Uncharacteristically Serious Procrastination Destination du Jour: The Year in Photos

Salamé, finals lovers. Tired of working, but had your fill of Flash games and all those fucking cats? Today’s procrastination destination will hopefully prove both thought-provoking and a welcome respite (at the same time (somehow)) from studying and Microsoft Wording. In Focus, The Atlantic‘s blog of obscenely high-quality and high-significance photography, recently finished publication of their top 120 images summarizing 2011.

Curated by Alan Taylor, the stunning photography includes, as always, descriptions of the context of the photos, often answering the “what happened next?” question a few might raise. Photos in the series cover some of the year’s major events in what seems to be generally chronological order, including the Fukushima disaster, the end of the Space Shuttle era, major sporting events, more than one aviation accident, and a hell of a lot of angry people in the streets – photos from the Arab Spring (especially Egypt and Libya), European austerity protests, and the Occupy Wall Street movement dominate. Despite all of the above, it does does have its fair share of light-hearted or otherwise fun work.

The series was published in three parts of 40 photos each – check out one, two, and three in order for maximum continuity. For more In Focus collections, try out this series from the first two weeks at Zuccotti Park, VLADIMIR PUTIN, or this series (a hit online from last year) that I totally thought was from The Atlantic but is actually from Boston.com’s The Big Picture. [Friendly protip: you can scroll image-by-image using the left and right arrow keys, or j and k.]