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5 winning photographs from the World Press Photo 13 exhibit in Montreal

Let’s all put aside our Instagram feeds and FB holiday slideshows for a moment and take a look at what’s really going on in the world. Starting September 4, our own Marché Bonsecours will play host to the World Press Photo 13 – a traveling exhibition of photos culled from the world's largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest. The World Press Photo Contest and resulting showcase aim to cultivate an understanding of major societal events and global issues through outstanding photojournalism. Selected from over 100,000 submitted images, these award-winning pix will have you gasping from shock, shaking your head, and reeling straight back from the absolute beauty and terror of it all. It is truly one exhibit not to be missed.

Though some of the photos chosen this year seem a bit too, how do you say, “digitally enhanced” for comfort, here are five not so heavily manipulated photos that will definitely make you stop and stare:

1. Wounded Baby, Aleppo
By Sebastiano Tomada

Photojournalist Tomada brings to light the horrors of war through this picture of a wounded child awaiting treatment in one of the few hospitals left standing in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo. Though taken in October of 2012, this photo is as resonant today as it was the day it was shot. 

2. Sudan Border Wars 
By Dominic Nahr

After years of war, death and struggle, South Sudan prevailed in gaining its independence from the north in 2011. However, some of the border demarcations are still hotly contested, so battles over land and resources rage on. Here, photojournalist Nahr captures a slain Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) soldier in a pool of oil next to a leaking petroleum facility in the town of Heglig, after a clash with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

3. At The Dandora Dump 
By Micah Albert

In the midst of all this, can you believe that smile? Sitting on what she has salvaged from the highly toxic Dandora municipal dump (outside of Nairobi, Kenya), this woman thumbs through found books and industrial catalogues on a break from picking through garbage.

4. Pacified Favela
By Frederik Buyckx

With World Cup soccer coming to Rio de Janeiro in 2014, and the Olympics in 2016, authorities have made a concerted effort to clean up the “favelas” or slums which shadow the city. For years, these favelas have been feared areas ruled by drug lords and vigilante militia. Now, with police presence (the first of its kind ever in the slums), some say they see an improvement in safety and living conditions there. Critics though are quick to point out that many of the clean up efforts are focused on those favelas closest to the wealthier neighbourhoods in Rio, and that tackling poverty long term needs a broader (both ideologically and geographically) approach.

5. Joy At The End of The Run 
By Dr. Wei Seng Chen

As an animal lover, I don’t think I can quite condone what is going on here. Nevertheless, it is hard to dispute the awesomeness that is “Pacu Jawi”—a traditional bull race that has been going on in Batu Sangkar, West Sumatra for 400 years. Yoking themselves barefoot to two bulls using a wooden harness, competitors drive the hulking beasts forward by aggressively gripping their tails (see? Not so cool.) Judges appoint the winner based on a straight line run, and animal cooperation (well, it is nice that cooperation is so highly valued.)

World Press Photo 13 Montreal
September 4 to 29 | Marché Bonsecours | 325 De La Commune