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From Coronavirus Pandemic To Anti-Racism Protest, Some Of The Best Pictures Of 2020

From the coronavirus pandemic to the anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd, Reuters photographers were on the ground covering the most important stories of 2020, and captured some of its most viral moments as well. Beyond the images themselves, these are the inside stories of the men and women behind the lens and their experiences in the line of duty. Here are some of the best pictures of the year and the stories behind it.

Nov 24, 2020 / 08:12 PM IST
Detained Filipino activist Reina Mae Nasino holds a flower during the burial of her three-month-old baby River, who died while she was in jail, in Manila North Cemetery, Philippines, October 16. Reuters photographer Eloisa Lopez: "The moment I saw Filipino activist Reina Mae Nasino step out at the burial site of her three-month-old baby River, my eyes locked onto her hands. She was handcuffed, in a full personal protective suit, and surrounded by armed prison guards. Her relatives and lawyers repeatedly pleaded for her to be uncuffed—even for just a minute—to give her a chance to hold her baby for the last time, but the authorities refused. It was heartbreaking to witness Nasino sob silently in front of a tiny white coffin, caressing the top of it with her cuffed hands, as her sister played lullabies on a cellphone. This photograph of Nasino holding a white flower was taken during her last moments with her baby, as loved ones threw flowers into the grave before the tomb was covered in cement. It's a simple image and doesn't show any of the chaos I witnessed that day, but I think it demonstrates who Nasino was in that moment. Putting all the politics aside, she was just a mother mourning her child, in a universal feeling that anyone could sympathise with." (Image: Reuters)
Detained Filipino activist Reina Mae Nasino holds a flower during the burial of her three-month-old baby River, who died while she was in jail, in Manila North Cemetery, Philippines, October 16. Reuters photographer Eloisa Lopez: "The moment I saw Filipino activist Reina Mae Nasino step out at the burial site of her three-month-old baby River, my eyes locked onto her hands. She was handcuffed, in a full personal protective suit, and surrounded by armed prison guards. Her relatives and lawyers repeatedly pleaded for her to be uncuffed—even for just a minute—to give her a chance to hold her baby for the last time, but the authorities refused. It was heartbreaking to witness Nasino sob silently in front of a tiny white coffin, caressing the top of it with her cuffed hands, as her sister played lullabies on a cellphone. This photograph of Nasino holding a white flower was taken during her last moments with her baby, as loved ones threw flowers into the grave before the tomb was covered in cement. It's a simple image and doesn't show any of the chaos I witnessed that day, but I think it demonstrates who Nasino was in that moment. Putting all the politics aside, she was just a mother mourning her child, in a universal feeling that anyone could sympathise with." (Image: Reuters)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Cecil Airport in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S., September 24. Reuters photographer Tom Brenner: "We descended from Air Force One onto the hot, humid tarmac in Jacksonville, Florida. It was already our third campaign stop of the day. Rally attendees, mostly without protective masks, were shouting at anyone holding a camera to 'treat Trump fairly' and to 'stop lying'. As each Trump rally typically has the same layout of a large audience viewing area encircling an elevated podium, I knew I had to make different images to keep our coverage varied. I zoomed in with my telephoto lens to compose the giant swaying American flag around the president, then behind his open mouth as he passionately addressed the thousands of supporters listening below. I took several dozen photographs, attempting to frame the president with the flag in order to visualize his strong views on the coronavirus, the economy, and the United States as a whole. It wasn't until I saw the images on my laptop that I understood that my plan had been successful that day." (Image: Reuters)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Cecil Airport in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S., September 24. Reuters photographer Tom Brenner: "We descended from Air Force One onto the hot, humid tarmac in Jacksonville, Florida. It was already our third campaign stop of the day. Rally attendees, mostly without protective masks, were shouting at anyone holding a camera to 'treat Trump fairly' and to 'stop lying'. As each Trump rally typically has the same layout of a large audience viewing area encircling an elevated podium, I knew I had to make different images to keep our coverage varied. I zoomed in with my telephoto lens to compose the giant swaying American flag around the president, then behind his open mouth as he passionately addressed the thousands of supporters listening below. I took several dozen photographs, attempting to frame the president with the flag in order to visualize his strong views on the coronavirus, the economy, and the United States as a whole. It wasn't until I saw the images on my laptop that I understood that my plan had been successful that day." (Image: Reuters)
A crow attacks a bat in central Kyiv, Ukraine, September 15. Reuters photographer Gleb Garanich: "The crow fixed its beady gaze on me as I snapped its picture, the wing of a bat firmly gripped in its beak. Capturing this shot in the beautiful morning light of Kiev confirmed my belief that stories about the animal world need not only be found in the wild. I was on my way to cover a protest near the Ukrainian parliament and had deliberately left 90 minutes ahead of time as I like to take pictures early in the morning in the centre of Kiev. When I heard a cry and a flapping of wings, I turned in the direction of the noise, raising my telephoto lens, and saw a crow attacking something in the branches of a tree. In the next instant, a bat flew out of the branches, chased by the crow. The bat fell to the ground, hissing at the crow, which continued to attack it. I drove the crow away, but the bat was lying in the grass and could not fly off. I carefully lifted it and carried it to another tree at the end of the alley, placing it on a branch, and went on with my day. This shot reminds me that a photographer should always be alert to what is happening around them, ready to take a picture at any moment." (Image: Reuters)
A crow attacks a bat in central Kyiv, Ukraine, September 15. Reuters photographer Gleb Garanich: "The crow fixed its beady gaze on me as I snapped its picture, the wing of a bat firmly gripped in its beak. Capturing this shot in the beautiful morning light of Kiev confirmed my belief that stories about the animal world need not only be found in the wild. I was on my way to cover a protest near the Ukrainian parliament and had deliberately left 90 minutes ahead of time as I like to take pictures early in the morning in the centre of Kiev. When I heard a cry and a flapping of wings, I turned in the direction of the noise, raising my telephoto lens, and saw a crow attacking something in the branches of a tree. In the next instant, a bat flew out of the branches, chased by the crow. The bat fell to the ground, hissing at the crow, which continued to attack it. I drove the crow away, but the bat was lying in the grass and could not fly off. I carefully lifted it and carried it to another tree at the end of the alley, placing it on a branch, and went on with my day. This shot reminds me that a photographer should always be alert to what is happening around them, ready to take a picture at any moment." (Image: Reuters)
A migrant carries her belongings following a fire at the Moria camp for refugees and migrants on the island of Lesbos, Greece, September 9. Reuters photographer Elias Marcou: "The morning after a fire broke out at Moria refugee camp on Lesbos island in the olive grove next to it, helicopters were dropping water to extinguish scattered fires, while people were returning to assess the extent of the damage and recover what they could. At the time, approximately 13,000 people were living at the camp, making it the most populated in Europe. The night before, the police had blocked the road a few hundred metres from the camp to prevent refugees from walking to the nearest city of Mytilene, while the camp was ablaze, and people were desperately trying to get away from the flames, carrying with them any personal belongings they could gather in the darkness. Exploding cooking gas canisters gave an intensity to the night chaos. In the grey morning, I watched as a woman carrying some blankets turned back for a moment as if to take a last look at the remnants of the life she was once more moving on from. This thought moved me deeply as I captured this image." (Image: Reuters)
A migrant carries her belongings following a fire at the Moria camp for refugees and migrants on the island of Lesbos, Greece, September 9. Reuters photographer Elias Marcou: "The morning after a fire broke out at Moria refugee camp on Lesbos island in the olive grove next to it, helicopters were dropping water to extinguish scattered fires, while people were returning to assess the extent of the damage and recover what they could. At the time, approximately 13,000 people were living at the camp, making it the most populated in Europe. The night before, the police had blocked the road a few hundred metres from the camp to prevent refugees from walking to the nearest city of Mytilene, while the camp was ablaze, and people were desperately trying to get away from the flames, carrying with them any personal belongings they could gather in the darkness. Exploding cooking gas canisters gave an intensity to the night chaos. In the grey morning, I watched as a woman carrying some blankets turned back for a moment as if to take a last look at the remnants of the life she was once more moving on from. This thought moved me deeply as I captured this image." (Image: Reuters)
Gang members are seen inside a cell at Quezaltepeque jail during a media tour in Quezaltepeque, El Salvador, September 4. Reuters photographer Jose Cabezas: "Members of the MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs are sworn enemies and historically jails were segregated to prevent violence. However, with an increase in homicides in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic the government changed the policy and stated mixing the prison populations. This cell contains Barrio 18 gang members - you can tell the gang allegiances from the tattoos that cover the men's bodies. Previous times I've visited the prisoners were roaming about the jail but this time the atmosphere was different - the gang members were unusually quiet and controlled. The air smelt musty and heavy from so many people being crammed in together and tired faces watched our every move. I've been covering the gangs for many years and one of the things that always strikes me is how young the gang members are - an older member of the gang might be in his early-twenties. For some it's almost a miracle if they make it to their thirties." (Image: Reuters)
Gang members are seen inside a cell at Quezaltepeque jail during a media tour in Quezaltepeque, El Salvador, September 4. Reuters photographer Jose Cabezas: "Members of the MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs are sworn enemies and historically jails were segregated to prevent violence. However, with an increase in homicides in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic the government changed the policy and stated mixing the prison populations. This cell contains Barrio 18 gang members - you can tell the gang allegiances from the tattoos that cover the men's bodies. Previous times I've visited the prisoners were roaming about the jail but this time the atmosphere was different - the gang members were unusually quiet and controlled. The air smelt musty and heavy from so many people being crammed in together and tired faces watched our every move. I've been covering the gangs for many years and one of the things that always strikes me is how young the gang members are - an older member of the gang might be in his early-twenties. For some it's almost a miracle if they make it to their thirties." (Image: Reuters)
Juliana, who says she is four months pregnant, reacts in front of the body of her husband Davi Barboza, who was shot in Sao Carlos, during a police operation after heavy confrontations between drug gangs, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 27. Reuters photographer Ricardo Moraes: "About 10 hours into covering clashes between drug gangs battling to take control of the Sao Carlos slums complex in Rio de Janeiro, and a police operation to quell the violence, I found Juliana sobbing in anguish next to the body of her husband Davi, who was found shot dead after the conflict. I was struck by the contrasts in the scene – Juliana's sorrow compared to the stoic faces of the police officers, the military uniforms and weapons surrounding her. Covering violence in Rio is always a challenge. Dealing with the police, residents or victims is not easy, and the situation can change at any minute. That day, I was witness to a lot of distressing events – people being taken hostage, heavy shootouts, police chasing gang members and Juliana's despair. 'My husband, he was what he was. But he was a good man," Juliana said to me the day after she lost Davi. "He was my prince.” (Image: Reuters)
Juliana, who says she is four months pregnant, reacts in front of the body of her husband Davi Barboza, who was shot in Sao Carlos, during a police operation after heavy confrontations between drug gangs, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 27. Reuters photographer Ricardo Moraes: "About 10 hours into covering clashes between drug gangs battling to take control of the Sao Carlos slums complex in Rio de Janeiro, and a police operation to quell the violence, I found Juliana sobbing in anguish next to the body of her husband Davi, who was found shot dead after the conflict. I was struck by the contrasts in the scene – Juliana's sorrow compared to the stoic faces of the police officers, the military uniforms and weapons surrounding her. Covering violence in Rio is always a challenge. Dealing with the police, residents or victims is not easy, and the situation can change at any minute. That day, I was witness to a lot of distressing events – people being taken hostage, heavy shootouts, police chasing gang members and Juliana's despair. 'My husband, he was what he was. But he was a good man," Juliana said to me the day after she lost Davi. "He was my prince.” (Image: Reuters)
A man wearing a surgical mask as a G-string walks past a woman, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, on Oxford Street in London, Britain July 24. Reuters photographer Simon Dawson: "The UK was just starting to open up after the lockdown and most people were still getting used to the idea of wearing a mask. I was on the rooftop of a building on Oxford Street to photograph people returning to the shops when I suddenly noticed a scantily-clad figure walking down the street. At first, I thought he was just in his underwear, but as I looked through the lens, I could see it was a protective face mask being used as a G-string. My disbelief quickly turned to laughter as I watched the reactions of the people he passed on the street. I followed him through the lens for about 100 metres until he quickly disappeared into the distance. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, this was an unusual light-hearted moment that perhaps put a smile on people's faces. A lot of people commented on social media that they wished they had been there to witness an almost-naked man in very good shape walking down one of London's most famous streets." (Image: Reuters)
A man wearing a surgical mask as a G-string walks past a woman, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, on Oxford Street in London, Britain July 24. Reuters photographer Simon Dawson: "The UK was just starting to open up after the lockdown and most people were still getting used to the idea of wearing a mask. I was on the rooftop of a building on Oxford Street to photograph people returning to the shops when I suddenly noticed a scantily-clad figure walking down the street. At first, I thought he was just in his underwear, but as I looked through the lens, I could see it was a protective face mask being used as a G-string. My disbelief quickly turned to laughter as I watched the reactions of the people he passed on the street. I followed him through the lens for about 100 metres until he quickly disappeared into the distance. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, this was an unusual light-hearted moment that perhaps put a smile on people's faces. A lot of people commented on social media that they wished they had been there to witness an almost-naked man in very good shape walking down one of London's most famous streets." (Image: Reuters)
Dr. Joseph Varon, 58, the chief medical officer at United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC), and a team of healthcare workers perform CPR on a COVID-19 patient at UMMC, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Houston, Texas, U.S., July 17. Reuters photographer Callaghan O'Hare: "Houston's COVID-19 cases had been rising for weeks and it was my third time photographing patients in the intensive care unit. I was following Doctor Varon and his team as they intubated two patients with worsening conditions. The first intubation went smoothly. We walked into the second patient's room and almost as soon as they began the procedure, his heart rate dropped. The air was filled with anxiety. I was in a corner of the room with my camera and it wasn't until two medical students jumped onto the bed and began administering chest compressions that I realized the patient was dying. The whole scene took place over the course of thirty minutes as we all nervously watched the clock and his heart rate monitor. Although this patient was surrounded by people while he died, they were faceless doctors in hazmat suits. He wasn't able to say goodbye to his family, friends, and the people who cared about him. I looked him up later on Facebook, and his profile picture had a filter on it that said, "I'm an essential worker, I can't stay home." I often think about him and the likelihood that he contracted the coronavirus at work. I hope his image and his story resonate with people and show why it's important to wear a mask and stay at home to protect those that can't." (Image: Reuters)
Dr. Joseph Varon, 58, the chief medical officer at United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC), and a team of healthcare workers perform CPR on a COVID-19 patient at UMMC, during the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Houston, Texas, U.S., July 17. Reuters photographer Callaghan O'Hare: "Houston's COVID-19 cases had been rising for weeks and it was my third time photographing patients in the intensive care unit. I was following Doctor Varon and his team as they intubated two patients with worsening conditions. The first intubation went smoothly. We walked into the second patient's room and almost as soon as they began the procedure, his heart rate dropped. The air was filled with anxiety. I was in a corner of the room with my camera and it wasn't until two medical students jumped onto the bed and began administering chest compressions that I realized the patient was dying. The whole scene took place over the course of thirty minutes as we all nervously watched the clock and his heart rate monitor. Although this patient was surrounded by people while he died, they were faceless doctors in hazmat suits. He wasn't able to say goodbye to his family, friends, and the people who cared about him. I looked him up later on Facebook, and his profile picture had a filter on it that said, "I'm an essential worker, I can't stay home." I often think about him and the likelihood that he contracted the coronavirus at work. I hope his image and his story resonate with people and show why it's important to wear a mask and stay at home to protect those that can't." (Image: Reuters)
Patricia McCloskey and her husband Mark McCloskey draw their firearms on protestors as they enter their neighbourhood during a protest against St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. June 28. Reuters photographer Lawrence Bryant: "That Sunday evening, several hundred Black and white protesters walked through an open gate into the community where the couple – Mark McCloskey and his wife Patricia McCloskey – lived. They were met by Mark McCloskey holding what looked like an automatic rifle and shouting 'get out!' several times at the crowd. I was not overly worried, even when he appeared to cock his weapon. But then Patricia McCloskey appeared from the front of the house holding a handgun. She had her finger on the trigger and looked nervous and I became a little bit more worried, as there were kids out there and she was sporadically pointing the gun at random people. I was just trying to make frames, stay safe, dodge the barrel of the gun and stay out of sight and out of line. I'm a big, Black man and I always have to pay attention to that anyway. I'm pleased with the pictures I took of the scene. I may have liked a longer lens to be able to zoom in on the couple, but the fact that I had only one camera meant I captured not just the McCloskeys, but also the protesters around them. A lot of the photos out there focus on the couple holding the guns, but to me that's not telling the whole story. I wanted to show there were people protesting peacefully and the couple came to engage them." (Image: Reuters)
Patricia McCloskey and her husband Mark McCloskey draw their firearms on protestors as they enter their neighbourhood during a protest against St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. June 28. Reuters photographer Lawrence Bryant: "That Sunday evening, several hundred Black and white protesters walked through an open gate into the community where the couple – Mark McCloskey and his wife Patricia McCloskey – lived. They were met by Mark McCloskey holding what looked like an automatic rifle and shouting 'get out!' several times at the crowd. I was not overly worried, even when he appeared to cock his weapon. But then Patricia McCloskey appeared from the front of the house holding a handgun. She had her finger on the trigger and looked nervous and I became a little bit more worried, as there were kids out there and she was sporadically pointing the gun at random people. I was just trying to make frames, stay safe, dodge the barrel of the gun and stay out of sight and out of line. I'm a big, Black man and I always have to pay attention to that anyway. I'm pleased with the pictures I took of the scene. I may have liked a longer lens to be able to zoom in on the couple, but the fact that I had only one camera meant I captured not just the McCloskeys, but also the protesters around them. A lot of the photos out there focus on the couple holding the guns, but to me that's not telling the whole story. I wanted to show there were people protesting peacefully and the couple came to engage them." (Image: Reuters)
Rebecca Zammit Lupi, a 14-year-old cancer patient, sits in an armchair whilst receiving a hydration intravenous drip after a chemotherapy session in her room at Rainbow Ward at Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre in Mater Dei Hospital, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tal-Qroqq, Malta, June 15. Reuters photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi: "Over my career, I've seen my share of tragedy, drama, natural disasters, conflict, despair and other extreme emotions, but nothing could prepare me for my teenage daughter Rebecca having to battle Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare and extremely aggressive form of bone cancer, while the world was also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The evening sunlight that filtered through the window blinds into the hospital room where Rebecca sat in an armchair receiving an intravenous hydration drip as part of her chemotherapy, and the blue LED nightlight she often likes using created a particular mood that reflected the melancholy we were both feeling. This long-term project, documenting her treatment and fight against the disease, while simultaneously coping with a lockdown because of the pandemic, was unlike anything I'd ever photographed before, and became a way for me to cope with the very grim reality of what was happening. At the time, my wife and I were taking turns to stay with Rebecca at the hospital for stints lasting several weeks. That continues to be our life – since the story was published, Rebecca has had to be readmitted to hospital for further intensive treatment after her condition suddenly deteriorated." (Image: Reuters)
Rebecca Zammit Lupi, a 14-year-old cancer patient, sits in an armchair whilst receiving a hydration intravenous drip after a chemotherapy session in her room at Rainbow Ward at Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre in Mater Dei Hospital, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tal-Qroqq, Malta, June 15. Reuters photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi: "Over my career, I've seen my share of tragedy, drama, natural disasters, conflict, despair and other extreme emotions, but nothing could prepare me for my teenage daughter Rebecca having to battle Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare and extremely aggressive form of bone cancer, while the world was also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The evening sunlight that filtered through the window blinds into the hospital room where Rebecca sat in an armchair receiving an intravenous hydration drip as part of her chemotherapy, and the blue LED nightlight she often likes using created a particular mood that reflected the melancholy we were both feeling. This long-term project, documenting her treatment and fight against the disease, while simultaneously coping with a lockdown because of the pandemic, was unlike anything I'd ever photographed before, and became a way for me to cope with the very grim reality of what was happening. At the time, my wife and I were taking turns to stay with Rebecca at the hospital for stints lasting several weeks. That continues to be our life – since the story was published, Rebecca has had to be readmitted to hospital for further intensive treatment after her condition suddenly deteriorated." (Image: Reuters)
Protester Patrick Hutchinson carries a suspected far-right counter-protester who was injured, to safety, near Waterloo station during a Black Lives Matter protest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, in London, Britain, June 13. Reuters photographer Dylan Martinez: "The crowd parted right in front of me. I was in the right place at the right time, and incredibly lucky from that point of view. A Black protester emerged from the melee, walking briskly towards me, carrying a white man with injuries to his face in a fireman's lift over his shoulder. The anti-racism protests in London that Saturday had been fluid and unpredictable. After witnessing sporadic, minor clashes between demonstrators and police in Trafalgar Square, I switched attention to nearby Waterloo Bridge, where several hundred anti-racism protesters had gathered. They took over the whole of the bridge. There was a traffic jam going from south to north, but the vibe was good – cars were honking and people were celebrating. The mood quickly turned ugly when they encountered a group of counter-protesters and clashes broke out. I saw a skirmish and someone falling to the ground before the two men appeared through the crowd. Some people shouted out that the assault victim was a member of the far-right. Reuters journalists at the scene said he had been beaten in a skirmish with anti-racism protesters. This picture went viral on social media and was featured in news bulletins. Patrick Hutchinson has been hailed a hero for carrying the injured man to safety during the scuffle. 'It was the right thing to do,' he told Reuters later. 'We didn't want the narrative changed and the focus taken away from what we are all fighting for, and that's true equality.” (Image: Reuters)
Protester Patrick Hutchinson carries a suspected far-right counter-protester who was injured, to safety, near Waterloo station during a Black Lives Matter protest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, in London, Britain, June 13. Reuters photographer Dylan Martinez: "The crowd parted right in front of me. I was in the right place at the right time, and incredibly lucky from that point of view. A Black protester emerged from the melee, walking briskly towards me, carrying a white man with injuries to his face in a fireman's lift over his shoulder. The anti-racism protests in London that Saturday had been fluid and unpredictable. After witnessing sporadic, minor clashes between demonstrators and police in Trafalgar Square, I switched attention to nearby Waterloo Bridge, where several hundred anti-racism protesters had gathered. They took over the whole of the bridge. There was a traffic jam going from south to north, but the vibe was good – cars were honking and people were celebrating. The mood quickly turned ugly when they encountered a group of counter-protesters and clashes broke out. I saw a skirmish and someone falling to the ground before the two men appeared through the crowd. Some people shouted out that the assault victim was a member of the far-right. Reuters journalists at the scene said he had been beaten in a skirmish with anti-racism protesters. This picture went viral on social media and was featured in news bulletins. Patrick Hutchinson has been hailed a hero for carrying the injured man to safety during the scuffle. 'It was the right thing to do,' he told Reuters later. 'We didn't want the narrative changed and the focus taken away from what we are all fighting for, and that's true equality.” (Image: Reuters)
A woman cries as a horse-drawn carriage carrying the casket containing the body of George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis police custody has sparked nationwide protests against racial inequality, passes by in Pearland, Texas, U.S., June 9. Reuters photographer Carlos Barria: "The death of George Floyd triggered a massive wave of nationwide protests demanding justice and police accountability. But it was different this time, covering protests during a global pandemic. Each time we went out on the streets, we had to work hard to assess and minimize the risk. It was very difficult to photograph people's expressions as they wore masks, but as the horse-drawn carriage bearing Floyd's casket passed on its way to the cemetery, I heard someone screaming. When I turned, I saw a woman without a face mask on, crying as she held up her phone. I took a few pictures, but only later realized that the carriage was reflected in her phone, capturing all the elements to tell the story within a single frame." (Image: Reuters)
A woman cries as a horse-drawn carriage carrying the casket containing the body of George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis police custody has sparked nationwide protests against racial inequality, passes by in Pearland, Texas, U.S., June 9. Reuters photographer Carlos Barria: "The death of George Floyd triggered a massive wave of nationwide protests demanding justice and police accountability. But it was different this time, covering protests during a global pandemic. Each time we went out on the streets, we had to work hard to assess and minimize the risk. It was very difficult to photograph people's expressions as they wore masks, but as the horse-drawn carriage bearing Floyd's casket passed on its way to the cemetery, I heard someone screaming. When I turned, I saw a woman without a face mask on, crying as she held up her phone. I took a few pictures, but only later realized that the carriage was reflected in her phone, capturing all the elements to tell the story within a single frame." (Image: Reuters)
A man carrying a gun exits a vehicle as Daniel Gregory is tended to by medics after being shot in the arm by a driver who tried to drive through a protest against racial inequality, in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, in Seattle, Washington, U.S. June 7. Reuters photographer Lindsey Wasson: "I had just stepped to the main window of the local newspaper office, and I was looking over the crowd during a Sunday evening protest against police brutality and racism – one of several that had rocked Seattle and other places across the United States since the death of George Floyd – when I heard a scream and commotion. I rushed to the window to photograph what was happening. Stunned protesters surrounded a car that had driven into their ranks. A man brandishing a gun exited the driver's side of the vehicle and the protesters backed away from him as he ran off and melted into the crowd. Medics rushed forward to help a wounded man lying on the ground nearby. Everything happened very quickly, maybe only a minute or so. It has been very odd to see protests like this in my hometown. What feels different this time is the scale and how sustained it's been. I've never seen it go on for this long, with this extended energy and purpose." (Image: Reuters)
A man carrying a gun exits a vehicle as Daniel Gregory is tended to by medics after being shot in the arm by a driver who tried to drive through a protest against racial inequality, in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, in Seattle, Washington, U.S. June 7. Reuters photographer Lindsey Wasson: "I had just stepped to the main window of the local newspaper office, and I was looking over the crowd during a Sunday evening protest against police brutality and racism – one of several that had rocked Seattle and other places across the United States since the death of George Floyd – when I heard a scream and commotion. I rushed to the window to photograph what was happening. Stunned protesters surrounded a car that had driven into their ranks. A man brandishing a gun exited the driver's side of the vehicle and the protesters backed away from him as he ran off and melted into the crowd. Medics rushed forward to help a wounded man lying on the ground nearby. Everything happened very quickly, maybe only a minute or so. It has been very odd to see protests like this in my hometown. What feels different this time is the scale and how sustained it's been. I've never seen it go on for this long, with this extended energy and purpose." (Image: Reuters)
Protesters on horseback rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, through downtown Houston, Texas, U.S., June 2. Reuters photographer Adrees Latif: "A week after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, tens of thousands of demonstrators poured into Floyd's hometown of Houston for an emotional and peaceful march to honor his life and protest police brutality. Driving into the city center, I saw thousands of Houstonians walking for miles to take part in the event. Many held signs and wore clothes bearing the image of George Floyd. As I raced towards the start of the march, I heard the distinctive sound of horses coming in my direction. With each trot along the brick-paved street, their approach echoed off the skyscrapers. A man wearing a red bandana with the words "Rap-A-Lot Records" took the lead in the procession, blocked the intersection and raised his fist in the air. Others followed in solidarity and before long, I was in the midst of a cavalry of Black Americans on horseback. With my senses overcome by the sounds, smells and splendor of the horses amid the towering buildings, I moved to compose and capture the moment before it was over. As quickly as the group appeared, the words 'Justice for George Floyd' and 'Black Lives Matter,' could be heard as the equestrians rode off into the distance." (Image: Reuters)
Protesters on horseback rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, through downtown Houston, Texas, U.S., June 2. Reuters photographer Adrees Latif: "A week after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, tens of thousands of demonstrators poured into Floyd's hometown of Houston for an emotional and peaceful march to honor his life and protest police brutality. Driving into the city center, I saw thousands of Houstonians walking for miles to take part in the event. Many held signs and wore clothes bearing the image of George Floyd. As I raced towards the start of the march, I heard the distinctive sound of horses coming in my direction. With each trot along the brick-paved street, their approach echoed off the skyscrapers. A man wearing a red bandana with the words "Rap-A-Lot Records" took the lead in the procession, blocked the intersection and raised his fist in the air. Others followed in solidarity and before long, I was in the midst of a cavalry of Black Americans on horseback. With my senses overcome by the sounds, smells and splendor of the horses amid the towering buildings, I moved to compose and capture the moment before it was over. As quickly as the group appeared, the words 'Justice for George Floyd' and 'Black Lives Matter,' could be heard as the equestrians rode off into the distance." (Image: Reuters)
Belarusian shepherd Alexey Usikov, 33, drives a horse-drawn carriage equipped with a battery, head lights and a small potbelly stove, which he crafted out of an old Audi-80 and which he jokingly calling it an Audi-40 as he used only a half of the car, in the village of Knyazhytsy, Belarus May 28. Reuters photographer Vasily Fedosenko: "Cowherd Alexey Usikov often has to brave inclement weather while tending to his herd at a collective farm in eastern Belarus. On a neighbour's suggestion, he decided to convert his old Audi 80 into an 'all-weather' cart by connecting half of it to a horse-drawn shaft. The result? A rough-and-ready home on wheels that protects Usikov from the rain. His 'Audi-40', as he jokingly calls the improvised half of the original car, is equipped with a battery, headlights, radio, and even a tiny potbelly stove that provides warmth and on which he makes coffee. Usikov has welded the cart's body where necessary, repainted it, and lubricates and pumps the wheels. "It gives you pleasure to ride a well-maintained cart," he said. I wanted one photo that would show the inimitable self-made horse-drawn carriage against the backdrop of Usikov's village. Such a moment presented itself at the end of his shift, when he handed over cow-tending duties to his brother and went home. A steep hill allowed for a top-down shot capturing the two horses pulling the unusual vehicle past an ordinary village house."
Belarusian shepherd Alexey Usikov, 33, drives a horse-drawn carriage equipped with a battery, head lights and a small potbelly stove, which he crafted out of an old Audi-80 and which he jokingly calling it an Audi-40 as he used only a half of the car, in the village of Knyazhytsy, Belarus May 28. Reuters photographer Vasily Fedosenko: "Cowherd Alexey Usikov often has to brave inclement weather while tending to his herd at a collective farm in eastern Belarus. On a neighbour's suggestion, he decided to convert his old Audi 80 into an 'all-weather' cart by connecting half of it to a horse-drawn shaft. The result? A rough-and-ready home on wheels that protects Usikov from the rain. His 'Audi-40', as he jokingly calls the improvised half of the original car, is equipped with a battery, headlights, radio, and even a tiny potbelly stove that provides warmth and on which he makes coffee. Usikov has welded the cart's body where necessary, repainted it, and lubricates and pumps the wheels. "It gives you pleasure to ride a well-maintained cart," he said. I wanted one photo that would show the inimitable self-made horse-drawn carriage against the backdrop of Usikov's village. Such a moment presented itself at the end of his shift, when he handed over cow-tending duties to his brother and went home. A steep hill allowed for a top-down shot capturing the two horses pulling the unusual vehicle past an ordinary village house."
Alisha Narvaez, 36, the manager, and Nicole Warring, 33, a Resident Funeral Director at International Funeral & Cremation Services, a funeral home in Harlem, carry a deceased person into the basement area, where bodies are stored and prepared for funeral services, during the COVID-19 outbreak, in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., April 2. Reuters photographer Andrew Kelly: "In April 2020, the coronavirus was ravaging the Big Apple. With nearly all stores closed and streets empty of traffic and people, it felt as if the entire landscape of the city had changed. A lot of the public focus was on the frontline hospital workers, who were struggling to keep up with the high numbers of COVID-19 cases. I got to thinking about where the dead were taken after the hospitals and decided to go to the nearest funeral home I could find. As I entered, I met Alisha and Nicole in the office. Initially, I was a little surprised. They did not look like what I imagined funeral directors would. Young, cool and stylishly-dressed, they greeted me warmly. They told me they were inundated with the deceased and had a basement full of as well as a full schedule of funerals. They were sometimes working 17-hour days to meet the increased demand. As they carried the body into the basement, I was not prepared for what I saw. Bodies took up almost every available space. Some shared gurneys, some were in body bags on the floor, and many were stacked to the ceiling in cremation boxes along a side wall. Before this, I had barely seen a dead person. Now, I had close to fifty before me in this small room. Even through my mask, the smell was overwhelming. This is when the enormity of the coronavirus pandemic hit me. When I arrived home a few hours after initially meeting Alisha and Nicole, my wife immediately asked me if I was ok. My face was still as white as a sheet." (Image: Reuters)
Alisha Narvaez, 36, the manager, and Nicole Warring, 33, a Resident Funeral Director at International Funeral & Cremation Services, a funeral home in Harlem, carry a deceased person into the basement area, where bodies are stored and prepared for funeral services, during the COVID-19 outbreak, in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., April 2. Reuters photographer Andrew Kelly: "In April 2020, the coronavirus was ravaging the Big Apple. With nearly all stores closed and streets empty of traffic and people, it felt as if the entire landscape of the city had changed. A lot of the public focus was on the frontline hospital workers, who were struggling to keep up with the high numbers of COVID-19 cases. I got to thinking about where the dead were taken after the hospitals and decided to go to the nearest funeral home I could find. As I entered, I met Alisha and Nicole in the office. Initially, I was a little surprised. They did not look like what I imagined funeral directors would. Young, cool and stylishly-dressed, they greeted me warmly. They told me they were inundated with the deceased and had a basement full of as well as a full schedule of funerals. They were sometimes working 17-hour days to meet the increased demand. As they carried the body into the basement, I was not prepared for what I saw. Bodies took up almost every available space. Some shared gurneys, some were in body bags on the floor, and many were stacked to the ceiling in cremation boxes along a side wall. Before this, I had barely seen a dead person. Now, I had close to fifty before me in this small room. Even through my mask, the smell was overwhelming. This is when the enormity of the coronavirus pandemic hit me. When I arrived home a few hours after initially meeting Alisha and Nicole, my wife immediately asked me if I was ok. My face was still as white as a sheet." (Image: Reuters)
Multiple members of medical staff in protective suits are needed to move an 18-year old COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit at the San Raffaele hospital, during the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Milan, Italy, March 27. Reuters photographer Flavio Lo Scalzo: "Italy was the first country in Europe to be hit by the coronavirus and within weeks, hospitals in the north were already swamped and struggling to cope with the sick. The San Raffaele hospital in Milan was built in just eight days inside a large tent in order to cope with the high numbers of patients in desperate need of intensive care. In those early days, it was widely believed that COVID-19 only affected the elderly or those with a pre-existing medical condition, but in this case a team of 10 people were working hard to treat an 18-year-old. In this image he was being transferred to another unit for an urgent CAT scan. That moment was very complex: a single mistake could have caused his death. I was very careful to stay back and not get in anyone's way. The sad, unexpected presence of this youth here, who till then had been in perfect health, and the tension during his treatment was reflected in my photos. Months later, I learned the young patient had been transferred to another hospital, where he received a lung transplant. Now a long rehabilitation period awaits him." (Image: Reuters)
Multiple members of medical staff in protective suits are needed to move an 18-year old COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit at the San Raffaele hospital, during the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Milan, Italy, March 27. Reuters photographer Flavio Lo Scalzo: "Italy was the first country in Europe to be hit by the coronavirus and within weeks, hospitals in the north were already swamped and struggling to cope with the sick. The San Raffaele hospital in Milan was built in just eight days inside a large tent in order to cope with the high numbers of patients in desperate need of intensive care. In those early days, it was widely believed that COVID-19 only affected the elderly or those with a pre-existing medical condition, but in this case a team of 10 people were working hard to treat an 18-year-old. In this image he was being transferred to another unit for an urgent CAT scan. That moment was very complex: a single mistake could have caused his death. I was very careful to stay back and not get in anyone's way. The sad, unexpected presence of this youth here, who till then had been in perfect health, and the tension during his treatment was reflected in my photos. Months later, I learned the young patient had been transferred to another hospital, where he received a lung transplant. Now a long rehabilitation period awaits him." (Image: Reuters)
A group of men chanting pro-Hindu slogans, beat Mohammad Zubair, 37, who is Muslim, during protests sparked by a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, February 24. Reuters photographer Danish Siddiqui: "It had been a winter of protests in India, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets against a new citizenship law that many felt discriminated against the country's Muslim minority. In February, competing protests between those against the law and its supporters turned into communal riots with violent clashes. A source called me to tell me that trouble had broken out at one of the protest sites. Within a few minutes of arriving on the scene, it became clear this was a more dangerous situation, with heavy stone-pelting, and throwing of Molotov cocktails and bottles of acid. Shadowing lines of heavily outnumbered police, I noticed more than a dozen people ranging from teenagers to old men assaulting a Muslim man in white clothes. Using sticks, cricket stumps, plastic pipes and metal rods, they brutally beat the man. Blood flowed from his head as he went down on his knees. The attack was over in less than a minute, as Muslims on the other side of the road started throwing stones. The man, whom I later came to know as Mohammad Zubair, lay on the road alone as stones, bricks and Molotov cocktails flew over him. Zubair suffered serious injuries all over his body as well as internally but was lucky to survive and is still recovering. 'They saw I was alone, they saw my cap, beard, shalwar kameez (traditional outfit) and saw me as a Muslim,' Zubair said to me when I met him a couple of days later. 'They just started attacking, shouting slogans. What kind of humanity is this?" (Image: Reuters)
A group of men chanting pro-Hindu slogans, beat Mohammad Zubair, 37, who is Muslim, during protests sparked by a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, February 24. Reuters photographer Danish Siddiqui: "It had been a winter of protests in India, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets against a new citizenship law that many felt discriminated against the country's Muslim minority. In February, competing protests between those against the law and its supporters turned into communal riots with violent clashes. A source called me to tell me that trouble had broken out at one of the protest sites. Within a few minutes of arriving on the scene, it became clear this was a more dangerous situation, with heavy stone-pelting, and throwing of Molotov cocktails and bottles of acid. Shadowing lines of heavily outnumbered police, I noticed more than a dozen people ranging from teenagers to old men assaulting a Muslim man in white clothes. Using sticks, cricket stumps, plastic pipes and metal rods, they brutally beat the man. Blood flowed from his head as he went down on his knees. The attack was over in less than a minute, as Muslims on the other side of the road started throwing stones. The man, whom I later came to know as Mohammad Zubair, lay on the road alone as stones, bricks and Molotov cocktails flew over him. Zubair suffered serious injuries all over his body as well as internally but was lucky to survive and is still recovering. 'They saw I was alone, they saw my cap, beard, shalwar kameez (traditional outfit) and saw me as a Muslim,' Zubair said to me when I met him a couple of days later. 'They just started attacking, shouting slogans. What kind of humanity is this?" (Image: Reuters)
A leukaemia patient and her mother coming from Hubei province cross a checkpoint at the Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, February 1. Reuters photographer Thomas Peter: "The clock was running out on farmer Lu Yuejin, desperate to get her 26-year-old daughter Hu Ping to chemotherapy for her leukaemia. But Hubei was under coronavirus lockdown and she struggled to pass a checkpoint to get to the hospital in the neighbouring province.'She needs to have her treatment. But they won't let us through,' she said when we met her at the police cordon. In February, the coronavirus had not yet become a global scourge, but for people in China, the epidemic was already a new reality. The authorities had closed off the city of Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered, and put the surrounding Hubei province under a virtual lockdown. Checkpoints had sprung up along its borders to prevent residents from leaving. People were scarred. Many stayed home and only ducked out to get food. Clad in full PPE, we travelled along the edge of the exclusion zone to report on how life was changing. Navigating the police and local government officials was the hardest part of our reporting as our presence was often not welcome. We found Lu Yuejin crying and pleading with the police. At one point she dropped to the ground, wailing. About an hour after she spoke with us, an ambulance arrived that took them to the hospital. I felt relieved to see them go. That morning they eventually got lucky, but this incident made me think of all the other untold tragedies during this pandemic, which has turned routine journeys into an obstacle course. For some, overcoming those hurdles is a question of life or death." (Image: Reuters)
A leukaemia patient and her mother coming from Hubei province cross a checkpoint at the Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, February 1. Reuters photographer Thomas Peter: "The clock was running out on farmer Lu Yuejin, desperate to get her 26-year-old daughter Hu Ping to chemotherapy for her leukaemia. But Hubei was under coronavirus lockdown and she struggled to pass a checkpoint to get to the hospital in the neighbouring province.'She needs to have her treatment. But they won't let us through,' she said when we met her at the police cordon. In February, the coronavirus had not yet become a global scourge, but for people in China, the epidemic was already a new reality. The authorities had closed off the city of Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered, and put the surrounding Hubei province under a virtual lockdown. Checkpoints had sprung up along its borders to prevent residents from leaving. People were scarred. Many stayed home and only ducked out to get food. Clad in full PPE, we travelled along the edge of the exclusion zone to report on how life was changing. Navigating the police and local government officials was the hardest part of our reporting as our presence was often not welcome. We found Lu Yuejin crying and pleading with the police. At one point she dropped to the ground, wailing. About an hour after she spoke with us, an ambulance arrived that took them to the hospital. I felt relieved to see them go. That morning they eventually got lucky, but this incident made me think of all the other untold tragedies during this pandemic, which has turned routine journeys into an obstacle course. For some, overcoming those hurdles is a question of life or death." (Image: Reuters)
A member of Mexico's National Guard detains a migrant, part of a caravan travelling to the U.S., near the border between Guatemala and Mexico, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, January 20. Reuters photographer Jose Torres: "As I was covering a migrant caravan, thousands tried to cross the border from Tecun Uman in Guatemala to Mexico through military and police lines. This man came out of nowhere. He ran with fellow migrants, shouting words of encouragement, exhorting them to stand their ground and not give in to the police line standing on the Mexican side. It took three policemen to detain him. As the police tackled him to the ground, I went down as well to capture the moment, as he struggled and shouted "Freedom." In the end, he surrendered. The look in his eyes changed as he realized his journey was over. Since 2018, covering the caravans has become very challenging, both physically and mentally. There is a constant chance of the migrants clashing with the police, and the stories of the people travelling are always touching." (Image: Reuters)
A member of Mexico's National Guard detains a migrant, part of a caravan travelling to the U.S., near the border between Guatemala and Mexico, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, January 20. Reuters photographer Jose Torres: "As I was covering a migrant caravan, thousands tried to cross the border from Tecun Uman in Guatemala to Mexico through military and police lines. This man came out of nowhere. He ran with fellow migrants, shouting words of encouragement, exhorting them to stand their ground and not give in to the police line standing on the Mexican side. It took three policemen to detain him. As the police tackled him to the ground, I went down as well to capture the moment, as he struggled and shouted "Freedom." In the end, he surrendered. The look in his eyes changed as he realized his journey was over. Since 2018, covering the caravans has become very challenging, both physically and mentally. There is a constant chance of the migrants clashing with the police, and the stories of the people travelling are always touching." (Image: Reuters)
Samburu men attempt to fend-off a swarm of desert locusts flying over a grazing land in Lemasulani village, Samburu County, Kenya, January 17. Reuters photographer Monicah Mwangi: "Desert locusts have been recorded in the Horn of Africa since biblical times, but this year, unusual weather patterns exacerbated by climate change created the perfect circumstances for swarms to descend in northern Kenya. The entire grazing field where they had gathered in Samburu County was covered in yellow as the insects munched on grass meant for livestock. 'The locusts are in millions, they will finish all the vegetation, and then what will our animals feed on?' said one local trying to fend off the swarms by shouting and beating on empty containers. Being in the middle of the swarm of locusts was scary, as some would hit the camera with full force and die. I had to keep on wiping my camera lens, and my movement in the cloud was limited. If I had tried to talk, I would be eating flying locusts raw. I wanted to juxtapose the colourful modern clothes of the Samburu men using an old technique to try and disperse the swarm with the buzzing yellow locusts destroying the future by eating the grazing grass. Soon after I took this picture, a plane spraying pesticide flew over the swarm and they disappeared on their migratory path." (Image: Reuters)
Samburu men attempt to fend-off a swarm of desert locusts flying over a grazing land in Lemasulani village, Samburu County, Kenya, January 17. Reuters photographer Monicah Mwangi: "Desert locusts have been recorded in the Horn of Africa since biblical times, but this year, unusual weather patterns exacerbated by climate change created the perfect circumstances for swarms to descend in northern Kenya. The entire grazing field where they had gathered in Samburu County was covered in yellow as the insects munched on grass meant for livestock. 'The locusts are in millions, they will finish all the vegetation, and then what will our animals feed on?' said one local trying to fend off the swarms by shouting and beating on empty containers. Being in the middle of the swarm of locusts was scary, as some would hit the camera with full force and die. I had to keep on wiping my camera lens, and my movement in the cloud was limited. If I had tried to talk, I would be eating flying locusts raw. I wanted to juxtapose the colourful modern clothes of the Samburu men using an old technique to try and disperse the swarm with the buzzing yellow locusts destroying the future by eating the grazing grass. Soon after I took this picture, a plane spraying pesticide flew over the swarm and they disappeared on their migratory path." (Image: Reuters)
Foreign prisoners, suspected of being part of the Islamic State, lie in a prison cell in Hasaka, Syria, January 7. Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic: "I went to northeastern Syria to shoot prisons and detention camps holding thousands of men, women and children whose lives are in limbo nearly a year after the final defeat of Islamic State to which they once belonged. The area around Qamishli city is mainly controlled by Kurdish fighters who helped defeat the Islamist militant group. This prison held foreign fighters, and in this one cell, there were more than 50 men lying head-to-toe across the floor of one cell, leaving virtually no room to move. Natural light was minimal and the air was heavy with the smell of sweat and dirt. What to do with the remnants of Islamic State, whose fighters tortured and executed thousands of people during its zenith from 2014, is a thorny issue for countries whose citizens went to fight with the group. The foreign fighters I interacted with wanted to be repatriated to their countries of origin, rather to be prosecuted there." (Image: Reuters)
Foreign prisoners, suspected of being part of the Islamic State, lie in a prison cell in Hasaka, Syria, January 7. Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic: "I went to northeastern Syria to shoot prisons and detention camps holding thousands of men, women and children whose lives are in limbo nearly a year after the final defeat of Islamic State to which they once belonged. The area around Qamishli city is mainly controlled by Kurdish fighters who helped defeat the Islamist militant group. This prison held foreign fighters, and in this one cell, there were more than 50 men lying head-to-toe across the floor of one cell, leaving virtually no room to move. Natural light was minimal and the air was heavy with the smell of sweat and dirt. What to do with the remnants of Islamic State, whose fighters tortured and executed thousands of people during its zenith from 2014, is a thorny issue for countries whose citizens went to fight with the group. The foreign fighters I interacted with wanted to be repatriated to their countries of origin, rather to be prosecuted there." (Image: Reuters)
Reuters
first published: Nov 24, 2020 08:12 pm

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