"This Reuters piece is an insightful look into the fight for change within traditional religion — where the mere reality of being a woman becomes an expensive endeavor for those being called into the ordained life as a Thai Buddhist, and their fight for equality is immediately quashed by the argument that ‘It’s been this way for centuries.’ These women demonstrate an undying commitment to their faith despite the very institution that holds their faith rejecting them." —Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia
"This series is a heart-wrenchingly beautiful and startling look at how families intertwine across economic lines and geographic borders. Xyza Bacani has an incredible personal story, one that is deeply familiar to the thousands of Filipinos and others who leave their homes to support their families by working elsewhere. She turns the camera on herself, her mother, and her employer to show layers of intimacy otherwise impossible to convey." —Kate Bubacz, deputy photo director, BuzzFeed News
"As the new year creates a clean slate for many of us, this photo essay from the Caravan of photojournalist Gabriele Cecconi's work across several Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh is a vital reminder that all of the sins of 2017 and 2018 haven't washed away. What still remains is a human rights crisis on a massive scale. Cecconi's images skillfully delineate the intersection of two very pressing narratives: people struggling to survive with few precious resources, and the 'impact of the refugee crisis on an already beleaguered ecosystem.'" —Laura Geiser, senior photo editor, BuzzFeed News
"This series of images sharply summarizes the natural disasters that took place in 2018. Careening from fires to floods, it shows wide paths of global destruction that are becoming harder to ignore en masse and easier to connect to common causes." —KB
"AKA Photographic evidence of human obsession over the moon. This post is a fascinating stroll through the history of lunar exploration — a lot of which we’ve seen many times before, but with the latest news from the far side of the moon, curiosity definitely hasn’t waned. Imagery has surely gotten better over time thanks to technological developments, but also the continued interest and commitment independent of Cold War politics." —AM
"'Oh damn, I need to sit down with this' was my first thought when I saw Adrienne Grunwald's work on Highline. The coloring and flash blurring give this series a sense of timelessness, an ambiguity over whether the photos are from the present day or a generation ago; it suits the storyline of the eternal struggle for autonomy in motherhood. The detail shots are smartly coordinated so that the ephemeral complexity of both the South and parenthood are laid bare."
"For the time — around the early 1900s when Hugh Mangum created his exposures of men, women, and children in the Virginias and North Carolina — the catalog he created is incredible in its equity and vitality. These portraits were taken when Jim Crow laws were driving a wedge between black and white residents and segregation was being enforced in public and private spaces but not in Mangum's photo studio. As photographer and photo archive curator Sarah Stacke explains in the article, 'Though the American South of Mangum's era was marked by disenfranchisement, segregation, and inequality, Mangum portrayed all of his sitters with candor, humor, and spirit. Above all, he showed them as individuals, and for that, his work is mesmerizing.'" —LG