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11 Of The Most Interesting Photo Essays

"23 Super-Creepy Pictures of Forgotten Olympic Villages" —BuzzFeed

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Milos Bicanski / Getty Images

“Olympics time is here! Hosting cities pour tons of money into building massive structures in order to host the games. But what happens to them once all the hubbub dies down? This essay is such an interesting look at these spaces when left to the wild.” —Dennis Huynh, design director, BuzzFeed News

Barfi Ali Bashar / Unicef

“Oh, how truly powerful photographs can be, and this photo series proves just that. UNICEF gave cameras and tutorials to 25 young Yazidi women so they can photograph their community as they learned to cope with the aftermath of an ISIS massacre. With this medium, they weren’t just given the voice to tell the world their story, but also empowered them to have personal goals and aspirations. After all, they were allowed to keep their cameras.” —Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia

Bryan Denton

“It is important to see what war looks like in some ways. For all the rhetoric about the war on terrorism that is thrown about in the US, there is relatively little visual coverage about the frontlines in the Middle East. Denton’s photographs show that the war in Iraq, which has waxed and waned in popularity and our consciousness for the past 13 years, is still ongoing, still brutal, and still very relevant to our stated goals even as the enemy has changed.” —Kate Bubacz, senior photo editor for BuzzFeed News

Jean Chung / Getty Images

“There’s probably nothing more natural to living than contemplating your own death. In South Korea, a trend has emerged called ‘Happy Dying’ in which participants are invited to write their own eulogies and wills, crawl into their very own coffin and essentially, well, die. After 30 minutes of ‘death’, they crawl out of the coffin and apparently feel much better about their lives. Neat.” —Gabriel H. Sanchez, photo essay editor, BuzzFeed

Chris M. Forsyth

“I love subways/metros like Oprah loves bread! Chris Forsyth images of metro stations in Canada and around Europe show how cool and mod the architecture of those massive spaces can be make make me want to book some tickets.” —DH

Czar Dancel / Reuters

“Of the 300 suspected drug dealers found dead since Rodrigo Duterte assumed presidency in the Philippines, this photo of Jennelyn Olaires cradling the body of her husband stood out among the rest. The new president, notoriously known as ‘the punisher’, called this ‘melodramatic’, with the media hyping it up as if it was Michelangelo’s Pieta. ‘War on Drugs’ was his campaign battle cry and this photo perfectly summed up what he has done, directly or indirectly, in his first 30 days.” —AM

Mark Seliger

“These portraits have a dignity and an intimacy about them, each face strikingly beautiful in its individuality. I was so moved reading stories and seeing the variety of faces that all turn to Christopher Street for a sense of community.” —KB

George Pantazis

“These extreme close-up shots of plant life highlight just how alien planet earth can look. Out of context, these seed pods and surfaces of leaves appear like the aerial terrain of a remote exotic planet. The competition is in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the UK, and will be touring in exhibitions all over the world. The overall winner was ‘Embryo’ (above) by George Pantazis with a photo taken in his garden in Limassol, Cyprus.” —Matthew Tucker, picture editor, BuzzFeed UK

Fabian Muir

“Could it be true? Is this possibly the most secluded beach vacation getaway in the world? No one thinks of North Korea as a summer holiday destination. But with a brand-new airport recently completed near the resort town of Wonsan (apparently, it’s popular with locals), it may just be the next hot ticket among foreign travellers.” —AM

Christian Lutz / Agence VU

“The party’s been raging strong in Las Vegas for decades — but if you look closely, as Swiss photographer Christian Lutz does in his new photo book Insert Coins, you’ll see the cracks and faults of a city with a reputation for sin. Here, Time shares a comically distressing look at Las Vegas when the party is over.” —GHS

Jessica Earnshaw

Jessica Earnshaw’s work on aging in prison is breathtaking in its scope and its ceaseless attention to the humanity of the inmates. This is a very different look at prisons that is worth giving attention to.” —KB

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