World’s best press photo – tribute to children who died in Canadian boarding schools

This image won this year’s prize for the world’s best press photo, which is held annually by World Press Photo.

– This is the kind of image that burns your own memory.

Prize for the best in the world press photo was given a photo showing a gown and cross commemorating the hundreds of children who died after being forcibly transferred to boarding schools in Canada.

World Press Photo is one of the most prestigious photojournalism competitions in the world. Among the nominees too Norwegian Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen.

The winning photo was taken by a Canadian photographer Amber Bracken for the New York Times. This is part of a series that Bracken takes on at the Kamloop boarding school, where children of the country’s indigenous people are placed to assimilate forcibly into the culture of the majority population.

– This is the kind of image that burns your own memory. It evokes some kind of sensual reaction, said the leader of the jury Rena Effendi Thursday.

“I can almost hear the silence in this picture, a silent moment for world recognition of the history of colonialism, not just in Canada, but around the world,” he said.

Last May, large numbers of unmarked graves containing the remains of 215 children were discovered in the grounds of a former boarding school in British Columbia in western Canada.

Since then, more than 1,000 unmarked graves have been found near a former boarding school run by a religious group. These findings have shed light on a dark chapter in Canadian history and the extensive forced assimilation of the indigenous population.

Some 150,000 children from the country’s indigenous population attended the 139 schools from the late 19th century to the 1990s. They were separated from their families and cut off from their native language and culture. Many children died because of bad school conditions.


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Julia Matthews

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