Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 17 December 2021

Welcome to the final Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up for 2021. This week we look back on the year that was and some of the stories we covered.

Next year we will be back on 28 January. 2022 heralds the 10th anniversary of Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up, a labour of love that is read by folks around the world.

2021 has been a challenging year for many, and as we continue to learn to live with Covid, grapple with complex issues around democracy and liberty, and the climate crisis, photography plays an integral role in helping us to not only understand our world, but take positive action to secure our collective future.

Wishing all Photojournalism Now readers a safe and happy festive period, whatever that looks like for you. Alison Stieven-Taylor

2021 in Review – Some of the stories we covered

In January Iranian photographer Solmaz Daryani won the 2021 FotoEvidence W Award for her project The Eyes of Earth.

In February Tom Goldner released his new book Do Brumbies Dream in Red? and the exhibition, It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, a survey covering 40 years of Australian documentary photographer Ruth Maddison’s practice, opened in Melbourne.

Tom Goldner Do Brumbies Dream In Red?
(C) Ruth Maddison

In March Michael Grecco released his latest book Punk Post Punk New Wave: Onstage, Backstage, In Your Face, 1978-1991 and we published Alison Stieven-Taylor’s interview with legendary US photojournalist Steve Schapiro.

Musician Billy Idol poses for a portrait back stage one month after his debut solo album release of ‘Billy Idol’ in Boston, Massachusetts on August 01, 1982 (C) Michael Grecco
David Bowie (C) Steve Schapiro

In April Mads Nissen won World Press Photo of the Year for The First Embrace which captures Rosa Luzia Lunardi (85) being embraced by nurse Adriana Silva da Costa Souza, at Viva Bem care home, São Paulo, Brazil, on 5 August 2020, and Mayu Kanamori launched Untitled.Showa an online portal “for solving a mystery and making new meanings through found photographs.”

In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Mads Nissen, Politiken, Panos Pictures, which won the World Press Photo of the Year award, and the first prize in the General News Singles category, titled The First Embrace, shows Rosa Luzia Lunardi (85) embraced by nurse Adriana Silva da Costa Souza, at Viva Bem care home, Sao Paulo, Brazil, on August 5, 2020. (Mads Nissen, Politiken, Panos Pictures, World Press Photo via AP)
Untitled.Showa 

In May we shared Alison Stieven-Taylor’s interview with Takeshi Ishikawa who assisted Eugene Smith on his Minamata project, we also celebrated renowned Sydney photographer Emmanuel Angelicas’ devotion to documenting his suburb of Marrickville, and shared our review of the book Women Street Photographers which revealed one of our favourite images for the year.

‘Women of the Sea’, 2019 © Orna Naor featured in Women Street Photographers
(C) Emmanuel Angelicas
Eugene Smith (C) Takeshi Ishikawa

In June Robin Hammond and Witness Change’s latest and most ambitious project, 1000 Dreams launched, and we reviewed the winner of the 2021 FotoEvidence Book Award Red Flag by the collective Covid Latam which documents the progress of Covid-19 across Latin America.

Martina Veramea Rodriguez, 87, shows a collage she made of family members in her apartment in Caracas, Venezuela, May 8 2020 (C) Andrea Hernanedez Briceno

In July we published Alison Stieven-Taylor’s review of Imagine: Reflections on Peace, an extraordinary book that in pictures and words attempts to answer one of the most complex questions in the history of humanity: “why is it so difficult to make a good peace when it is so easy to imagine?” We also shared Alison’s review of the Olive Cotton biography and published one of the most bizarre and disturbing images of the year from Gabriele Galimberti’s The Ameriguns.

A woman from Srebrenica, Yugoslavia screams at a United Nations soldier in a refugee camp in Tuzla, Bosnia, July 17, 1995. Over 7,000 men were executed as the United Nations Safe Haven in Srebrenica was overrun by Serb forces, and thousands of bodies were found in mass graves around Srebrenica and still have not been identified (C) Ron Haviv
Teacup Ballet 1935 (C) Olive Cotton

 Gabriele Galimberti’s The Ameriguns

In August we showcased six visual stories commissioned in the first round of the Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative a joint project involving World Press Photo Foundation, the Message in a Photo Foundation, and the Solutions Journalism Network. Over two weeks, we also previewed the 33rd edition of Visa pour l’Image the longest running photojournalism festival in the world.


Yanett Castro is the president of the fisher women’s collective Almejeras de Santa Cruzdresses. Here she dresses before entering into the mangroves outside the town of Aguamitas to collect wild oysters and clams. The work is gruellingly physical, wading through thick, sludge-like mud in and amongst the mangrove roots, and requires every inch of skin to be covered and protected from spiny branches and dangerously sharp shells. 1 June 2021 (C) Celia Talbot for Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative
Rachel Lloyd comforting her husband Paul who has had a flashback. While looking for light bulbs in the supermarket near his home in Salt Lake City, he stopped to smell a scented candle. Suddenly he sank to the floor, hiding his face and sobbing. The candle had the same fragrance as the shampoo he had been using in the shower at Army basic training in 2007, when he was attacked and raped by another recruit. © Mary F. Calvert Winner of the 2021 Pierre & Alexandra Boulat award, Visa pour l’Image – Perpignan 2021

In September New York festival Photoville turned 10, we shared a photo essay by Ashfika Rahman a Bangladeshi documentary photographer on adolescent mothers in Kamrangirchar, a district of Dhaka, and featured a new short film Living While Black, In Japan by Shiho Fukada (filmmaker and photojournalist) and Keith Bedford (filmmaker and photo editor).

(C) Ashfika Rahman

As We Are: Collaborative Portraits with Uganda’s Gulu Women With Disabilities Union by Esther Ruth Mbabazi, Photoville 2021

In October in the lead to COP26 in Glasgow we revisited David T. Hanson’s Waste Land, an epic book that documents the “superfund” sites in the United States, those considered the most contaminated, poisoned by military and industrial waste. Sites where the toxicity levels threaten life. We also took a look at Ron Haviv’s exhibition Liberty that showcased images never before seen from the Bosnian War and featured the finalists in the 2021 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism.

A Muslim in Bijelina, Bosnia begs for his life after capture by Arkan’s Tigers in the spring of 1992 (C) Ron Haviv
Walkley finalist Dean Sewell, The Sun-Herald, “Of Mice and Men”

In November Head On Photo festival opened in Sydney. One of the exhibitions featured in our preview was Angus Mordant’s The Mourning Undertaker. We also showcased the winners of the Head On Photo Awards, and the work of 2021 Leica Oskar Barnack Award winner Venezuelan photographer Ana María Arévalo Gosen.

Funeral Director, Omar Rodriguez, 41, inventories a room full of cremation boxes mostly containing the bodies of deceased Covid-19 patients. Due to the extreme number of daily deaths in New York the funeral home was forced to truck bodies interstate for cremation, a process which required meticulous care and record keeping. “We have handled 300 bodies over the last 7 weeks” said Omar “Thats what we usually handle in a year!” Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Photo by Angus Mordant
Winner of the Head On Portrait Prize 2021: South African photographer Gideon Mendel is known for his work documenting the affects of apartheid, AIDS and climate change. The winning photo is of sculptor Jenni Bruce at her burnt home in Upper Brogo, New South Wales, and was taken in January 2020.
2021 Head On Landscape prize winner: Australian photographer Aletheia Casey was in London when the fires ripped through the country. She says, “This work is a personal reaction to the Australian fires of 2019/2020, which almost destroyed my family home. As I watched the fires from London, feeling powerless to help family and friends, I painted on prints from my last time in Australia with oils and inks. I reworked them in an attempt to implant my fear and powerlessness into the imagery.”

And that brings us to December. This month we reviewed I Am Warning You the new book from Rafal Milach and showcased Dina Goldstein’s OG Punk exhibition.

(C) Rafal Milach
The Cretin (C) Dina Goldstein

You can see all the stories we’ve covered by clicking on HOME and selecting a date. Subscribe (it’s free) and get Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up in your inbox every…Friday.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this blog. The featured image on this week’s post is by Vincent Munier: Mating dance of the Japanese red-crowned crane (“tancho”). Hokkaido, Japan.

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