June 22, 2015 – The Anja Niedringhaus Award will be celebrated at a ceremony in Berlin on June 25. Heidi Levine, a freelance photojournalist based in Jerusalem, is the inaugural Award recipient. The $20,000 prize was created to honor the courage and dedication of Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed while reporting in Afghanistan in 2014.
AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus (1965-2014) dedicated her life to documenting conflict and its impact on the people of war-torn regions. For her compassion and commitment to capture the whole picture, the IWMF recognized her with the 2005 Courage in Journalism Award. Niedringhaus died while reporting from Afghanistan on April 4, 2014.
Following her death, the IWMF launched the Anja Niedringhaus Award with financial support from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The Award will be given annually to a woman photojournalist whose work best reflects the courage and dedication of Anja Niedringhaus.
The award jury recognized photojournalist Heidi Levine as the winner for her stunning and powerful images. “Her courage and commitment to the story in Gaza is unwavering. She documents tragic events under dire circumstances while displaying a depth of compassion for the people she encounters,” the jury wrote in their selection statement.
Levine is an American photojournalist who has made a career of working in conflict and post-conflict areas. She has covered the critical moments in the Middle East including the revolutions in Egypt and Libya, the crisis in Syria, the plight of Iraqi refugees living in Jordan, Syria, and Sweden, and spent one month embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq focused on documenting the lives of female soldiers. She has also worked in Afghanistan, Georgia, India, and Nepal. Her photographs have appeared, often as cover stories, in leading international publications.
Two additional photojournalists received recognition from the jury. Photographer Anastasia Vlasova received an Honorable Mention for her great courage and dedication to covering the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine at extreme personal risk. AP photographer Rebecca Blackwell received an Honorable Mention for her coverage of the Central African Republic, demonstrating tremendous courage working in difficult conditions.
Thursday’s ceremony in Berlin will be hosted by CNN’s Chief International Correspondent [popup url=”http://www.iwmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Amanpour.html” height=”400″ width=”500″ scrollbars=”yes” alt=”popup”]Christiane Amanpour[/popup] and ZDF German Television’s news anchor [popup url=”http://www.iwmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Hahlweg.html” height=”400″ width=”500″ scrollbars=”yes” alt=”popup”]Barbara Hahlweg[/popup].
Warrick PageLevine in Jerusalem
Associated PressKathy Gannon (left) and Anja Niedringhaus (right) on the border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan
ZDF/Carmen SauerbreiBarbara Hahlweg