1. An Effective Second Term. April 24, 2012. A rainbow is seen off the wing Air Force One as it flies over Colorado with President Barack Obama aboard.
2. No More Shooting Massacres. July 27, 2012. A rainbow appears behind Chantel Blunk, wife of Jonathan Blunk, as the flag-draped casket bearing her husband’s remains is loaded onto a plane at Denver International Airport. Blunk, a five-year U.S. Navy veteran, was killed in the July 20 Dark Knight Rises shooting massacre in Aurora, Colorado.
3. An End to the Syrian Civil War. Nov. 12, 2012. A rainbow appears above a market in the rebel-controlled area of Aleppo, Syria.
4. Strategies for Climate Change. A rainbow is pictured over the remains of a burned home south of Reno, Nevada, January 20, 2012. A fierce brush fire on the outskirts of northern Nevada’s largest city left 26 houses in ruins.
5. Help for the Powerless. Jan. 14, 2012. A homeless man pushes a cart as a rainbow arcs acoss the sky in an area called “Cracolandia” (Crackland in English), in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil.
6. Coexistence, not Sectarianism. Nov. 11, 2012. A rainbow arcs over the Palestinian Shuafat refugee camp and a section of Israel’s controversial separation barrier in Isreali-annexed East Jerusalem.
7. Withdrawl From Afghanistan. Feb. 19, 2012. An Afghan man watches pigeons on the roof of his house as a rainbow forms in the background in Mazar-i Sharif, Afghanistan.
8. Peace in the Middle East. Nov. 23, 2012. Palestinians inspect the rubble of a destroyed house as a rainbow arcs over Gaza City.
9. Hurricane Sandy Recovery. Oct. 30, 2012. A rainbow forms over Breezy Point, Queens, in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy in New York. Fire destroyed scores houses in the flooded neighborhood.
10. Future Space Exploration. June 3, 2012 Space Shuttle Enterprise is carried by barge, behind a rainbow appearing in the mist sprayed by a fireboat near New York City.
Over the past year, people around the globe endured epic, historic storms — literally and metaphorically — and were often left wondering, like countless generations before, whether the clouds would ever break. Peering through the dark lens of armed conflict, natural disasters and unfathomable barbarity in places as far-flung as Connecticut and Kandahar, we’ve all — at one time or another — wondered if the tide of catastrophe was, finally, simply going to overwhelm us.
Here, LightBox presents a series of images from 2012 that are joined in theme and in import by a slim yet powerfully symbolic thread: a rainbow connection. As we envision what the coming year might bring, and how we might do better as individuals and as a culture in 2013, we pause to celebrate the fleeting emblem of peace that was seen and photographed in unexpected, incongruous places — scenes that many of us no doubt missed in the welter of the past year’s violence and sorrow.
Click through for image sources.
Voyage by Aether & Hemera
Media architect Claudio Benghi and light artist Gloria Ronchi joined together in 2006 to form Aether & Hemera, an interdisciplinary collaboration that seeks “to research the aesthetic challenges of light and its power to trigger emotions and response, creating a sense of identity or setting a mood.” Their latest installation in London’s Canary Wharf is this beautiful fleet of 300 illuminated boats called Voyage. Each floating light is reminiscent of a paper-folded origami boat that is illuminated from within, and I’m told there is a wireless network in the vicinity that allows you to join with your mobile device and somehow alter the color of the entire installation.