epa Photo Essays 2019

Pathologist Panagiotis Soldatos (R) examines elderly woman Afroditi Roussou (2-R), 90, during a mission of the doctors team 'Anagennissi and Proodos' (Renaissance and Progress) on the Greek island of Donoussa, in the Aegean Sea, to provide medical services to its few inhabitant, Donoussa, Greece, 03 May 2019. 'Anagennissi and Proodos' launched in 2008, and its primary purpose is to fill in the health care shortages faced by the inhabitants of the border regions of Greece, and in particular the 30 remote islands, without any discrimination. EPA-EFE/YANNIS KOLESIDIS

Medical Mission on Donoussa

Despite its small size, Greece has one of the largest coastlines in the world thanks to its islands. The Mediterranean country comprises about 6,000 islands and islets that are scattered throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. The remoteness of the islands affects everyday life, especially during the winter months, with few young doctors and teachers available. Thus, islanders' access to hospitals and experienced medical staff becomes virtually impossible. The National Primary Care Program is a five-year project that aims to provide complete medical care and support services to people living in remote areas across Greece, something that the National Health System is unable to provide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Algerian youth take part in Friday protest against the then Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algiers, Algeria, 29 March 2019. In February 2019 and all Fridays since, Algerians have been coming out to protest. At first, they were asking Bouteflika to renounce his candidacy for a fifth term, but it grew into demanding a change in the whole regime and a new Constitution that would allow fresh figures to emerge who could fix an economy that has led to 30 percent youth unemployment. Young men with no regular employment spend their time hanging around the streets of Algiers, doing small jobs for pocket money. They all have demands to fulfill, so they joined the rallies. Algeria’s youth did not experience the War of Independence, the 1988 revolt nor the civil war. But they saw the fears their parents harbored over an uncertain future; few job prospects and a surge in emigration in search of a better future. EPA-EFE/AMEL PAIN

The Rise of Algerian Youth

In February 2019 and all Fridays since, Algerians have been coming out to protest. At first, they were asking Bouteflika to renounce his candidacy for a fifth term, but it grew into demanding a change in the whole regime and a new Constitution that would allow fresh figures to emerge who could fix an economy that has led to 30 percent youth unemployment. Young men with no regular employment spend their time hanging around the streets of Algiers, doing small jobs for pocket money. They all have demands to fulfill, so they joined the rallies. Algeria’s youth did not experience the War of Independence, the 1988 revolt nor the civil war. But they saw the fears their parents harbored over an uncertain future; few job prospects and a surge in emigration in search of a better future.

 

 

 

 

A dancer of the Czech National Ballet relaxes after a rehearsal of 'Swan Lake' at the National Theatre in Prague, Czech Republic, 13 February 2019. Swan Lake ballet is one of the famous of all classical ballets, the most frequently performed and the most popular worldwide. The new Czech National Ballet production is a revival of the story’s version created by the world-renowned choreographer John Cranko, the founder of the Stuttgarter Ballett. The Czech National Ballet is the first big company to have been granted the approval to stage the piece outside Germany. Up to the present day, the Czech National Theatre has staged 12 adaptations of Swan Lake. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK

Behind the Scenes - Czech National Ballet Rehearsing 'Swan Lake'

Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake is among the world's most famous classical ballets and is also the most frequently performed. The new Czech National Ballet’s production is based on the version created by world-renowned choreographer and founder of Germany’s Stuttgarter Ballett, John Cranko. The Czech National Ballet is the first big company to have been granted approval to stage the piece outside of Germany. The Czech National Ballet, the biggest dance company in the Czech Republic, was founded in 1883. Filip Barankiewicz is its current artistic director. This production's dancers started rehearsing on 01 February 2019 and the show premiered on 28 March 2019 at the Czech National Theater in Prague.

 

 

 

 

A young boy walks past a burning fire used to keep evicted families warm overnight after police and private security evicted families from a commercial property in Johannesburg, South Africa, 05 June 2014. The late great Nelson Mandela and the ANC (African National Congress) brought an end to the minority rule of the white people of South Africa over the majority black people 25 years ago this year and thus brought to an end to one of the most unjust systems of repression in history: apartheid. This retrospective photo essay, depicting the chronology of South Africa's history from the arrival of the first white men in 1652, looks at South Africa's very soul and mirrors the journey of this infant democracy through its at times painful path to find balance over the past 15 years. EPA-EFE/KIM LUDBROOK

Cry My Beloved Country

"Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another." The late Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress brought an end to the minority rule of white South Africans over the majority community of black people 25 years ago thus ending one of the most unjust systems of racial repression in history: apartheid. For the first time ever black people were allowed to vote and decide their own destiny. The first free and fair elections in 1994 marked a huge shift in consciousness for the country and the beginning of what millions hoped would be a dream of a multiracial "Rainbow Nation." The stark reality is at present very different. Rampant corruption by former President Jacob Zuma along with leading ANC politicians and businessmen, 33% unemployment and racial tensions are but a fraction of the problems the nation faces.

 

 

 

Japan's Emperor Akihito attends the opening of an ordinary parliamentary session at the Diet in Tokyo, Japan, 28 January 2019 (reissued 10 April 2019). After 30 years of reign, Emperor Akihito is to abdicate on 30 April 2019 and his son, Crown Prince Naruhito will officially access to the throne on 01 May 2019. EPA-EFE/FRANCK ROBICHON

The Chrysanthemum Throne

After 30 years of reign, Emperor Akihito is to abdicate on 30 April and his son, Crown Prince Naruhito will officially access to the throne on 01 May 2019. The 85-year-old emperor is the first to resign in about two centuries after he ascended the throne on 07 January 1989, following the death of his father Emperor Hirohito. Over the 30 years of Akihito’s reign in the era named ‘Heisei’, Japan was struck by numerous natural disasters and the Imperial couple have been a support to the people affected. The new era ‘Reiwa’ will start on 01 May with the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Chinese attendant holds a curtain during the opening of the second session of the 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 03 March 2019. Flanking the western edge of Tiananmen Square in downtown Beijing, the Great Hall of the People (GHOP), China's seat of government and center of state power, is one of the country's most iconic sites. EPA-EFE/ROMAN PILIPEY

A Close Look at the Great Hall of the People

Flanking Beijing's Tiananmen Square, the Great Hall of the People, China's seat of government and center of state power, is one of the country's most iconic sites. There are diverging opinions about its Soviet-style architecture: for some, it is an intimidating and monolithic building representing China’s immense bureaucracy, while for others it symbolizes ethnic equality and national unity. It is used for many important political events, such as state funerals and memorial services for top-ranking leaders, and ceremonial activities by the government and the ruling Communist Party. Although tourists can visit certain parts and halls, for millions of people, this huge building remains a mystery. Local and foreign journalists cover dozens of important events at the Hall, but even their movements within the vast building are closely monitored and tightly controlled by security officers and People's Liberation Army soldiers.

 

 

 

A change in road markings which marks the border between the Republic of Ireland (L) and Northern Ireland (R) outside the town of Middletown in Northern Ireland, Britain, 03 March 2019. On maps of Ireland, a line cuts across the north of the island like a scar, dividing Northern Ireland from the larger Republic of Ireland. That line is both physical and symbolic, signaling the geographic separation of two countries as well as their historical, social and religious differences. The reality of the Irish border is complex. Today, it is no longer a ‘hard’ border, though crossings are littered with rusting customs posts from another time. Often a change in road markings or the color of the tarmac are the only indicators that you have crossed into another country. It is possible to drive along a road and cross the border two or three times without even knowing it.

The Invisible Border

On maps of Ireland, a line cuts across the north of the island like a scar, dividing Northern Ireland from the larger Republic of Ireland. That line is both physical and symbolic, signaling the geographic separation of two countries as well as their historical, social and religious differences. After 29 March 2019, the thin line could well separate the United Kingdom and the European Union. The reality of the Irish border is complex. Today, it is no longer a ‘hard’ border, though crossings are littered with rusting customs posts from another time. Often a change in road markings or the color of the tarmac are the only indicators that you have crossed into another country. It is possible to drive along a road and cross the border two or three times without even knowing it. The border was established by the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921.

 

 

 

A Senegalese boy stands between boats on a section of beach that has been eroded away by a big storm revealing layers of waste in the beach sand in the fishing village of Yenne Todd, Senegal, 24 February 2019. Senegal is choking on plastic waste with tens of thousands of tons of it ending up in the ocean every year. A problem that is not only threatening the coastal population but also the economy. Due to a lack of comprehensive municipal waste management mechanisms, communities have engaged in their own clean ups in some villages. Environmentalists urge a change of policy regarding the use of plastics is urgently needed by government. EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

Senegal Plastic Waste Crisis

Fisherman Samwu Ndaye is a volunteer who every morning combs the beach of Ngor, Senegal, to clean up the waste plastic that builds up there. Single-use plastic products of every kind litter the villages along Senegal's coastline along with other waste that gets washed up at different spots throughout the year, depending on the prevailing winds and ocean currents. As the world’s population grows, so too does the amount of waste that is generated, leading to a vast environmental problem on a global scale which waste management is just beginning to have an impact on. However, in low and middle-income countries, like Senegal, this process is all too often underfunded or simply neglected. Systematic municipal waste collection and disposal is lacking in many areas, so residents deal with garbage in their own way, by burning or dumping it along the shorelines.

 

 

 

A Chinese e-sports enthusiast (R) shows her gaming paraphernalia, from one of the games she plays, as they play the online game 'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' (PUBG) in a private room with bed at an internet cafe in Beijing, China, 24 November 2018. EPA-EFE/WU HONG

The Rise of Esports in Asia

In 1972, the first video game tournament was held. A handful of people gathered in a computer lab at Stamford University, California, USA, to compete in the ‘Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics’ for the grand prize of an annual subscription to Rolling Stone magazine. Since then competitive computer gaming has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Esports, as it is known now, is no longer a sub-culture but roaring across the world supported by a voracious audience. Esports competitions are hallmarked by meticulously organized formats, stringent rules and large prize pools that see sponsored teams and individuals battle it out in various computer games. The players that make it to the pinnacle of esports carry a celebrity like status and garner the attention of legions of fans. They are promoted to an esports viewership that has eclipsed that of many traditional sports‘, amassing more than a 205 million peak viewership for the 2018 League of Legends (LoL) World Championship.

 

 

 

A close-up view of a Brexit inspired mural by anonymous British street artist Banksy depicting the European flag in Dover, Britain, 15 February 2019. The graffiti that appeared on a building near Dover's ferry terminal shows a worker removing one of the 12 stars from the EU flag. The Port of Dover, handling up to 10.000 trucks a day, estimated that no-deal Brexit can lead to almost 30 kilometers (17 miles) long lines to the customs. Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, two years after Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50, the mechanism to notify the EU of her country's intention to abandon the member's club after the tightly-contested 2016 referendum. The results of that referendum exposed a divided nation. Leave won, claiming 52 percent of the overall vote. Voters in England and Wales came out in favor of leave, while Scotland and Northern Ireland plumped for remain. It was still unclear on what terms the UK would leave the EU, with lawmakers having rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's initial deal hammered out with the EU, the fruit of years of negotiations. There was also talk of extending the March 29 deadline, which would delay Brexit, as well as the floating of a second referendum, with the opposition Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn appearing to now throw its weight behind that. Citizens and industries across the UK, including the banking, tourism and farming sectors, and many of whom rely on exporting products or bringing in goods from Europe, will have to adapt in a post-Brexit Britain, whether there is a deal with the EU or not. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

A Portrait of Brexit Britain

The UK is scheduled to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 - two years after Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50, notifying the EU of her country's intention to abandon the member's club after the tightly-contested 2016 referendum. The results of that referendum exposed a divided nation. It was still unclear on what terms the UK would leave the EU, with lawmakers having rejected Prime Minister May's initial deal hammered out with the EU, the fruit of years of negotiations. There was also talk of extending the deadline, which would delay Brexit, as well as the floating of a second referendum. Citizens and industries across the UK, including the banking, tourism and farming sectors, and many of whom rely on exporting products or bringing in goods from Europe, will have to adapt in a post-Brexit Britain, whether there is a deal with the EU or not.

 

 

 

A Tibetan Buddhist nun prays in front of a giant TV screen showing a ceremony with sculptures made of yak butter during the Monlam Great Prayer Festival, at Labrang Monastery, in Xiahe County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, China, 19 February 2019. Considered the most important event for Tibetan Buddhists, the Monlam Great Prayer Festival starts three days after Lunar New Year in western China's ethnic Tibetan region and is held for almost two weeks. During that time, millions of pilgrims head to monasteries to pray for good fortune in the new year and make offerings to their late relatives. Labrang Monastery, in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, which was founded in 1709, is one of the six largest monasteries of the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism and home to the thousands of monks outside of the Tibet Autonomous Region. EPA-EFE/ROMAN PILIPEY

Monlam Great Prayer Festival

Considered the most important event for Tibetan Buddhists, the Monlam Great Prayer Festival starts three days after Lunar New Year in western China's ethnic Tibetan region and is held for almost two weeks. During Monlam, millions of pilgrims head to monasteries to pray for good fortune in the New Year and make offerings to their late relatives. One of the most popular destinations among pilgrims is Labrang Monastery in Xiahe County, China. The monastery founded in 1709 is one of the six largest monasteries of the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism and home to thousands of monks outside the Tibet Autonomous Region. Although the Chinese Communist Party is atheist, it recognizes five religions, with one of these Buddhism, as well as many folk beliefs. Most ethnic Tibetans practice a distinct form of Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism.

 

 

 

An image taken with a 'tilt-shift' lens shows the popular 'Genex' tower, in Belgrade, Serbia, 25 February 2019. Actually called the Western City Gate, is a 36-story skyscraper and was designed in 1977 by the architect Mihajlo Mitrovic and was completed in 1980 in the brutalist style. The building is formed by two towers connected with a two-story bridge and revolving restaurant at the top. It is 115 meters tall (with restaurant 135–140 meters). One of the towers was occupied by the Genex Group. The second, taller tower, is residential and the restaurant is not working. EPA-EFE/ANDREJ CUKIC

Brutalist Architecture in New Belgrade

On the left bank of Belgrade's Sava river lies Novi Beograd, a complex of brutalist buildings that are both a celebration of functional no-nonsense architecture and a symbol of the new post-monarchic Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that was founded in 1945. The planned municipality, for which building works started in 1948, was devised at a time when the sprawling city of Belgrade was undergoing a deep socio-political shift. Novi Beograd was designed to be the main administrative center for the new government, with buildings for the Communist Party headquarters and the Presidency of the government serving as the hub of a functional grid plan with streets meeting on right angles. However, Brutalism is now enjoying renewed interest as more and more people have begun to embrace its practical philosophy and, from an aesthetic perspective, its attractive geometric shapes rendering an almost graphic quality to many of these buildings.

 

 

 

A view on the renewed house at Montefiore Street from 1920 designed by architect Isaac Schwartz in the International Style as part of the 'White City' Bauhaus ensemble in Tel Aviv, Israel, 10 December 2018. Nestled in the streets of downtown Tel Aviv stands the modernist architectural gem known as the White City: one of the largest concentrations of around 4,000 buildings created in the renowned 1930s Bauhaus style. The UN declared the Israeli White City a World Cultural Heritage site in 2003 triggering a renewed interest in the modernist complex. German architect Walter Gropius founded the Staatliche Bauhaus school of art, architecture and design in the city of Weimar in 1919, from where the emblematic architectural movement known as the International Style was developed. The year 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus school and as such the Bauhaus Association is set to celebrate the centenary worldwide with numerous exhibitions, events, research projects and more under the motto 'Rethinking the World.' EPA-EFE/ABIR SULTAN

White City

Nestled in downtown Tel Aviv stands a modernist architectural gem known as the White City: one of the largest concentrations of buildings created in the renowned 1930s Bauhaus style. German architect Walter Gropius founded the Staatliche Bauhaus school of art, architecture and design in Weimar in 1919, from where the emblematic architectural movement known as the International Style was developed. The rise of the Nazi Regime in 1933 forced the school to close, leading many graduates of the art school to emigrate from Europe. Among the Bauhaus graduates were several Jewish architects including Arieh Sharon, Shmuel Mestechkin, Munio Gitai-Weinraub and Shlomo Bernstein who moved to Palestine and helped the Jewish community to shape and build the future state of Israel.

 

 

 

epa07270678 (19/30) A group of explorers during a reconnaissance trip on ski randonee on the Edson Glacier, in the Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica, 05 December 2018. The Glaciar Union camp is a Chilean polar station operated by the INACH and the three groups of the Armed Forces of Chile marking the beginning of all scientific activities planned in Antarctica for the summer season. During a month a group of eight scientists conduct their studies in the third most southern camp of the continent. The Armed Forces play a key role as they provide the logistics and help researchers in their tasks. They explore the surroundings, prepare field trips with scientists and ensure their safety at all times.  EPA-EFE/FELIPE TRUEBA

The New Antarctic Explorers

In a new age of exploration in Antarctica, Chile's Armed Forces are playing a vital role in making it possible for scientists to carry out their research on the world's southernmost continent. Antarctica is vast, almost twice the size of Australia, and only a select number of persons ever get to set foot on this continent. While it does not have any indigenous inhabitants, its population varies between 1,000 people in winter and 5,000 in summer. Most are researchers and station personnel spread across the 66 bases scattered along its coasts. The golden days of Antarctic exploration of the past century saw the likes of Norway's Roald Amundsen and Briton Robert Falcon Scott. Today's expeditions see teams of scientists and soldiers embark on new adventures on the White Continent with more technology at their disposal than ever before.

 

 

 

Joniel (17) rests on the ground after smoking the drug 'cripy' at the district of 'Las Mercedes' in Caracas, Venezuela, 08 November 2018. The streets of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, are filled with homeless children who run, laugh, swim in polluted rivers, search for food among the trash and, in many cases, abuse drugs that allow them some respite from the harsh realities of living rough. These neglected minors represent one of the many faces of the severe economic and social crisis ravaging the oil-rich South American country. EPA-EFE/MIGUEL GUTIERREZ

The Smallest Faces of Venezuela's Crisis

The streets of Venezuela's capital Caracas are filled with homeless children. Children who run, laugh, search for food among the trash and swim in polluted rivers. And children who abuse drugs that allow them some respite from the harsh realities of living rough. These neglected minors represent one of the many faces of the severe economic and social crisis ravaging the oil-rich South American country. Over the span of two months, efe-epa photojournalist Miguel Gutierrez documented the day-to-day lives of these children, presented here in a four-part photo essay: 1: Portrait Series, 2: Life on the Streets, 3: Liliana (17) Gives Birth to Baby Boy, 4: Homes for Abandoned Children. The children mostly live in public spaces in Caracas, where, apart from begging, they have set up an elaborate system to survive.