TIME’s Top 100 Photos of 2021

Remember when folks thought it was the 12 months? That 2020 was uniquely cursed, the worst 12 months ever, that each one can be resolved by January. As an alternative, 2021 has proved to be a fraught annum of unfinished transitions, half-kept guarantees, all torque and in-betweens. The world bought transferring once more, sure, however not for very lengthy and infrequently collectively. From the U.S. to India, COVID-19 killed extra folks this 12 months than final. Components of the globe have been held again by lack of entry to a vaccine. Different components (the richer components) held themselves again by failing to entry a shared actuality.

And but, seeing continues to be believing.

Individuals might quarrel endlessly about why sure issues occurred—the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, for instance—however that it, in truth, occurred is as sure because the type of Officer Eugene Goodman within the hall to the Senate chamber, proper hand on his holstered pistol, left hand raised as he confronts the intruders, earlier than main them towards police.

The mottled, checkerboard of a 12 months is one we are able to all witness within the 100 photographs TIME’s photograph editors current right here, unranked, as the very best of 2021:

George Floyd’s household cheered a jury’s verdict.

The Taliban walked into Kabul, then knelt in prayer.

Olivia Rodrigo teetered into the West Wing.

Nationwide Guardsmen slept within the Capitol.

The lights of a ferry shone like ice on the water off an island in flames.

And at an L.A. hospital, a lady named María Salinas Cruz shouted, “Fly excessive, my love!” in Spanish. She was loud sufficient to be heard by way of the glass door of the room the place her husband, Felipe, who had contracted COVID-19 throughout the 2020 winter surge earlier than vaccines grew to become obtainable, was being disconnected from a ventilator. An AC technician, he couldn’t do business from home.

If the fact all of us nonetheless share is the one captured in pixels, that consensus is treasured, and value guarding whereas we determine discuss to 1 one other once more. Organizations from Twitter to the BBC are becoming a member of initiatives to make clear the provenance of the photographs and photographs they publish.

As a result of what would we consider if we couldn’t consider our personal eyes? What we need to consider, after all. And look the place that’s bought us. — Karl Vick

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