A year marked by tragedy, bravery, joy and despair.
As the year comes to a close, we reflect on those moments which defined 2018 through photography. These 18 photographs capture moments around the world which have both torn people apart and brought them closer together. Images of destruction sit beside images of celebration. Survival, sacrifice, desperation, joy, cruelty, disbelief, agony. These photos capture moments that will go down in history. From the 2018 North Korea–United States summit to the destruction brought by natural disasters. From the powerful speeches of survivors to the kiss of a newlywed couple.
These are 18 photos that defined 2018.
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un met for the historic 2018 North Korea–United States summit on 12 June 2018 in Singapore. It was the first-ever meeting between leaders of the United States and North Korea. In mid-July to August 2018, a series of large wildfires erupted across northern California and on 4 August, a national disaster was declared. In November, strong winds caused another round of large, destructive fires to break out across the state. A total of 8,527 fires have burnt an area of 1,893,913 acres this year in California. Parkland shooting survivor Emma González delivers a powerful speech before tens of thousands of demonstrators at the March for Our Lives rally on 24 March. The 2018 Royal Wedding saw Prince Harry of the British royal family tie the know with former actress Meghan Markle on 19 May at Windsor Castle. In a historic referendum, the people of Ireland voted by a landslide on 25 May to repeal the 8th amendment to the country’s constitution, allowing the government to legislate for abortion. A widely shared photo of 2-year-old Yanela crying as a U.S. Border Patrol agent pats down her mother became a symbol of all the families who had been separated by Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy. Yanela landed on the cover of Time Magazine in June, alongside the caption, ‘Welcome to America.’ While boarding an Air Force plane to visit migrant children at the Texas-Mexico border in June, Melania Trump was photographed wearing this now infamous jacket with the phrase ‘I really don’t care, do u?’ emblazoned on the back. France were crowned the winners of the 2018 World Cup on 15 July, beating Croatia 4-2 in the final. This year, the world mourned the loss of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who died of pancreatic cancer on 16 August. Serena Williams is pictured rowing with Portuguese umpire, Carlos Ramos, during her match against Naomi Osaka at the US Open women’s final. Carlos Ramos charged Williams with three code violations, which enabled Osaka to go on and win the match 6-2, 6-4. Williams was gunning for her 24th Grand Slam tournament win, a number that would have tied the all-time record for the most Grand Slam singles tournament wins in history. However, instead, Osaka became the first Japanese player in history to win a Grand Slam. However, her victory was overshadowed by the controversy over whether Williams had been treated fairly or not. Christine Blasey Ford gave a powerful testimony during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Ford had publicly alleged that the then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers in the summer of 1982. Despite the allegations and Blasey Ford’s testimony, Kavanaugh went on to be made an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Searing images of starving Yemeni children turned the world’s eyes to the millions of people at risk of famine in the war-torn country. The world’s worst humanitarian crisis is a result of the ongoing conflict between the Saudi Arabia-led coalition and the Houthi armed group. In October, Human Rights Watch estimated that 14 million people could soon be on the brink of famine and completely relying on humanitarian aid for survival. A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia on 28 September, causing an 18-foot tsunami to sweep across the coastal town of Palu on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. In this photo, two people ride a scooter past a partially submerged mosque in Palu on 2 October. The mosque was knocked from its foundation during the quake and tsunami. At least 2000 people had been confirmed dead by mid October, with thousands still missing. Members of a migrant caravan, which President Trump has labelled \"an invasion\", are pictured crossing the Mexico-Guatemala border on 21 October near Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico. 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from the Bronx became the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress following the November midterms. A member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Ocasio-Cortez won the 14th congressional district of New York, beating Republican opponent Anthony Pappas. CCTV images show 59-year-old journalist and critic of the Saudi government, Jamal Khashoggi, walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2nd October, where he would be murdered by Saudi agents. In January, Saudi women attended a football match in Saudi Arabia for the first time, as part of reforms spearheaded by the kingdom’s crown prince.
The Tham Luang cave rescue captured the world’s attention in June and July. The twelve members of a junior Thai football team, aged eleven to seventeen, and their 25-year-old assistant coach became trapped after entering the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand after football practice on the 23 June due to flooding. The widely publicised rescue effort involved more than 10,000 people and resulted in 1 fatality – Saman Kunan, a 37-year-old former Thai Navy SEAL, died of asphyxiation on 6 July while returning to a staging base in the cave after delivering supplies of air.