One of the interesting things about photography in 2021 is how the medium itself has been ­represented. You can literally see it. Chanel’s just-launched SS2022 ad campaign is a series of portraits by Inez & Vinoodh showing models acting out modelling, directing, taking photographs; Cartier’s 2021 Tank watch ads prominently feature both cameras and real-life photographers Coco Capitán, Moath Alofi, and Luis Alberto Rodriguez.
Photography is fashionable, it seems, and a current ad campaign by the Leica camera brand may help explain why. Put together by TBWAParis, it’s titled The World Deserves Witnesses and features 12 iconic images, each with its own spin on this tagline. There’s a photograph by Joel Meyerowitz showing an older white man seemingly recoiling from a younger Black guy, tagged The Fears of the World Deserve Witnesses, for example. 
In 2021, we saw the photography industry attempt to adjust to a changing world, with the cautious reopening of exhibitions for the first time since the pandemic, and the continuing embrace of new voices. Here, Diane Smyth looks back on a complex year

The World Deserves Witnesses ad campaign for Leica, by TBWAParis
Top: Installation view of an exhibition at the London Peckham 24 festival on the Archive of Public Protests, a cache of images of Poland’s intense contemporary political environment