Thursday, April 28, 2005

Paolo Pellegrin Honored: Why it Matters

The Overseas Press Club has given photographer Paola Pellegrin the Olivier Rebbot Award for best photographic reporting from abroad in magazines and books for the series How Did Darfur Happen? which appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. (A copy of the story by Scott Anderson is now available from the Sudan Tribune.) The awards committee notes:

These pictures speak a totally different visual language than the usual reportage. They are very sophisticated and impressionistic. They unify the human plight of this story with the landscape in a dramatic way, creating a vision unlike anyone else has shown in a much-covered story. The pictures are unique and unforgettable.

Meanwhile the government of Sudan continues to harrass and detain photographers, most recently Brad Clift of the Hartford Courant, whose situation remains uncertain. Also of note, a student from the University of Southern California who was working with a humanitarian aid agency in Sudan had been arrested for carrying a camera into a hospital. He is now safe and sound back in California. (ht: Coalition for Darfur.)

It should be obvious why awards such as those given by the Overseas Press Club matter, but I'll say a few words anyway. Merely to travel to Darfur requires courage; to carry a camera extraordinarily so. And to put one's heart into a public showing, finally, to fully lend one's creative impulse and sensitivity to the telling of an urgent and difficult story requires a courage and integrity beyond measure. Financial rewards alone are incommensurate with the gratitude we owe those individuals who take such risks on our behalf, that we might better understand parts of our world that would otherwise seem remote, devoid of meaning and life.

One of Pellegrin's unique and unforgettable images:

┬ęPaolo Pellegrin/Magnum, for the New York Times

posted by Fido the Yak at 5:08 PM.


Blogger Catez said...

Hi Fido,
I'm going to host The Darfur Collection next week - a colllection of posts from various bloggers on Darfur-Sudan. You are welcome to send me a post. Details are here at The Darfur Collection. It's open to all bloggers. I'm in the Coalition for Darfur and would like to raise people's understanding on this and represent diverse bloggers posts. Thanks.

May 08, 2005 6:52 PM  

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