TIME Looks Back at The Best Photos… of Photos from 2011

Torsten Blackwood—AFP / Getty Images
Narelle Cole gently wipes the fetid silt from a 21-year-old photo of her daughter Kerrie which she salvaged from the ruins of her inundated home in Ipswich. As the flood waters drained from the cities and towns, revealing the full horror of the devastation wrought when the Brisbane River burst its banks, search teams recovered the body of the 16th victim.

Suhaib Salem—Reuters
People burn pictures of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi inside the main prison of Gaddafi’s forces in Benghazi. Foreign powers accelerated efforts to help oust Gaddafi as rebels fought government forces trying to take back strategic coastal cities on either side of the capital of Tripoli.

Francesco Giusti
A man’s photo, attached to his belongings for identification purposes, seen at the Ras al-Jedir checkpoint along with the belongings of countless others fleeing Libya during the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

Ko Sasaki—The New York Times
A photograph is seen among the ruins caused by the tsunami and earthquake in the city of Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, Japan that hit the week before.

Menahem Kanaha—AFP/Getty Images
A woman from the Israeli Ethiopian community brandishes photos of her far-flung family during a demonstration outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem. The protesters petitioned the government to allow their relatives to join the 120,000 Ethiopian Jews already in Israel.

Moises Saman—Magnum
April 5, 2011. Photographs of dead people and scenes of torture found in a room inside a burned down police station in Zawiyah, Libya, damaged during fighting between rebel forces and fighters loyal to former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Yuri Kozyrev for TIME
A candlelight march carries portraits of Yemeni citizens killed during protests.

Stefan Wermuth / Reuters
Flowers and tributes are seen outside the home of Amy Winehouse in London. Winehouse, one of the most talented singers of her generation whose hit song “Rehab” summed up her struggles with addiction, died in London on July 23 at the age of 27.

Tomas Munita
Centro Havana. Four brothers from the Morales family in their room, a “barbacoa” – or room built on the top of the main and only room of the house – where they have to share two beds with their mother. In November 2011, Cuba announced that it will allow real estate to be bought and sold for the first time since the early days of the revolution .

Atef Safadi—EPA
Palestinians rally with pictures of relatives imprisoned in Israeli jails, during a protest to vent their angers that their jailed relatives are not included among the prisoners exchange deal, in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Israel and Hamas reached a deal that would see the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was snatched from the Gaza Strip on June 25, 2006 during a cross-border raid carried out by Hamas and two other Palestinian militias, in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.

Lee Jae-Won—Reuters
A photograph of a student is seen on top of prayer beads, while her mother prays for her success in the college entrance examinations, at a temple in Seoul. In South Korea there is no higher achievement than to be accepted by a prestigious university. Many students prepare for these entrance exams from an early age, often studying up to 16 hours a day for years to take this test.


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