Press photos are more than just snapshots. They often highlight socially relevant issues and prompt people to reflect. Now last year’s best photos are being exhibited at the National Museum.

This year, again, the National Museum Zurich will be showing the world’s best press photos. The two exhibitions “Swiss Press Photo” and “World Press Photo” will open at the same time and spotlight journalistic work from around the globe. Whether sport, current affairs or news coverage, these images are often more than just a snapshot of a single moment. They frequently address socially relevant issues and inspire people to reflect on deeper socio-cultural phenomena. A good example is this year’s winning Swiss Press Photo image. Photographer Stefan Bohrer captured a burning logistics company facility at the Rhine port in Basel. However, it is not the event itself that is thought-provoking, but rather the onlookers who are casually watching and taking selfies. They do not seem to care that the police have issued warnings about toxic substances and instructed the public not to go outside. John Moore, winner of the 2019 World Press Photo prize, also captured an explosive moment. A mother is taken into custody by US authorities at a border checkpoint in Texas while her young daughter looks on crying. The image triggered a heated debate in the US about separating detained children and parents at border checkpoints.

The two exhibitions give visitors a chance to reflect on the past year and provide plenty of food for thought.