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10 Photo 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 August 7, 2021, at 12:56 p.m. ET

This week felt a little chaotic — not in the intense, passionate way of last summer, but more like a nervous energy in the air as the Delta variant continues to sweep across the country and wildfires continue to burn. We were just getting into the swing of normalcy, and now, who knows? What even is normal anymore?

Luckily, we have some great photo stories to distract and inform you: We spoke with Isolde Brielmaier, the new deputy curator of the New Museum in New York, about her favorite images, which was a delight. New York is definitely having a hot vax summer, and the photographers at the New York Times have captured it perfectly. Thousands crowded together at Lollapalooza in Chicago to dance, a scene that feels more unsafe now as COVID-19 cases rise across the country.

Caitlin Ochs also has a truly fascinating look at the water crisis in the West, where reservoirs are running out of water. Spend some time with this one, as it's a lot to take in. AnOther magazine poetically looks at the young people of Beirut and how they are surviving a year after a huge explosion tore apart their city, while the Atlantic has a roundup of images from the deadly coastal wildfires in Turkey.

There is sometimes hope after disaster, though, as Rodrigo Abd reminds us with his visual story about the priest who reclaimed land from cartels after a series of unfortunate events in Honduras. Further south, the Mapuche people are fighting the Chilean government for land rights and recognition, and I can't get the images by Cristóbal Olivares and Pablo Piovano out of my head.

Fin Serck-Hanssen looks at a different kind of transformation in his sensitive and poignant new book about his friend Hedda and their gender confirmation journey. Finally, Jamie Hawkesworth has a new book out about the British countryside that is truly the definition of a palate cleanser and a balm for the tired.

For more photo stories and an inside look at our Olympic coverage, don't forget to sign up for our photo newsletter JPG.

"People — Not Just the Megadrought — Are Driving the West's Water Crisis" — BuzzFeed News

A woman sunbathes next to a swimming pool overlooking a golf course and Lake Powell in Arizona
Caitlin Ochs for BuzzFeed News

"The Nights When New York Felt Alive Again" — The New York Times

The crowd at the Shrine in Harlem danced to Afrobeats as fireworks exploded outside in celebration of July 4th
Stephanie Keith for The New York Times

"These Photos Show the Enormous Turnout for Lollapalooza Despite Delta Concerns" — BuzzFeed News

Aerial view of the massive crowd at Lollapalooza
Colin Hinkle / Soaring Badger Productions

"The 7 Images That Shaped the Career of the New Museum’s Deputy Director" — BuzzFeed News

"Converging Territories #10": A woman with long hair and her back to the camera creates calligraphy in Morocco
Lalla Essaydi

"Deadly Wildfires Along Turkey's Coast" — The Atlantic

A drone photo shows an aerial view of the aftermath of a fire in Antalya's Manavgat district on July 28
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

"After Mudslide, Priest Builds a New Town on Narco Land" — AP Images Blog

Friar Leopoldo Serrano stands at a table with a white cover to celebrate an outdoor Mass at Mission San Francisco de Asis in Honduras on June 27; a number of people wearing masks sit nearby
Rodrigo Abd / AP

"A Portrait of Beirut: A Year on From the Explosion" — AnOther Magazine

A woman sits with her dog on a bed; she is turned away from the camera and shows injuries and a bandage on her bare back
Yasmina Hilal / AnOther Mag

"Journeying Across the British Isles With Jamie Hawkesworth" — Atmos

A scene showing cows grazing on a small green hill alongside a flowing body of water
Jamie Hawkesworth

"These Stunning Images Capture One Indigenous Group's Fight for Their Land" — BuzzFeed News

A man stands with two horses in a black-and-white photo
Pablo E. Piovano

"Photographing a Friend's Emotional Gender-Confirming Surgery" — i-D Magazine

A person sits on a couch with their legs crossed and gazes at the camera
Fin Serck-Hanssen


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.