This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – the 2021 winner of the FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo – Red Flag.
Red Flag – Covid Latam
It seems appropriate as we come out of our fourth Covid-19 lockdown in Melbourne (Australia) this week, to showcase Red Flag by Covid Latam, the 2021 winner of the FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo.
Red Flag documents the progress of Covid-19 across Latin America. It features work from the photo collective, Covid Latam, a group of 18 photographers (nine men and nine women) working in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
“Red Flag” is a call for help and symbolises the piece of red fabric that impoverished Colombians hang outside their homes to indicate that they literally have no food. This red flag is a sign of desperation, but one also of hope. Those who see the red flag give what they can, but in a pandemic, few can live on the generosity of others, especially when cities are locked down.
In the moment of coronavirus, the inequities that societies ignore, are laid bare. Those who are living to survive are marginalised even further in times of crisis. With Covid-19 those who are reliant on daily work as a matter of survival are unable to quarantine. They risk liberty and their health in defying stay at home orders.
FotoEvidence has a history of making brave decisions in its choice of the book award winner and in its editing and design of the final article. Presenting the work of 18 photographers in a single book is ambitious. How do you create a cohesive narrative when there are so many voices, so many issues, so many locales? Open the pages of Red Flag and you’ll find the answer.
Red Flag weaves a narrative that is both emotive and evidentiary delivering unique insights and perspectives on the experience of Covid-19 beyond the news headlines, the statistics and the political machinations of blame and fear.
As a result, this amazing body of work, through the lens of local knowledge and cultural connection, reveals the impact of this pandemic on a region we rarely have the opportunity to see at a grassroots level.
When we look back on Covid-19, Red Flag will be one of the most important books of that time and is further proof of why photojournalism can still be considered a witness to history.
Covid Latam Photographers are: Rodrigo Abd, Johis Alarcón, Sara Aliaga, Eliana Aponte, Matilde Campodónico, Alejandro Cegarra, Federico Ríos Escobar, Ana Carolina Fernandes, Fabiola Ferrero, Andrea Hernández, Tamara Merino, Sebastian Gil Miranda, Pablo Piovano, Fred Ramos, Iván Valencia, Rafael Vilela, Daniele Volpe, Glorianna Ximendaz
You can buy Red Flag here.