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Visual Culture

20 Striking Moments in Photojournalism This Month

June is a month of celebration, reflection, and protest. As people worldwide have dressed themselves in rainbow hues to celebrate Pride and honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, commemorative events across the world paid tribute to the lives lost 75 years ago on D-Day and 30 years ago in Tiananmen Square. Muslims celebrated the end of Ramadan, and Italians toasted to their independence. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong’s residents marched in the streets to protest an extradition bill; Haitians continued a fifth month of dissent to oust their president; and Sudan’s uprising reached the half-year mark. In Russia, images of a lost, hungry polar bear spread across the internet, while tourism spiked to the ghost city of Pripyat, Ukraine. These are 20 of the most striking pictures taken this month.

An emaciated polar bear was spotted roaming the outskirts of the Siberian industrial city of Norilsk on June 17th. In February, officials in Novaya Zemlya declared a state of emergency when around 50 polar bears migrated to the archipelago, and environmentalists warned that as Arctic sea ice melts, more animals will venture south looking for food. This bear was at first assumed to have wandered hundreds of miles, though specialists later determined its fur was too clean to have made such a journey, and that it may have been released by nearby poachers.

Photo by Irina Yarinskaya/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Irina Yarinskaya/AFP/Getty Images.


Two women were photographed taking a selfie on the Talo Kapo beach in Pattani, Thailand, on June 5th, during Eid al-Fitr festivities. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting, prayer, and reflection for Muslims.

Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.


A Pride event took place in Seoul on June 1st, part of the annual Queer Culture Festival. Tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ supporters attended the parade, which grows each year, despite anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations. The city’s first Pride parade in 2000 only drew around 50 people.

Photo by Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images.


A young Sudanese man was photographed reciting a poem about revolution, illuminated by the mobile phones of the people surrounding him in Khartoum on June 19th. Demonstrators across the country are demanding a civilian government following the military’s removal of autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in April, and protests were once again ignited in the capital after security forces killed at least 100 people in a protest camp.

Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images.


On June 12th, three days after the largest street protest in Hong Kong in at least 15 years, a woman was photographed meditating in front of riot police outside of government headquarters. The demonstrators have been protesting a proposed bill that would allow extraditions to China.

Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images.


Two historical reenactors were photographed standing in a field in Sannerville, France, on June 5th, as 280 paratroopers took part in a parachute drop to commemorate the following day’s 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings.

Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.


The Los Angeles Pride Parade took place in West Hollywood, California, on June 9th. This year marks 50 years since the Stonewall Riots in New York City, and 49 years since the first Pride parades took place in the United States.

Photo by Agustin Paullier/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Agustin Paullier/AFP/Getty Images.


Volcanic ash filled the sky as Mount Sinabung in Karo, Indonesia, erupted on June 9th. The volcano has seen increased activity since 2010; this time, it blasted a column of ash for around 9 minutes, reaching 4.4 miles into the sky.

Photo by Tibta Pangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

Photo by Tibta Pangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.


Students were photographed walking alongside wild deer in Nara, Japan, on June 6th. Nara’s park of friendly deer drew more than 2 million visitors in 2017, and there has been growing concern over the environmental impact of tourism. A deer recently found dead near a tourist attraction was revealed through an autopsy to have over 7 pounds of plastic in its stomach.

Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.


A demonstrator was photographed raising her arms during a protest in Haiti on June 9th calling for the resignation of President Jovenel Moise over alleged corruption. Thousands of Haitians have taken to the streets to denounce Moise, who is accused of embezzling millions of dollars from a Venezuela-subsidized fund intended to help the country’s poorest residents.

Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images.


On June 4th, the second day of President Donald Trump’s three-day state visit to the United Kingdom, the famous balloon depicting the American president as an orange baby floated outside London’s Houses of Parliament above a mass protest.

Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images.


The Italian Air Force’s aerobatic display unit, called the “Frecce Tricolori,” performed an air show over Rome during the Italian Republic Day celebrations on June 2nd, trailing colorful smoke in the pattern of the Italian flag.

Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images.

Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images.


Students raised their flags in a national ceremony on June 17th in Xinjiang County, Shanxi, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Photo by Gao Xinsheng/VCG via Getty Images.

Photo by Gao Xinsheng/VCG via Getty Images.


Russian tourists in traditional North Korean joseon-ot dresses were photographed smoking cigarettes in Pyongyang on June 19th.

Photo by Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images.


Syeda Falak, an Indian Muslim international karate champion, demonstrated self-defense maneuvers to students of a girls’ school in Hyderabad, India, on June 17th.

Photo by Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images.


A participant wound up with a handful of tomatoes during Tomatina, an annual tomato fight festival in Sutamarchán, Colombia, on June 2nd.

Photo by Diana Sanchez/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Diana Sanchez/AFP/Getty Images.


Visitors were photographed on June 7th while touring Pripyat, Ukraine, in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Following the HBO television miniseries Chernobyl (2019), which tells the story of the 1986 nuclear disaster and its cover-up, the number of tourists visiting the ghost city is estimated to double this year to 150,000.

Photo by Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images.


On June 2nd, artist Spencer Tunick staged a nude photo shoot outside of Facebook and Instagram HQ in Manhattan to protest the social media giant’s ban of female nipples in photographs. The men and women who participated held up large cutouts of nipples to illustrate the arbitrary nature of the rule.

Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.

Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.


A candlelight vigil was held at Hong Kong’s Victoria Park on June 4th to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing.

Photo by Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images.


Male belly dancing has seen a revival in Turkey over the past decade thanks to the country’s growing LGBTQ+ nightlife. The practice dates back to the Ottoman Empire, but fell out of favor under the Ataturk government. In this image, taken June 2nd, a dancer named Segah was performing in Istanbul.

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images.

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images.

Jacqui Palumbo is Artsy’s Senior Editor, Visual Culture.