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9 Visual Stories That Will Challenge Your View Of The World

Here are some of the most interesting and powerful photo stories from across the internet.

Posted on September 8, 2017, at 5:53 p.m. ET

"24 Photos That Show Just How Bad Hurricane Irma Really Is" — BuzzFeed News

Lionel Chamoiseau / AFP / Getty Images

It’s barely been two weeks since Hurricane Harvey began its devastating tour of Texas and the Gulf, and another hurricane has now descended upon the Caribbean. As Floridians across the state prepare themselves, unsure of exactly where the storm will hit, the people of Puerto Rico, St. Martin, Barbuda, the Virgin Islands, and Anguilla are bearing the brunt of Irma. This collection of images, curated by BuzzFeed News’ Gabriel H. Sanchez, gives us a glimpse into the destruction so far, as we wait to see where the storm lands next.

—Ariel Zambelich, photo editor, BuzzFeed News

"Land of the Hermit King" — New Republic

Carl De Keyzer / Magnum

The nationalist pageantry captured in these pictures by Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer provides a glimpse into the mindset of a hermit country that's hell-bent on annihilating the United States and all that it stands for. At times these pictures are comical and surreal, but buried deep within every image is the dark, looming anticipation of nuclear war.

—Gabriel H. Sanchez, photo essay editor, BuzzFeed News

The country’s discussion around undocumented residents is lately peppered with stories about violent crimes in an effort to demonize them. The people who will be affected by the ending of the DACA program, however, are not so easily smeared. These DREAMers arrived in the US as children, were vetted by the government, and are either in school or working hard to attain their version of the American dream — safety from deportation. The White House’s announcement understandably set off a series of protests around the country, and this series of images shows just how frightened and vulnerable these young people are as they come to terms with the fight ahead of them over the next six months.

—Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News

"Inequality and Hurricane Harvey" — The New Yorker

Photographs by Philip Montgomery for The New Yorker

New Yorker staff writer Ben Taub and photographer Philip Montgomery have managed to drill down to the personal stories in different corners of Texas. In this dispatch from Beaumont, Texas, they lead us through the story of a family in a lower-income community who, once the floodwaters finally started to recede, try to figure out how far they are from life as usual. The images are stark, not unlike much of the imagery flowing from the region, but there’s a quiet sadness in the details and the reactions of the people affected. It’s an intimate look at the realization of the long-term effects of natural disaster on low-income folks, and the calculations for survival once they’ve weathered the storm.

—A.Z.

"A Portrait of Small-Town America in 35 Photos" — BuzzFeed News

Sebastian Meyer for BuzzFeed News

The country is undergoing a sea change. Many have spent the past 10 months grappling with why and how this transformation has occurred, and photographer Sebastian Meyer’s trip to the town of Coshocton, Ohio, offers up some insight. His images of Coshocton and its residents reveal a narrative similar to that coming out of many other factory towns where the jobs have seemingly vanished. With this collection of smiling, hopeful, hardworking Americans, vacant lots, food banks, the county jail, and a rehabilitated mother getting her life on track, one can see how the allure of bucking the status quo took its shape leading up to November’s vote.

—L.G.

"Gaza Rapper Hopes to Make His Mark" — Reuters

Mohammed Salem / Reuters

Like its American counterpart, the hip-hop that's being written and recorded in Gaza confronts head-on the stark socioeconomic realities of underprivileged communities, but with a unique focus on the political conflicts that have long plagued Palestinians and their Israeli neighbors. This photo essay follows one rapper as he navigates the vibrant, but at times dangerous, rap scene of the Middle East — proving that no matter the circumstances or location, hip-hop is always a powerful tool for self-expression.

—G.H.S.

Continuing on the theme of hip-hop, Hyperallergic brings attention to an incredible and extensive new archive at Cornell University with artifacts from the history of rap music in America. In hundreds of newly digitized pictures, artists like Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, the Sugarhill Gang, and Public Enemy are captured in their prime, while a slew of flyers advertising early and iconic hip-hop performances paint a picture of the history of one of America's greatest cultural contributions to the world.

—G.H.S.

Before his suicide this past February, Ren Hang was one of the most talented and controversial Chinese photographers in the realms of fashion and art. His dreamy and erotic perspective found itself at odds with more conservative Chinese values, a conflict with frequent negative consequences — Hang's pictures were often defaced in galleries and even landed the young artist in jail. As CNN reports here, new posthumous explorations of his work have since repositioned the artist as a creative genius and have helped to sway public opinion in China towards the respect he deserved.

—G.H.S.


"28 of the Most Powerful Photos of This Week" — BuzzFeed News

Tristan Fortsch / AP

Here are the most moving, sorrowful, and breathtaking pictures from the past week.

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