A world on fire, captured by AP photographers in 2021 | Nation / World
“Some say the world will end in fire,” wrote poet Robert Frost – and for much of 2021 Associated Press photographers captured scenes of a world on fire, amid rumbles of ruins.
In New Delhi, a man sprints through the funeral pyres of COVID-19 victims – too many fires, too much heat, too many victims. On a beach near the village of Limni, Greece, the horizon is lit by the flames of forest fires raging across the eastern Mediterranean.
And in La Palma in the Canaries, hell is in the Cumbre Vieja volcano. But more than 10,000 million cubic meters of ash turns the world into a negative, black ash taking the place of white snow.
Not all burning is so literal.
There is fury: the astonishing moment when the police pointed their guns at rioters trying to break into the room of the United States Capitol; Mexican protesters against gender violence, pouncing on barricades; the anger of an Ethiopian woman as she fights for every split pea in starving and war-torn Tigray.
And there are the painful embers of violence. Stoic Palestinians carry the body of a child who died in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, while in a continent further, mourners carry the body of a man killed as he protested the coup state in Myanmar. And in Haiti, the wife of assassinated President Jovenel Moise, Martine, leaves a memorial rally in the weeds and black widow mask.
There were more until 2021, of course. It was fun: Lady Gaga wore one of the greatest dresses in the world at Joe Biden’s nomination.
There were times of hope. Even though millions more have died from COVID-19, billions have been vaccinated. Health worker Nazir Ahmed has ventured into remote grasslands of Kashmir to vaccinate herders, some of whom are resistant to vaccines. He stands in his protective gear on a hill, like an emissary from the COVID era who sort of ended up in a South Asian remake of “The Sound of Music.”
There are other images reminiscent of the movies, but askew.
These men on horseback wearing 10 gallon hats aren’t the classic western cowboys; they are border agents, who round up Haitian migrants as they attempt to cross the Rio Grande to the United States.
And the man and woman in a passionate embrace in Barcelona, ââSpain, are not characters in a romantic comedy; behind them, a riot rages over the imprisonment of a rapper found guilty of contempt of the Spanish monarchy. And the streets are on fire.
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