Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 27 November 2020

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – the Australian Photography Awards Documentary Category winner, plus photojournalist Yunghi Kim‘s grant for freelance photojournalists is open for entries.

Next week, the final instalment in our 2020 Photojournalism Now: In Conversation video interview series will be published featuring James Whitlow-Delano. In the interim, please check out the other interviews in this series: Robin HammondRenée C. ByerSean GallagherLisette Poole and Anastasia Taylor-Lind.

Also, this week The Guardian ran the story – ‘Daggy dad’ or ‘propaganda’? The media’s growing use of official Scott Morrison pictures. The article raises important issues around the use of official photographs and how they shape, and narrow, the narrative presenting a censored view. Under the Morrison government media censorship has tightened – think about how little we saw of the detention crisis on Manus Island. I don’t have an issue with the PM having a personal photographer, but if the official pictures are the only photographs we are seeing, that’s a problem for democracy.

And the winner of the Documentary Category 2020 is….

22/05/20 11:09 am, Williamstown, Victoria. Robyn Becker is in the final stages of terminal breast and gastric cancer and was told last week she could only have hours to live. Her sister Jennifer flew from California to Melbourne to be with her but is quarantined for two weeks. She has been given special leave from the hotel to be with her for an hour at a time. “Each visit, our time is cut short and it’s devastating” says Robyn. Jennifer understands the necessity of the quarantine but says that there could be some flexibility for those in palliative care, “I want to be with her, I want talk to her, I want to hold her hand, comfort her and hug her.” Robyn would sadly pass away on July 10th, seven weeks later. Photograph by Christopher Hopkins for The Age

Christopher Hopkins took out first prize for his incredibly emotional photograph “I want to hold her hand.” I was a judge for this category, and for me this picture sums up a year when an invisible foe, Covid-19, tore families asunder. This picture of two sisters, one on either side of the window, conveys the emotional abyss into which this pandemic has thrown society, stealing the opportunity to give comfort, to express love, to say goodbye, to have one last hug.

2nd Place went to Isabella Melody Moore for her joyful photograph of Bruce Pascoe.

For the first time in around 200 years Australian native plant Mandadyan Nalluk (dancing grass) is harvested on Indigenous Author and Farmer Bruce Pascoe’s property in East Gippsland, Victoria for the purpose of making bread (C) Isabella Melody Moore

3rd Place went to Rachael Tagg for this emotive picture of a child’s experience of last summer’s bushfires.

A Black Summer Childhood. The Summer of 2019-2020 was not a typical Aussie summer, with more than half of our Shoalhaven region burning for weeks on end. On this day, our home became an emergency shelter for family and friends who were evacuated. We tried to keep our 3 year old son’s world as normal as possible, but the chaos and change surrounding him often forced him to stop and look up. “Mum, why is the sky burning?” (C) Rachael Tagg

The Yunghi Grant – applications open 

American photojournalist Yunghi Kim is giving back to the photojournalism community by gifting five grants of $3000 USD, money she has recovered from unauthorised use of her work. She’s chasing the copyright thieves and making them pay up and also encouraging other photographers to register their work to protect themselves and their peers. The deadline is midnight, EST, Tuesday, December 15, 2020.  Find out more here.

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