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Back from darkest Davos
March 1, 2013
by Richard Kalvar
I haven’t posted here in three weeks. First I was away photographing at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, going on two and a half hours sleep a night for a week. And then I came back to Paris to edit, develop, photoshop and caption the pictures, and then try to make smaller edits for easier consumption. I’m just coming up for air.

Davos (the event, not the town) is a gathering of leaders and other practitioners of business, finance, government, academia, technology, journalism, NGOism and to some extent the arts. I’ve been hired by the Forum to cover the meeting on and off (mostly on) for the last 15 years or so. There are 10 other official photographers who systematically shoot every event; my brief is to do what I feel like doing.

So I walk around, wandering in and out of sessions, sniffing out the general ambiance. Davos is a very interesting place, with a lot of fascinating and important ideas expressed simultaneously in many different venues. There are also quite a few less important ideas expressed. There are constant human exchanges of people seeking to make the world a better place, and of people trying to advance their personal business interests. It’s full of intense human activity, and I’m very happy to work there.

Naturally, there’s quite a lot of criticism of Davos. Why wouldn’t there be, with all that concentration of political, financial and commercial power, and all those people who can afford to be there? But my feeling is that the exchange of ideas at a high level in an international forum can be very useful. To the participants, of course, but also to the world.

In any case, here are some pictures, which give a personal and incomplete but I think accurate view of the place. At the top of this post you can see a pretty tight edit of 51 pictures. Below is a link to a somewhat larger selection of 84 images:

and this to an even broader one of 137:

I could show you even larger edits, but I’m not sure that would interest many people. With these links, click on the first thumbnail, and you can then navigate with the arrow buttons and keys.