Each year, TIME magazine chooses ten photographs from ten different photographers as their "Top 10 Photos of the Year." This year's collection of photos paints a very grim picture of the world, maybe moreso than previous years. Death and disaster take leading roles as the narratives of the photos range from unrest in Cairo and Instanbul, the massacre at Westgate Mall in Kenya, the Boston Marathon bombing, a dead couple embracing one another in the rubble of a collapsed building, and a man with a knife to his throat moments before his execution in Syria. 

Every "Top 10" photo list must be taken with a grain of salt because of the sheer number of photos taken around the world each day (TIME estimates "half a billion and rising"). TIME's 2013 list has already been met with criticism on their Facebook page, with fans leaving comments like, "No, it's the top 10 of most violent scenes you captured. It looks you're passionated by blood, death and violence... You did things better, in the past" and "Most of the photos are tragic. Why would you glorify images of death and suffering? I understand they are faces of reality but saying "top photos" is really misleading."

To see the photographs selected and to read the backstories provided by the photographers, head over to the Lightbox page here.  

[via TIME]