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5 Photo Stories You Absolutely Can't Miss

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

Posted on May 12, 2017, at 5:48 p.m. ET

These photos are all about celebrating self-expression. It's hard to imagine stories about discrimination against queer communities coming out of New Zealand — the only country in the Asia-Pacific region to have legalized same-sex couples' marriage rights. But all the more reason that it’s important to highlight what community means in a place where people who aren’t like you won’t necessarily shame your existence but won’t completely understand your need for safe spaces. The venue may be crowded and hot, but these performers sure know how to work their dance shoes.

—Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia

"The Energy of Tomorrow Looks Strikingly Artistic From Above" —National Geographic

Jassen T. / National Geographic Your Shot

This series represents National Geographic at its best — showing strong images of the Earth at its best. The short collection is a welcome departure from depictions of what we're losing to climate change, instead focusing on landscapes that are powering the future.

—Kate Bubacz, deputy photo director, BuzzFeed News

There’s something so authentic about a Polaroid picture. It's a one-button process: No editing software nor unlimited number of frames (generally afforded by digital technology) stands between the artist and the art. This is what makes Matthew O’Brien’s Polaroids of Colombia so captivating. Locals — young and old, at work and at play — are documented exactly as they were in that moment, with no artistic agenda or point of view to see past. For a country so often branded with the history of the illegal drug trade, it’s nice to see a genuine portrayal of everyday Colombia: laborers, traffic jams, architecture, nature, and history.

—Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News

"The Greasy Smudges on Your Phone Aren't Grime. They're Art" —Wired

Tabitha Soren via Euqinom Projects / Via

The layers of filth smeared across our gadgets have become so ubiquitous that we're no longer bothered by them, and would even so much as lick our fingers after touching these screens. It took one person to see the beauty in what would otherwise go unnoticed. To Tabitha Soren, every scratch, smear, thumbprint, and ball of spit all form part of our relationship with this technology, physical evidence of our digital story. As for this stop-and-look practice: That, my friends, is how art is made.

—Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia

The monotony of being chronically ill is beautifully captured by Mónika Izing in this sensitive series that chronicles her lupus treatments. Within the confines of both illness and a hospital, Izing portrays both the extensive process involved in the treatments and the emotional toll they take.

—Kate Bubacz, deputy photo director, BuzzFeed News

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.