Our World Now 4, By Reuters

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Since visual surveys of the past year have fallen from fashion, this stunning annual record has come to fulfil an important role.

From a child dancing in a Havana downpour to a demonstrator urinating in front of Greek riot police, this book makes a strong argument for the small image.

The bloody floor of a Pakistani mosque where 66 were killed echoes the shovels resting on red toxic sludge from a disaster in Hungary. Graffiti in an Afghan compound reveals the varying obsessions of three occupants: scenes of combat (Taliban), macho insignia (Americans), a TV showing Coronation Street (British).

The book's design separates the pictures from their captions but they should be brought back together. Beautiful and shocking, these images are reporting of the highest order.