Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 20 August 2021

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – part one of the preview of the 33rd edition of Visa pour l’Image which is set to open on 28 August with crowds!  


Visa pour l’Image 2021 – Preview: Part One

Visa pour l’Image, the longest running, and most significant, photojournalism festival in the world opens in Perpignan, France on 28 August and runs until 26 September, with the first week dedicated to professionals.

For anyone who has been to Visa, the festival provides an extraordinary opportunity to view the work of photojournalists, both established and emerging, from around the globe. The Professional Week provides a unique opportunity for photojournalist, photo editors, agencies and others involved in the industry to meet up and discuss what’s happening in the sector and where to next.

Last year Perpignan was impacted by Covid-19, as were events everywhere. Usually during the professional week, this picturesque regional town, near the border of France and Spain, is flooded with around 1000 photojournalism folk. In the warm summer evenings, the outdoor venue of Campo Santo would be humming with hundreds crowded in to watch the projections. Exhibition spaces such as the majestic Couvent des Minimes and the Église des Dominicains would have long queues. The import of photojournalism affirmed on walls and screens throughout the city.

In 2021 festival founder and director Jean-François Leroy will once again welcome people back to Perpignan, the program featuring exhibitions as well as screenings of “around one hundred of the best stories produced by photojournalists over the past year. The reports sent in from so many different countries provide clear proof that the world has not ground to a halt,” says Leroy.

“While the pandemic has turned societies upside down, and now stands as the major worldwide event of the early 21st century, there have been other crises, as seen for example in Myanmar, Nagorno-Karabakh, Ethiopia and Colombia where Covid-19 has not stopped the relentless course of events and conflicts. As is always the case, photojournalists have been present there, providing invaluable reports on these chapters in history.”

“Their work is of course the result of talent and dedication, but we must not overlook certain outlets in the printed press and agencies which, despite an increasingly difficult financial situation, both in France and other regions, have continued to secure a reliable supply of fact-checked reports by sending their own journalists into the field…In the current climate, with new forces seeking a return to the dark ages, where indignant outrage is so prevalent, and at a time when we are both victims of and participants in the circulation of misinformation together with the anxiety it produces, these reports are an opportunity for us to stop and think, thereby gaining a better understanding of the world we live in. Here we see the purpose of the light at Campo Santo and Visa pour l’Image, for it is through greater understanding that we can allay fear,” Leroy concludes.

ABIR ABDULLAH – Climate Migrants in Bangladesh

Villagers fishing in a canal after most of the ponds were submerged in floodwaters. Sariakandi, Bogra District, Bangladesh. © Abir Abdullah

“Nature has never made it easy to live in Bangladesh, situated in the Ganges Delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers. Most of the country is less than ten meters above sea level, and is swamped by annual floods and battered by cyclones and tornadoes, while the interior can be subject to drought. With nearly 150 million inhabitants, it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and as more warnings on climate change appear, Bangladesh is set to be an increasing source of climate migrants.” Abir Abdullah is a Bangladeshi photojournalist and a former staff photographer with Drik Picture Library. He is currently a photographer for the European Press Agency in Bangladesh. 

Noon prayer inside a flooded mosque. Gaibandha District, Bangladesh. © Abir Abdullah
A woman carrying some basic essentials from her flooded home to a dry place. Sariakandi, Bogra District, Bangladesh. © Abir Abdullah

MYOP for the European Commission – Crisis Upon Crisis: Refugees and the Pandemic

Mahmud and his wife fled Syria when Turkish forces took over the Kurdish-held city of Afrin. They survive on financial aid. Beirut, Lebanon, December 2020. © Pascal Maitre/MYOP for the European Commission

“After more than a year of the Covid-19 crisis, the situation is patently clear: people who were already vulnerable before the pandemic have been hardest hit, with major financial and social consequences. This has been observed, for example, in Italy and France, and is also the case in less developed countries. Five photographers with the MYOP agency – Guillaume Binet Agnès Dherbeys Olivier Laban-Mattei Stéphane Lagoutte Pascal Maitre – have covered the situation in Bangladesh, Lebanon, Ecuador, Haiti and Uganda, reporting on refugees and displaced persons, showing the cumulative impact of two crises.”

With the inflation of the local currency, many Haitians go across the border into the Dominican Republic to find work and buy supplies. Ouanaminthe, Haiti, November 2020 © Guillaume Binet/MYOP for the European Commission
Kleidy fled insecurity in Venezuela. She and others are now at Casa Isabel, an emergency shelter for migrant children. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the center has had to reduce the number of residents, but Kleidy and her baby were taken in. Quito, Ecuador, February 1, 2021. © Agnès Dherbeys / MYOP for the European Commission.
The pandemic requires close medical monitoring, but health facilities in Kutupalong refugee camp are limited. Southern Bangladesh, January 2021. © Olivier Laban-Mattei/MYOP for the European Commission
Sunday mass at Kyaka II Refugee Settlement. Pascal (standing) and other residents have started a club. He helps look after newly arrived refugees, and assists with health care. Uganda, November 2020. © Stéphane Lagoutte/MYOP for the European Commission

GILES CLARKE for UN/OCHA – Yemen: Conflict + Chaos

The girl and her family who fled fighting have been in Marib for a week. They are waiting to see if they have qualified for UN emergency assistance of $150. UNHCR cash distribution center, Marib, Yemen. December 2020. © Giles Clarke for UN/OCHA

“As Yemen enters a seventh year of war, a despairing population struggles under dark clouds of conflict, tribal divisions and external political meddling. Yemen: Conflict + Chaos is an ongoing visual record of a crippled country coping with an increasingly uncertain future.” Giles Clarke is an award-winning British photojournalist who is based in New York. Clarke has covered the crisis in Yemen for several years.

East African migrants who have arrived by smuggler boats from North Africa waiting for a health check by a mobile medical team from the International Organization for Migration. Ras Al-Ara, Lahj, Yemen, November 2020. © Giles Clarke for UN/OCHA
Children in what was their classroom until the school was hit in June 2015. They now have lessons in UNICEF tents. Since the war began in 2015, more than four million children have been unable to continue their schooling. Aal Okab school, Saada City, Yemen, April 2017. © Giles Clarke for UN/OCHA

DARCY PADILLA / Agence VU’ – American Cycles

The World’s Largest Laundromat in a working-class suburb of Chicago is a safe social place. © Darcy Padilla / Agence VU’ French Ministry of Culture production grant for female photojournalists

“The world’s largest laundromat measures 1,300 square meters, has 300 machines, and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wash cycles spin endlessly in this peaceful haven between work and home in a working-class, largely Hispanic suburb of Chicago where the laundromat is a safe social place.” Darcy Padilla is a multi-award winning American photographer, the co-chair of the FotoEvidence Foundation, and a university lecturer.

Rochell (16) likes the donuts, and before Covid they had pizza. “I started to wash my own clothes when I was 9 years old.” Rochell dreams about being a forensic scientist. © Darcy Padilla / Agence VU’ French Ministry of Culture production grant for female photojournalists
Loyal customers of the World’s Largest Laundromat can cover extra distance to get there, going past other laundromats on the way. © Darcy Padilla / Agence VU’ French Ministry of Culture production grant for female photojournalists

FATIMA SHBAIR / Getty Images – A Life under Siege

Palestinian martyrs killed in an airstrike. Gaza City, May 12, 2021. © Fatima Shbair / Getty Images Winner of the 2021 Ville de Perpignan Rémi Ochlik Award.

Fatima Shbair is a 24-year-old Palestinian photographer and the winner of the 2021 Ville de Perpignan Rémi Ochlik Award. Shbair shot “her first report on a conflict in 2021, in her home city of Gaza. Her work shows the damage caused by the recent attacks, and also the living conditions of the two million people living in the Gaza Strip and unable to leave the enclave. Sometimes they have no access to health care, electricity or drinking water, but they take up life’s challenges and maintain hopes for a better future.”

A young Palestinian girl in what was once the family home. Beit Hanun, northern Gaza Strip, May 24, 2021. © Fatima Shbair / Getty Images Winner of the 2021 Ville de Perpignan Rémi Ochlik Award
After the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas discovering what remains of destroyed homes. Beit Hanun, northern Gaza Strip, May 22, 2021. © Fatima Shbair / Getty Images Winner of the 2021 Ville de Perpignan Rémi Ochlik Award

ANONYMOUS PHOTOGRAPHER IN MYANMAR For The New York Times – Myanmar’s “Spring Revolution”

Protestors urging police to join the people as thousands gathered to demonstrate in support of the National League for Democracy. Yangon, Myanmar, February 6, 2021. © Anonymous Photographer in Myanmar for The New York Times
Medical students, doctors and engineers joined the tens of thousands of demonstrators protesting against the military coup. Mandalay, Myanmar, February 26, 2021. © Anonymous Photographer in Myanmar for The New York Times
Young protestors had fire-extinguishers while the police and military forces used tear-gas, sound grenades and rubber bullets in the crack down on anti-coup demonstrations. Yangon, Myanmar, March 7, 2021. © Anonymous Photographer in Myanmar for The New York Times

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