Image of girls’ dresses hanging from crosses wins World Press Photo – International

A photo of crosses on which girls’ dresses hang, placed near a Canadian “boarding school” where the remains of 215 indigenous children were found last year, won the 2022 World Press Photo of the Year award on Thursday (7 ).

The image captured by Edmonton documentary photographer Amber Bracken is “a quiet moment of reflection…on the history of colonization not just in Canada but across the world,” Judge Rena Effendi said.

To the left of the photo, published by The New York Times, women’s red and orange dresses hang from crosses near a highway in Kamloops, a small town in British Columbia.

On the left, a rainbow ends its curve near the place where the remains were discovered, at the headquarters of the “boarding school” created a century ago to assimilate the indigenous population.

This image “inspires a kind of sensory reaction”, said a jury.

This discovery was the first in a series that forced Canadians to confront their colonial past. Investigations and searches are underway in many former boarding schools for natives in the country.

Authorities estimate that more than 4,000 children may be in graves or unmarked graves.

Other award-winning photographs this year also highlight the visibility of indigenous communities around the world.

Australian documentary filmmaker Matthew Abbott won top prize in the ‘Story of the Year’ category with a series of images showing how the residents of Nawarddeken in the remote Arnhem territory used fire as an effective tool land management against climate change.

Through a practice called ‘cold burning’, indigenous people light small fires during the cold season, burning highly flammable undergrowth and brush, helping to prevent the wildfires that have devastated a wave-battered Australia heat.

The winners receive a reward of 6,000 euros (about 6,500 US dollars) and their works will be exhibited from April 15 in Amsterdam, before being presented around the world.

Elmer Hayward

"Pop culture fan. Coffee expert. Bacon nerd. Infuriatingly humble communicator. Friendly gamer."

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