The year in PHOTOS: Key moments of 2018 captured on camera

The year in PHOTOS: Key moments of 2018 captured on camera
The year 2018 was, by all accounts, a whirlwind of geopolitical upheaval, international protests against the status quo, and striking reminders of our shared humanity in spite of it all.

Here are just some of the most poignant memories captured on film from the past 12 months.

SpaceX launches ‘Starman’ towards Mars – February 6

SpaceX founder Elon Musk sent his own personal Tesla Roadster, piloted by a dummy affectionately referred to as ‘Starman,’ towards Mars on board the company’s flagship Falcon Heavy rocket. And all while blaring an endless loop of the late David Bowie classic ‘Space Oddity.’

While not quite a man-on-the-moon moment, it nonetheless marked a defiant gesture by humanity that space exploration was still high on the list of our shared endeavors.  

The two Koreas hold hands in historic moment of detente – April 27

Arguably one of the most poignant images of 2018 was the moment that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in held hands and crossed the border at the “truce village” of Panmunjom in April.

READ MORE: Historic meeting between North & South Korea leaders kicks off (VIDEO)

It was the first time that leaders from the two nations had sat down for talks in over a decade and was the first of many such meetings throughout the year which marked a significant easing of tensions, culminating in the gradual deconstruction (and demining) of the demilitarized zone between the two nations.

Royal wedding 2018 – May 19

While not everyone was as enamored with the pageantry, pomp and circumstance surrounding the marriage of Harry Windsor to Meghan Markle as the Western media, the royal wedding was undoubtedly a major moment in 2018.

The first royal wedding since Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011, many online were bemused by the spectacle, given Britain’s ongoing Brexit woes.

Trump v the G7 leaders – June 9

The image of world leaders standing over a seated, visibly entrenched (or nonchalantly defiant, depending on your interpretation) US President Donald Trump at the G7 summit may serve as an accurate summary of the geopolitical landscape in 2018.

Throughout the year, Trump’s ‘America First’ brand of foreign policy alienated many longstanding US allies, while providing seemingly boundless material for online memery in the process.

Macron celebrates World Cup victory in the rain – July 15

The 2018 FIFA World Cup was a resounding success by all accounts, which culminated in an enthralling 4-2 battle, replete with goals, between eventual winners France and dark horses Croatia.

French President Emmanuel Macron was overcome with joy and dispensed with presidential decorum, jumping with excitement throughout the thrilling finale before celebrating with his team during the trophy ceremony as the heavens opened. Host nation President Vladimir Putin maintained a wry smile throughout.

Banksy redefines art once again – October 5

World famous street artist and social commentator Banksy outdid himself in 2018, producing the first work of art created mid-auction.

“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge,” Banksy wrote of his piece, originally titled ‘Girl with a Balloon,’ which fetched a record £860,000 (£1.04 million or $1.37 million with buyer’s premium) at a contemporary art evening auction at Sotheby’s London.

No sooner had the hammer dropped than the piece began to shred itself and thus ‘Love is in the Bin’ was created, stunning the art world once again and generating many a giggle around the world in the process.

Hero cosmonauts narrowly avert Soyuz spacecraft disaster – October 11

Echoing the Titanic disaster, tweets about a successful – and safe – launch of the Soyuz MS-10, the 139th flight of the various iterations of the spacecraft, were premature ahead of one of the most dramatic rescue missions in spaceflight history.

Russian Commander Aleksey Ovchinin and rookie astronaut Nick Hague managed to survive the 6.7 G of force as the rocket lost power after boosters failed to detach.

A total of 24 beach and rescue teams were dispatched to find the men, eventually finding the escape capsule some 400km from the Baikonur launch pad.

Also on rt.com Emergency escape at 6000 km/h: How near miss Soyuz rocket accident unfolded (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Migrant caravan teargassed at US-Mexico border – November 25

This photo of US border guards deploying tear gas to fend off members of the Honduran migrant caravan who were attempting to breach the border captured one of arguably the most controversial moment of the Trump presidency, which went viral across the world.

The 40-year-old Honduran mother grabs her twin five-year-old daughters, barefoot and in diapers, and flees the tear-gas canisters used to stem the flow of migrants crossing the border via improvised entrances in the US-Mexico border wall. The woman was forced to return to the refugee shelter in Tijuana, Mexico and await news of her asylum application.

Damaged Spirit of Liberty captures the mood  – December 1

Embattled French President Emmanuel Macron has faced a massive rising tide of violent unrest in the wake of his failed economic reforms, including fuel price hikes among other scandals, all of which culminated in the ‘Yellow Vest’ protests that have swept through his country in the closing weeks of 2018.

The damaged ‘Spirit of Liberty’ statue at the Arc de Triomphe provides a striking image which captures the current mood of the disgruntled French population as it wades into an uncertain 2019.

Mars ice provides distant hope – December 20

Providing a bright but distant glimmer of hope, this image of a massive sheet of ice on Mars brings global affairs here on Earth into sharp relief.

As many cling to grievances and differences between us, a shared goal of colonizing another world where humanity could perhaps start anew provides a wistful reminder of what might be possible if we set aside that which divides us.

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