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– Handler mer om menneskelighet, mindre om nyheter

Professor Jens Kjeldsen kommenterer vinneren av World Press Photo Awards 2014

WPP winner 2014
Mads Nissens vinnerbilde for 2014 (Foto: Mads Nissen, Denmark, Scanpix/Panos Pictures).
Mads Nissen, Denmark, Scanpix/Panos Pictures


Professor Jens Kjeldsen har kommentert den siste vinneren av World Press Photo Awards, som er en årlig kåring av verdens beste nyhetsbilde.

Kjeldsen hevder at vinnerbildene i større og større grad handler om hva det betyr å være menneske, enn rene nyhetshendelser:


«World Press Photo of the Year 2014 continues a tendency of choosing winners that are less about news and more about aesthetically exploring what it means to be a human.

Two years ago, an overwhelming majority in the Russian parliament adopted a law banning homosexual propaganda. Anyone – individuals or organizations – who breaks the law by organizing events about homosexuality risk not only imposition of a fine but also imprisonment. In Russia, you cannot even communicate LGBT-subjects to minors. That would be illegal propaganda. We can write about the social preconditions for this law, we can tell about the consequences, and we can talk about what it means to be a homosexual in Russia. However, words cannot give us quite the same sense of the issue – of what it is like to be a homosexual or a homophobic in Russia – that photographs can.

This is evident from the winner of World Press Photo of the Year 2014 above. This picture, “Jon and Alex”, taken by the Danish photographer Mads Nissen, shows two young Russian homosexuals at Alex’ home in Saint Petersburg. They have been making love. Nissen has caught a tender, intimate moment of affection and desire. The picture has a rare quality of being out of time and space. It gives us no sign of where or when it is taken. There are no visible clothes, no phones, no furnishing – nothing but the young naked bodies in front of the heavy drapes in the background. The colours are dark; the bottom completely black, the background obscure and golden brown. there is only darkness except for the light on the faces and upper bodies of the two men.»