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ANSA presents top photos of 2013

PhotoANSA 2013 tells human stories through photography

03 December, 18:32
ANSA presents top photos of 2013 (By Sandra Cordon) (ANSA) - Rome, December 3 - A dazzling photograph of lightening piercing the February sky above the dome of St.

Peter's Basilica at the same time former Pope Benedict XVI took the historic step of resigning his post is one of the highlights of the PhotoANSA 2013 volume released Tuesday.

The presentation of the annual collection of some of the ANSA news agency's best works of photojournalism from around the world brought together ANSA President Giulio Anselmi, news agency Editor-in-Chief Luigi Contu, as well as Italian Premier Enrico Letta and Piero Grasso, Senate speaker. The book, a pictorial synthesis of the agency's work, follows the story of the departure of former Pope Benedict, the subsequent conclave, the historic overlap of two living popes and the beginnings of the extraordinary journey of Pope Francis.

It moves around the world and across the major events of 2013: the tragedy of the war in Syria, shown through the image of a small refugee holding tight to his father's hand; the bitter stories of violence against women in Italy; social and political crises in Brazil; and human tragedies including the dangers facing refugees fleeing across the seas to Italy's southern tip in Lampedusa.

Other milestones, including the dramatic recovery of the sunken Costa Concordia cruise ship, the pedestrianization of the Imperial Forum in Rome, and the space journey of Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, fill the volume with memorable images.

Letta said that he considered the news from the Vatican involving two popes to be the leading story of the 2013.

"The year 2013 is characterized by resignation of the (former) pope and the arrival of Pope Francis and the event is the most important of the year," said Letta at the book launch. "Pope (Francis) never ceases to amaze us with epochal changes," added Letta.

"I can say that nothing will be as before".

Grasso praised PhotoANSA 2013 as it "covers and synthesizes the most important events of the year that is about to end". "Photography is a particularly effective tool, evoking the people and events that have entered into our collective memory with power and immediacy," he added.

"I don't know if a picture is worth a thousand words, but without a doubt, many of the images in this volume are very powerful". As examples, Grasso pointed to shots of "the two popes, and the dramatic ones of the Syrian revolution, reminding us that hundreds of people lost their lives through the barbaric use of poison gas".

Other works in the book include photojournalism from major European countries, ranging from Brussels to London, where much of the world watched for news of the birth of baby George, the first born to Prince William and his bride, the former Kate Middleton.

But while the collection takes a global focus it did not neglect news of Italy's political life, from the February election campaign to the dramatic events of October 2 when ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi failed in his bid to sink Letta's coalition government, inadvertently breaking up his own People of Freedom (PdL) party and driving a wedge between his supporters.