2016's Most Important Moments, Photographed
2016 has been an emotional rollercoaster of a year, to put it very lightly. It was twelve months of sensory overload on all fronts, leaving very little to the imagination. So here we are at the end of December, feeling perplexed and winded, but hey—we’re still standing. In recognition of our resilience, we’ve put together a handful of important 2016 moments as seen through the lens of a camera, since—you know—a picture’s worth a thousand words.
RIP David Bowie (January 10, 2016)
Only ten days into 2016, we were forced to say goodbye to one of the most influential musicians of all time—David Bowie. After a battle with cancer, the iconic rock and roller passed away at the age of sixty-nine. His legacy of nonconformity and gender fluidity transcends the realm of music and we’re really grateful for that. Fans paid tribute to Bowie by painting a wall near his home in SoHo. Rest in peace, Ziggy Stardust.
Leo’s Oscar Win (February 28, 2016)
A couple months into 2016, we were all delighted to finally be able to think about something other than Leo’s lack of an Academy Award. After a grueling journey that included five nominations dating back to 1994, our boy Leonardo finally won his well-deserved golden statue for his role in The Revenant. Below, Leo looks on as his award is engraved. Bravo Leo, bravo.
Scott Kelly’s Return from Outer Space (March 1, 2016)
On March 1st, astronaut Scott Kelly touched down to Earth after a year aboard the International Space Station with Russian counterpart Mikhail Kornienko. Kelly is the first American to spend an entire year in outer space. He was photographed below being escorted to a medical tent just after landing on Earth. According to NASA, due to all the research completed during Kelly’s time abroad, we’re that much closer to touching down on Mars.
Beyonce’s Lemonade (April 23, 2016)
Beyonce’s second visual album, Lemonade, debuted on April 23 and caused quite the stir. Time essentially froze for twenty-four hours while we all binged on Queen B’s poetic visual journey. One of her boldest works to date (obviously), Rolling Stone named it the number one album of 2016. It’s unknown who designed and art directed the mysterious album cover, which is a still from the hour-long HBO film.
Orlando Nightclub Shooting (June 12, 2016)
On June 12, a nightmare beyond the realm of human comprehension became a reality when Omar Mateen murdered forty-nine people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Joe Raedle captured the below photograph of a survivor in mourning at the memorial service held at the Joy MCC Church. The act of terror was the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Brexit (June 23, 2016)
On June 23, British citizens voted to leave the European Union, a union that has been in place since just after World War II. There’s a laundry list of political, economic, and social consequences of the decision, which remain up in the air. The actual withdrawal will slowly unfold over the course of the next couple years but majority of the young British population was not cool with the decision to exit.
We Shall Overcome (November 2016)
For US politics, 2016 was a fucking trip. Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for the presidential candidacy by a major political party (finally). After a series of truly unfortunate events, the country is now changing leadership hands and the future is certainly uncertain. The below photo was snapped outside of Trump Tower post-election and is our mantra for the year to come. “We Shall Overcome,” it reads. Because god dammit, we will.
Images courtesy of The NY Times, The Oscars, NASA/Bill Ingalls, Joe Raedle, metro.co.uk, and ijr.com
Stay tuned to Milk for more sentiments on this past year and the one that lies ahead.