Our favorite photos, videos of 2017

2017 was a year of conflict. Protesters thronged the streets of Philadelphia in response to immigration policy, civil rights abuses, threats to the environment, and the opioid epidemic. Flip through the photo gallery above for some of the best snapshots of 2017.

WHYY News took a deeper look at these issues. A team of reporters met with undocumented immigrants from around the world for the series Life Unauthorized. Photographers faced the challenge of revealing their subjects’ personalities without revealing their identities.

Viktor, an undocumented immigrant from Belarus seeking asylum in the U.S, strums a bass guitar. He left Belarus with a bandmate and hopes to play music again if he is able to attain legal status.
Viktor, an undocumented immigrant from Belarus seeking asylum in the U.S, strums a bass guitar. He left Belarus with a bandmate and hopes to play music again if he is able to attain legal status. (Brad Larrison for NewsWorks)

WHYY’s Katie Colaneri told the story of a woman’s struggles to restart her life after serving a prison term. Redina’s Story chronicles her struggles with addiction as she searches for a place to live, finds employment and tries to reunite with her teenage daughter.

Redina Rodriguez and her daughter, Jordyn share a laugh during a reunion at a hotel in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Redina Rodriguez and her daughter Jordyn share a laugh during a reunion at a hotel in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (Katie Colaneri/WHYY)

WHYY continues to look at the challenges of preserving the Delaware River Watershed, tackling such diverse issues as sea level rise and the impact of fracking on water quality.

Teenagers take turns jumping into the Musconetcong river just below the Asbury Mill Dam.
Teenagers take turns jumping into the Musconetcong River in New Jersey, just below the Asbury Mill Dam. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Videographer Kim Paynter toured the Colored Girls Museum in Northwest Philadelphia in May during an installation called “A Good Nights’s Sleep.” Caretaker and curator Vashti DuBois said “ we’re losing sleep over the future of health care, we’re losing sleep over the future of education, we’re losing sleep over the safety of our children, our streets, our institutions, what will happen to the arts in our country, lost girls and lost boys.”

Paynter visited the Icebox Project Space in North Philadelphia in April to record 14 local musicians and artists who were recruited to play a collection of gongs using bows for an original composition by percussionist and conductor Tatsuya Nakatani.

When WHYY’s Joel Wolfram reported on doctors at a pediatric clinic in Wilmington who were looking for ways to treat preoperative anxiety in their patients without the use of a sedative, Paynter documented 4-year-old D’Juan Roane-Kirby’s experience driving himself to the operating room in a battery-powered miniature car.

In September, SpArc Services Cultural Arts Center in Philadelphia staged a Fringe Festival performance. SpArc provides services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. WHYY got a behind-the-scenes look at participants collaborating with the SpArc arts staff on the costumes, sets, story, and music for the performance.

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