The 2020 vintage is bound to go down in history because of COVID-19, but the pandemic is not the only milestone. Here are 10 photos that we think sums up 2020 the major upheavals in international affairs this year.
January – Bush fires in Australia
The spark ignited in 2019, but it was really at the start of 2020 that the whole world realized the scope of the fire ravaging the land of kangaroos. According to a Nature Climate Change study published at the end of February, no less than 20% of Australia’s forests have disappeared in the wake of this unprecedented environmental disaster.
February – Walkabout at the Berlinale
The famous Berlin film festival kicks off on February 20, where the Quebec film The Goddess of Fire Flies will be celebrated by the local press. The crowds are compact, the masks are not yet worn on the face or so little, no one seems to suspect what hangs at the end of the nose.
March – Times Square deserted
At first, we believed the coronavirus was confined to Asia and European countries, eternal optimists that we are. Fault. On March 13, François Legault announced the first containment measures. A few days later, Justin Trudeau introduced the Canada Emergency Benefit (CEP).
No country in America has been spared: photos of the deserted Times Square, when it is one of the most vibrant and busy commercial streets in the world, prove it.
April – Venice gets a makeover
Much false news has circulated about the positive impacts the drastic drop in tourism had on Venice, even going so far as to talk about dolphins roaming between the gondolas. Nonetheless: this hotspot for mass tourism has been given a break this year due to COVID-19. Already in April, we noticed that the color of the water had brightened.
May – #BlackLivesMatter
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a black American, is killed by a policeman on duty and the videos showing his death shock the web. A new wave of anti-racist protests and against police brutality swept over the United States before reaching Quebec and the world.
June – A Banksy painting found in Italy
Celebrated around the world for his politically-sounding or downright controversial stencils, Banksy (an anonymous artist) is rampant across the globe and his works are often stolen by unscrupulous collectors. On June 20, however, her Sad Young Girl was found in Abruzzo, central Italy. She was initially staying on one of the gates of the Bataclan in Paris.
July – Poland re-elects homophobic president
On July 12, Andrzej Duda was re-elected as President of Poland. Known for his conservative positions rooted in nationalism and Catholicism, the politician even went so far as to assert during the most recent election campaign that “LGBT ideology is worse than communism.”
August – Beirut implodes
There is no doubt that all Lebanese will remember this August 4 with sorrow for the rest of their lives. The happy hour explosion in the heart of Beirut’s port has left at least 204 people dead, officials say, and razed much of the city.
September – Tour de France
The Tokyo Olympics were canceled, of course, but not all top athletes were forced to take a year off. On September 20, Slovenian Tadej Pogačar won the Tour de France, becoming the youngest man to win the event since … 1904! He is only 21 years old.
October – An earthquake shakes the Aegean Sea
A magnitude 7 earthquake hit western Turkey and the Greek coast with full force on October 30. Pandemic or not, a myriad of volunteers probed the ruins of Izmir (a very beautiful resort) and elsewhere in the hope of finding survivors.
November – US presidential elections
After a count of the votes that seemed to last forever, the Americans elected Joe Biden as president and said goodbye to Donald Trump, who has long refused to concede victory to his opponent.
Unsurprisingly, American artists have backed Biden en bloc. Of the number: Lady Gaga, creator of one of the great pop albums of 2020, by the way.
December – A ray of hope
December was a month of hope with the start of vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 around the world. A few days before Christmas, Vienna is adorned with candles in memory of the people who died of COVID. A perfectly symmetrical installation that embodies hope and also fits in very well with the magical decorations of the Austrian capital.
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