, who was visibly emotional. The officer reassured her, and the two women hugged as Ayah wept. The photo was widely picked up and sparked a heated debate on the ban. People were divided: Many praised the officer, while others called for her suspension. It also created huge interest in Ayah. She gave interviews and was able to explain how the ban affected her life. "It's just absurd. I can't do the things I love to do any more," Ayah told Reuters. "I'm just going to be a prisoner in my home." But sudden notoriety also brought a lot of negative attention and Ayah has since retreated to a life away from the spotlight." (Image: Reuters)

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 A resident reacts as he attempts to extinguish a fire that broke out at the Kijiji slums in the Southlands estate of Nairobi, Kenya, January 28, 2018. Reuters photographer Thomas Mukoya:

A resident reacts as he attempts to extinguish a fire that broke out at the Kijiji slums in the Southlands estate of Nairobi, Kenya, January 28, 2018. Reuters photographer Thomas Mukoya: "On a Sunday night in January, I was watching the news before going to bed when images of a fire in a poor Nairobi neighbourhood popped on the screen. I grabbed my cameras and rushed to the scene in the Kijiji slums of Southlands Estate, where fire had engulfed the entire shanty town and many residents were reported missing. When I arrived, I saw residents attempting to recover their belongings among the charred ruins. Some were trying to salvage goods from their businesses that had been consumed by the flames. The scene was chaotic as the firefighters had run out of water and residents were crying for their missing relatives. Some women were carrying their children away from the heat of the inferno when I noticed a man sifting through the burning rubble of what used to be his home. When I approached him, he was emotional and paid little attention to me. After a few minutes, he stood up and wiped tears from his face as I snapped the photo. Then he asked me, 'Is this what the government can do to the people who voted it into office?' I told him I would use my pictures to tell the story of the disaster that had befallen them, and I reassured him that help would be coming soon. 'I'd rather die!' he shouted as I walked away." (Image: Reuters)

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 A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, run away from tear gas in front of the border wall between the U.S and Mexico in Tijuana, Mexico November 25, 2018. Reuters photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon:

A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, run away from tear gas in front of the border wall between the U.S and Mexico in Tijuana, Mexico November 25, 2018. Reuters photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon: "After nearly two weeks of documenting the harrowing journey of a caravan of mostly Central American migrants headed towards the U.S.-Mexican border, I snapped a picture I will never forget. In the photo, Honduran mother Maria Meza grabs the thin arms of her two 5-year-old twin daughters Cheili and Saira as they frantically run from a tear gas canister next to the U.S-Mexico border barrier in Tijuana. Cheili is in diapers, Saira barefoot. Their mother is wearing a T-shirt from the Disney hit "Frozen," a movie I've seen many times with my own daughter. In the frantic moments after tear gas canisters hit the ground, the acrid smell engulfed the area. Children were crying, their eyes stung by the gas. The U.S. government said customs officers had used tear gas to stop a group of migrants who, they said, had violently attempted to cross the border. I did not see who fired the canister, but I heard the sound come from the direction of the border fence as I, too, broke into a run. It was one of the first of several tear gas canisters I saw being used by border agents. I did not witness migrants behaving violently, but we were in a large area and I could not see everything that was happening. It is not my place to say who is right and who is wrong. I just took a photo of what I saw happening in a given place and time."(Image: Reuters)

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 Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, puts her shoe back on after passing though a security screening, as she arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. Reuters photographer Shannon Stapleton:

Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, puts her shoe back on after passing though a security screening, as she arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. Reuters photographer Shannon Stapleton: "The day started out in a scrum of 50 photographers penned in a police barricade outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan, waiting for adult film star Stormy Daniels. This kind of assignment is hectic and intensely competitive. While you do have an approximate arrival time, you rarely know when the subject will show up or if they will be where you are set up. After some time, I decided to follow a video crew who seemed to be more in the know about Daniels' movements. Before we knew it, a big black sports utility car pulled over and Daniels emerged from it. It was total chaos as everyone scrambled to get a picture of her. I ran to a window and tried to place myself by the metal detector that anyone entering the courthouse has to go through. I pinned my camera upon the glass, hoping Daniels would pass by me. She was wearing pastel pink and I knew that if I kept the focus on her, I would be able to get a clean shot. As Daniels made her way through the metal detector, I noticed she had to take off her high-heel shoes and sit down to put them back on. I knew in that moment that was the money shot: Daniels with her leg held up as she put her heels back on." (Image: Reuters)

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 Afghan journalists are seen after a second blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 30, 2018. Reuters photographer Omar Sobhani:

Afghan journalists are seen after a second blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 30, 2018. Reuters photographer Omar Sobhani: "I shot this photo 10 or 15 seconds after the suicide bomber detonated his explosives. I had been waiting with other journalists to cover an earlier blast. It was about 8:30 in the morning, there were security forces guarding the site of the first blast and quite a few people going to work and we were just waiting with other journalists. Then we heard a huge bang just behind me. I survived because I was standing in front of a concrete pillar that shielded me from the force of the explosion, but I saw my friends and colleagues on the ground and a lot of them were dead and a few injured - you can still see the smoke from the explosion in the pictures. I was slightly wounded, but was able to quickly capture some images of the scene before withdrawing to seek help. I was shocked but I could see there was nothing to be done and I shot some pictures immediately before leaving. I could feel some pain and there was some shrapnel in my shoulder, which was taken out at the hospital. Eight of the journalists were from Afghan outlets. The French news agency AFP's chief photographer in Afghanistan, Shah Marai, was also killed. For me and the other journalists at the scene, the dead were colleagues and friends. The people killed were all innocent people, people just going about their business or journalists just doing their job. They're showing the truth of what's happening. It's not politics. It's very important so that people can know what's happening. It's a challenging job. You see war and violence all the time but it's important to make sure people know. I was very shocked - these were colleagues of mine and one was a very good friend." (Image: Reuters)

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