Rebecca Blackwell


Honorable Mention – 2015 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award |

Rebecca Blackwell is an American photographer currently based in Mexico City with the AP. From 2007 to 2014, Blackwell was the AP’s West Africa photographer and photo editor, covering more than 20 countries in West and Central Africa from her base in Dakar, Senegal.

While working for the AP, she has covered the effects of the Somali famine and Sahel droughts, shot World Cup soccer and the London Olympics and documented the difficult journey through Mexico faced by migrants trying to reach the US. From late 2010 until mid-2011, she covered Ivory Coast as the country spiraled into conflict, navigating amidst hostile security forces and roadblocks manned by anti-Western militias to document the effects of the crisis on the civilian population.

“Rebecca Blackwell’s coverage of the Central African Republic demonstrates a valiant and intrepid courage working under treacherous conditions. She puts herself in harm’s way, covering the chaos intimately as danger unfolds all around her. There is an intensity in the photographs and an obvious deep commitment to portray the suffering and violence with complete honesty. They are hard images to view but her passion for shedding light on the darkest places is evident.”

Her work on the Ivory Coast conflict was recognized with awards from the China International Press Photographers Awards, Bayeux-Calvados War Correspondents Awards, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar and the Yonhap International Press Photo Awards. In 2013, she received awards from the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism and the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar for work from Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea. Her 2014 coverage of the Central African Republic conflict was recognized with a general news first place from the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar.

Originally from New York and New Jersey, Blackwell holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University. She began her photographic career at a small weekly newspaper in New Jersey, before moving to Senegal in 2004 to pursue work as a freelancer.

  Rebecca Blackwell

Dominique Derda

Rebecca Blackwell

 

Rebecca Blackwell’s Photos

Warning: Images contain violent content

  (c) Rebecca Blackwell

Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Women bare their chests in a traditional sign of placing a curse, after at least two people were injured by passing Chadian troops, during a protest outside Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the entrance to the airport carrying signs protesting Chadian forces and expressing support for French troops and other regional African forces. At least two people were wounded as pickups of Chadian soldiers sped through the gathered crowd firing off several rounds in the continued unrest.

 
  (c) Rebecca Blackwell

Rebecca Blackwell/AP

A man lies dead at a checkpoint beside a burnt out car, following a shootout with Congolese peacekeepers, in Bangui, Central African Republic, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. Three bodies lay baking in the sun at the checkpoint Friday after being shot by Congolese peacekeepers, who said the men had attacked them. After a period of relative calm, violence has flared anew in the Central African Republic, with angry demonstrations against Chadian peacekeepers, shootouts at checkpoints, and the destruction of a mosque.

 
  (c) Rebecca Blackwell

Rebecca Blackwell/AP

An anti-balaka militiaman gestures as he vows that the Christian militia will kill all the Chadians if they don’t leave the country, in front of a home local residents say was destroyed by Chadian rocket fire, in the Gobongo neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013. The spokesman for an African Union peacekeeping force says six Chadian peacekeepers were killed and 15 were wounded, after being attacked Wednesday. The Chadian contingent, which is made up of Arabic-speaking Muslim soldiers, has been accused of taking sides against the Christian population in the country’s sectarian conflict.

 
  (c) Rebecca Blackwell

Rebecca Blackwell/AP

French soldiers drive past the mutilated body of a man said to be a Seleka officer who had been shooting civilians from a sniper position, in the Fouh neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. A group of angry men slammed the body with rocks and were attempting to set it alight. Afraid to return to their homes, more than 100,000 people remain displaced in the capital alone, with many sleeping in makeshift camps on church grounds or at Mpoko airport.

 
  (c) Rebecca Blackwell

Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Angry residents shout accusations at French soldiers as they deposit a man wounded by French gunfire on the steps of the building where the commander of the Sangaris forces was meeting with leaders of the mostly Muslim Kilometer 5 neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. Relations between French forces and Bangui’s Muslim community have been strained in recent weeks, with many Muslims accusing the Sangaris of taking sides against them. Monday’s meeting had been seen as a step in the right direction by many members of the community.

 
  (c) Rebecca Blackwell

Rebecca Blackwell/AP

An elderly man leans in close to hear the sound from a faint radio signal, at a makeshift camp for the displaced on a church ground in the Castor neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Monday, Dec. 30, 2013. Tensions remain high in the capital city, with hundreds of thousands sleeping in makeshift camps for the displaced, hunger rampant, and looting and sectarian attacks continuing.

 
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