TIME magazine recently came out with its Best Photos of 2005 (viewable here in a gorgeous slideshow). The collection is dominated by images from the various natural and man-made disasters that plagued this year: the aftermath of the southeast Asian tsunami, the riots in Paris, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the earthquake along the Pakistan-India border, the war in Iraq, the bombings in London, and the ethnic warfare in the Sudan.
I know these were devastating global events. I know it's important that they were documented for posterity. And I feel grateful that we live in an age where access to such imagery is so easy, because I believe images are the most efficient, effective way to create empathy.
But a tiny (and no doubt selfish) part of me is sad that these are the only images selected to define 2005. Was there no joy or beauty worth remembering?
Edited to add: MSNBC's The Year in Pictures includes some equally bleak images, as well as some uplifting (and, dare I say, even funny) ones. Overall, I give this selection props for showing greater range, even if some of the dark ones -- such as the American soldier comforting the dying Iraqi child -- made me cry. Thanks to Em for the link.