The Year In Pictures 2019
It’s hard to judge how people eventually look back on a year. Perspective depends on political or economic circumstances and, more importantly, age and geography.
An anti-war protester in New York or Paris and a Russian soldier invading Czechoslovakia would see the momentous events of 1968 in very different ways. Likewise, 1989 could be defined by the collapse of the Berlin Wall or the Tiananmen Square protests. The financial crisis of 2008, it turned out, wasn’t necessarily a crisis for everyone.
What’s sure is that 2019 was another year of disruption for great swaths of a globe ravaged by popular anger, pollution, extreme weather and the reactions to them.
There were street demonstrations that turned bloody in Hong Kong, Latin America and Spain, a trade war between the U.S. and China and Britain’s convulsions over Brexit. It was also the year the protests over climate change really made their mark on the political mainstream.
There was upheaval in business, too, with the fall of seemingly powerful leaders at Nissan and WeWork, the pain at Deutsche Bank and the collapse of a British travel company founded in the 19th century. The march of technology, with a new breed of drones and artificial intelligence, suggested no company could take anything for granted anymore.
Life changed for so many, from Parisians passing the burnt shell of Notre Dame Cathedral to workers in Hong Kong who were as likely to pick up a gas mask as a briefcase. Men and women in Saudi Arabia have never had more freedom, provided they stick with the government line. And it’s not every year an American president is impeached.