Photojournalism: Courage behind the camera
Originally Published: The World Today
Every year, the International Women’s Media presents the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award to honour the work of its namesake, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer. Here are this year’s winners.
Fatima Shbair is a self-taught photojournalist documenting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from her home in Gaza City. At 24, she is the youngest recipient. She began working in the field almost a decade ago with the aim of showing the hardships of living in a conflict zone. Her wish to capture images of Palestinian culture and realities saw her overcome many professional challenges in the context of Gaza’s conservative society.
Her winning portfolio, ‘Eleven Days of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict’, is a chronicle of the city during escalating air strikes from Israel in May. Fatima weaves wreckage and daily life, photographing both scenes of mourning and commutes across the city. One of the photographs from her winning portfolio is shown on the next page, ‘Despite successive wars and tragedies, people here dig deep in search of hope, and their lives matter. It is my responsibility to convey their voices to the world,’ Fatima says.
For the two honourable mentions, the panel of judges recognized the work of Adriana Zehbrauskas and Kiana Hayeri.
An Arizona-based photographer, Adriana’s work captures the violence intrinsic to the lives of under-represented communities across Central and South America. Originally from Brazil, her portfolio explores issues of migration, human rights and religion as they clash with the politics of drug trade in the western hemisphere.
Kiana, on the other hand, shares Fatima’s regional battleground and Adriana’s passion for migration which she expertly highlights alongside themes of adolescence and sexuality in the lives and cultures of migrants. With her current long-term project, documenting the lives of young people in conflict-ridden societies, Kiana has returned to the Middle East and currently covers the region from Kabul, Afghanistan.