January 2, 2017

A Year Ends, A Year Begins: Our Best From Twitter and Instagram

Hypervigilance does not make for the cheeriest mood. This year, in the aftermath of the U.S. election, the halls have mostly been decked with tension and concern. In posting to social media, we’ve been sensitive to signs and symbols from 2016 that feel even more poignant now. We also had a eye out for images — such as the dance students from Cuba, the Spanish mock coup, or the New York Magazine covers — that felt more affirmative or seemed to channel upheaval more constructively. It’s worth saying a few words about the photo of Obama prominently featured in photographer Pete Souza’s last year-end White House review. We didn’t mean to be snarky.  At the same time, the pending chaos and uncertainly makes it easy to read the body language as reluctance to let go.


Cycle of life on 3 “Reasons to Love #NewYork” covers this year: Undocumented → Dreamer → citizen. The empty window seems to prompt the question, what does 2017 hold? #Repost @coverjunkie ・・・ Newest cover @nymag . ———————————————————- This edition of “Reasons to Love New York” carries 3 covers from @platon ‘s portfolio of New York immigrants. “We thought about the three generations of immigration,” says New York photography director Jody Quon . The family portrayed on the cover is a baby born a citizen, whose mother is a dreamer, and whose grandmother is undocumented. “So you get the full arc of New York immigrants in the progression of the covers.”

A photo posted by Reading The Pictures (@readingthepictures) on

One of the more provocative images of 2016 was this photo of a Syrian refugee by Lynsey Addario. In the lighting and the pose, it connotes the Madonna and Child. The text with the original Instagram does not specify the religion of the Syrian refugee with postpartum depression who became trapped in Greece. With Donald Trump set to take office and white nationalist parties gaining in Europe, the ambiguity makes the image even more challenging. #Repost @time ・・・ 24-year-old Syrian refugee Taimaa Abazli, a former music teacher, is so defeated by what appears to be postpartum depression that she says she doesn’t even care where she goes, as long as “it’s not here.” Greece, already one of Europe’s poorest countries, has some 60,000 refugees now awaiting settlement. Many are still living in primitive camps, with no water for washing, sporadic electricity and no heat, despite freezing temperatures. “When I was young, I expected to have a happy life, with a nice house, and to get an education,” says Taimaa, who worries that her 2-year-old son is starting to think that a tent is his real home. “I didn’t expect any of the things that are happening to me. It’s an ugly life.” Photograph by Lynsey Addario (@LynseyAddario) for @TIME. #immigration #religion #tolerance #peace #newyear #NewYears #madonna #syria #woman #women #motherandchild #christianity #refugees #migrants #photojournalism

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Just posted it to remember when. #Repost @francesco_zizola ・・・ #genova is a great city.#harbour and #humanity. #immigration #bw

A photo posted by Reading The Pictures (@readingthepictures) on

Photo: Pete Souza

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Michael Shaw
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