A good article can make us understand, but a good photograph does something else entirely: it haunts us. Although the events of 2011 clearly demonstrate that the structures around us can easily be destroyed or washed away, the images stay with us. While there is always a danger of voyeurism, a single powerful image promotes engagement. Those that follow – including images from citizen photographers of dramatic news as it unfolds – demonstrate the enduring power of photography to evoke, warn and connect.
2011 in images