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AP PHOTOS: In North America, 2023 was a year for all the emotions

To look is to be charmed

Deepti Hajela
Thursday 21 December 2023 05:42 GMT

To look is to be charmed. Amused. Saddened. Horrified. Amazed. Inspired.

Photographers chronicling life in North America in 2023 captured images that evoked all the emotions, from the giddy silliness of people racing in inflatable dinosaur costumes to the wrenching sorrow of a vigil for victims of a mass shooting.

This gallery from The Associated Press showcases a year that included unprecedented events — such as the first ever criminal indictment of a former president, Donald Trump, in connection to a hush money scheme from his 2016 campaign. Trump was photographed surrounded by security as he was escorted to a Manhattan courtroom in April.

Some of the images focused on issues that the country continues to wrestle with, like immigration at the southern border where people come from around the world in hope of seeking asylum in the United States: A grim-faced man waits while cradling a sleeping child, reminiscent of Dorothea Lange's iconic 1936 “Migrant Mother”; a small child is passed under concertina wire by the Rio Grande.

A weeping child on a bus, leaving the site of a school shooting in Tennessee, shows the toll of another year of gun violence.

The impacts of climate change are present in a number of images. Canada's worst wildfire season on record sent haze wafting down into the United States, turning skies as far away as New York City a post-apocalyptic orange. And a furious wildfire on the Hawaiian island of Maui destroyed much of the historic town of Lahaina.

But nature's beauty is there, too, in a sea lion swimming in San Diego's La Jolla Cove and a puffin carrying food to its chick off the coast of Maine.

Moments of fun and celebration had their place, such as dancers rehearsing for the “2023 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes,” and the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights crowding together after winning their first Stanley Cup.

There were also those who inspired us: Simone Biles, soaring as she returned to competitive gymnastics and won the U.S. Classic, two years after withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health.

And no gallery would be complete without the woman who may have had the most interesting 2023 of all. There she is, in all her sparkly, record-breaking, history-making glory — Taylor Swift.

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