A year ago, much of the world’s commerce and the familiar activities of our daily lives were ground to a halt. During these unprecedented times, people stopped traveling, eating in restaurants, attending school, and visiting elderly relatives and friends. The coronavirus pandemic forced us to embrace a new normal comprised of deserted city centers, vacant schools, shuttered storefronts, and empty airports.Universal Images Group’s contributing partners rose to meet the many challenges forced upon our global community. Beginning in March of 2020, UIG began receiving provocative and powerful images of the world’s response to the pandemic. These dedicated photojournalists delivered images of pop-up field hospitals in Italy; the heroic and selfless work of medical personnel worldwide; and striking photomicrography of the actual virus. Through their lenses, we learned so much about the virus, how the world could and would respond and what it means to be an essential worker.
As the first wave of the pandemic slowed and the curve began to flatten, UIG’s contributors didn’t rest. Their attention turned to the front-page worthy stories happening in front of them on a daily basis. Soon, our editing teams would be reviewing images of the worldwide protests that erupted following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Our partners provided coverage of mass Covid testing sites; and the strange and eerie sights of empty London, Paris, New York and other major cities. From these talented professionals, we saw how children adjusted to remote learning, and how adults learned to work without colleagues nearby.
The pandemic stuck around and the dreaded second wave was soon upon us, and our contributors were ready to cover it. They were also busy covering food aid distribution in Palestine; an Indonesian volcano eruption; anti-police and anti-government protests in Colombia; protests against lockdowns in Amsterdam; and found themselves on the campaign trail of the US elections and the protests that would follow them. As we neared the end of 2020, our dedicated artists followed the release of vaccines across the world as we witnessed the offering of hope that 2021 could be a better year!
UIG’s collection of 2020’s important stories reflect our eyes and hands on the pulse of the global events that shaped 2020. These and new stories continue to impact our world and UIG’s contributing partners will continue covering them as they happen. We call our photojournalism collection PULSE, and we hope you enjoy some of the best images from the past year from this terrific collection.