Yet another year where photojournalists have been prominent in tragedy.
First there was Afghanistan, then Ukraine, not to mention so many other theaters of
war, violence and atrocities standing as clear and often cruel evidence to prove that
photojournalism is a leader in advocating human rights, condemning war crimes, and
defending freedom of information, i.e. the right to critical information in a context of
Photojournalists, through their physical bravery and their quest for truth, in their
investigations constantly pursuing facts and evidence, deserve our gratitude. They
are soldiers of peace and deserve our active support so that they can carry out their
professional duties under increasingly difficult and adverse circumstances.
Yet another year, and this time we shall be together in Perpignan, celebrating the
city known internationally as the capital of photojournalism extending a welcome
to photojournalists from across the world, with participation from French national
authorities, the region of Occitania, the département des Pyrénées-Orientales,
Perpignan Méditerranée Métropole, and the City of Perpignan, together with all the
partners from the private sector and the different teams working on the festival to make
Visa pour l'Image - Perpignan the major event that it is. All parties concerned are
pleased and proud to speak up, to speak out, for the 34 th time, stating their admiration
for photojournalism and reiterating their support for photography.
My personal ambition is for us to emerge from the crisis of the pandemic and have
the festival renew ties and acquaintances with everyone involved in photojournalism
around the world, with all the professionals who have chosen to work in photography
and are doing so with such spirit across the globe.
I wish to invite not only the professionals in the world of photography, but also
amateurs, and all advocates and supporters of freedom to come and explore the
many exhibitions displayed in the city of Perpignan, and to come and marvel at the
stunning evening programs on the giant screen in Campo Santo.
Yes, come and applaud the work of photojournalists whose range of interests and
commitments also go beyond the horrors of the world to perceive the delicacy and
beauty of nature, the environment and the human soul.
Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres: President of the Association Visa pour l'Image - Perpignan
Vyacheslav Veremiy - Andrea Rocchelli - Andrei Mironov - Igor Kornelyuk - Anton
Voloshin - Anatoly Klyan - Andrei Stenin - Serhiy Nikolayev - Pavel Sheremet - Vadym
Komarov - Yevhenii Sakun - Roman Nezhyborets - Brent Renaud - Maks Levin -
Oleksandra Kuvshynova - Pierre Zakrzewski - Oksana Baulina - Mantas Kverdaravicius
- Vira Hyrych - Oleksandr Makhov
Since 2014, the Committee to Protect Journalists has recorded the deaths of twenty
journalists in Ukraine, twenty at the time of writing this editorial. Eight years have gone
by since Crimea was annexed and fighting broke out in the separatist regions of the
Donbas - eight years of war being waged in eastern Europe.
But Ukraine is not the only country where journalists are losing their lives. Since the
beginning of the year, far from headline news stories, some ten reporters have been
killed in cold blood in Mexico. And no one could forget the death of Shireen Abu Akleh,
shot in the head, reportedly by Israeli forces.
But this year Ukraine has been the main focus. So what should a festival of
photojournalism such as Visa pour l'Image do in response to such an event?
In September last year, pictures were screened at Campo Santo showing Afghans
fleeing the return of the Taliban, scrambling over planes on the tarmac at Kabul airport.
Who could have thought then that such images would be swept from world headlines?
No one perhaps, but certainly we had not imagined the prospect. This year we will
obviously be featuring Ukraine, giving the story the coverage it deserves, but we shall
not be restricting the program to one single event, no matter how important it is.
What's more, this latest war has highlighted, yet again, so many of the issues
confronting professional photographers, while also uncovering new developments in
photography. Key reports have presented the news in the midst of the confusion of war,
with substantial input from members of the visual investigation team of The New York
Times, working together with their reporters in the field and presenting incontrovertible
evidence to contradict the ''fake news'' spread by Russia on the Bucha massacre. And
they have provided evidence of atrocities being committed on both sides, confirming
the authenticity of a video showing Ukrainian soldiers executing a Russian soldier.
Such developments should not be seen as yet one more nail in the coffin of ''conventional''
photojournalism, but rather as an additional tool in the news ecosystem providing even
stronger backing for stories reported in still pictures and which, here at Visa pour l'Image,
is what we have been acclaiming and encouraging for so many years.
Looking inside the ecosystem, credit must be given to the exemplary and essential
work done by the news agencies (AFP, AP, Reuters, Getty and more). Their networks
of reporters, fixers and sources, their logistics and know-how make it possible for
media around the world to present day-to-day coverage of the war. In September, we
will have the privilege of presenting these pictures, exhibited on the walls in Perpignan
and on the giant screen at Campo Santo for all our visitors to see.
Jean-François Leroy: Director-General, Visa pour l'Image - Perpignan
Un migrant sous sa tente dans un camp de fortune en périphérie de Calais. 14 août 2020. © Sameer Al-Doumy/ AFP Lauréat du Visa d’or humanitaire du Comité international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR) 2022
Winner of the 2022 Humanitarian Visa d'or Award - International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
The report, covering the period from August 2020
to May 2022, presents the migration crisis as
experienced in the north of France.
Many migrants have spent years crossing country
after country, fleeing war or natural disaster, then
reach the city of Calais on the French side of
the strait that is the narrowest part of the English
Channel. There they spend weeks in makeshift
camps hoping and waiting to reach the United
Kingdom, their ultimate destination.
People traffickers charge 3,000 euros for each
passenger boarding an inflatable dinghy with a
small outboard motor to cross the Channel and
land illegally in England in their quest for a new life.
On November 24, 2021, an inflatable dinghy with
27 migrants on board sank off the coast of Calais.
But such tragedies have no effect on migration
policies, yet, according to observers, such
policies aimed at border security are the cause of
Between January 2021 and November 24 when
the tragedy occurred, a total of 31,500 migrants
crossed the Channel from France to the United
Kingdom. For, since Brexit, with more stringent
security checks at the port of Calais and the
entrance to the Eurotunnel where migrants hide
on board vehicles, more and more have been
attempting to cross aboard flimsy dinghies. The
crossing is fraught with danger and now, after
the Mediterranean, the fear is that the English
Channel could become a new maritime cemetery.
Ana María Arévalo Gosen
Winner of the 2021 Camille Lepage Award
Días Eternos: Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala (2017-2022)
We must not forget that when a woman
is in prison, it is not one individual but an
entire social network that is suffering. In
the 21st century, the witch hunt continues:
women excluded remain trapped.
Lisset Coba, 2015
The dire situation of women in Latin American
prisons is rarely visible but has repercussions
throughout the region. The prison system is in a
critical state almost everywhere in Latin America,
and a woman behind bars can have a negative
impact on an entire generation.
This photographic work has focused on the
situation of women in prisons in Venezuela, El
Salvador and Guatemala, causing situations of
great vulnerability and lifetime stigma.
The set-up of most custodial centers cannot
provide separate facilities for men and women.
In Venezuela, for example, there is no remand
center for women only. Prisons for women, such
as Ilopango in El Salvador, have the same design
and construction as men's prisons. Prisoners
are not housed according to the offenses
committed or by age group, and they can be
held for long periods before their cases come to
court. For transgender women, the experience is
particularly cruel as they are denied their chosen
sexual identity and are held in custody with male
For female prisoners there is no assistance
offered to help them return to normal life and
mainstream society; they are locked away in
an atmosphere of distress and suffering, in
overcrowded cells, deprived of everything, held
for interminable remand periods, in violation of
their fundamental human rights.
© Ana María Arévalo Gosen
Winner of the 2021 Camille Lepage Award
What's more, women have fewer visitors than male
prisoners, yet they desperately need such visits
to survive the experience as contact with friends
and family is an essential way of maintaining
moral and mental health; it also provides for their
material needs as the national authorities fail to
supply proper food, medication and clothing.
No doubt the most difficult challenge in prison for
so many is for the mothers of young children. Of
the three countries featured in this report, there is
only one prison facility for women with children.
The mothers are obviously pleased to have their
babies and infants with them, but feel guilty for
inflicting such living conditions on them. And once
the child reaches a certain age (3 in Venezuela,
4 in Guatemala and 6 in El Salvador) they can no
longer stay with their mothers.
Yet despite all this, the women do have their own
life, forming strong friendships and displaying
great solidarity and resilience. Living together,
they share everything: food, bedding, clothing
and their own private stories. Their bodies
become symbols of resistance as they rebel
against a system which has deprived them of
so much. They tattoo their bodies, and do their
make-up and hairdos, because there are some
things that cannot be taken away.
Once the women leave prison, traumatized and
rejected, theirs is a life without hope, without
employment and with no support network outside
prison. When released, they are therefore likely
to return to the gangs they were involved with
before, and return to a life of crime.
Ana María Arévalo Gosen
The Tara Ocean Foundation with the participation of Le Figaro Magazine
The Twelfth Expedition of the Schooner Tara
The month of October 2022 marks the end of
the twelfth Tara Ocean Foundation expedition.
In late 2020, the Microbiome Mission set off with
the vast ambition of studying invisible life in the
ocean, investigating microscopic organisms little
known even to scientists, and yet they are the
foundations of the greater marine ecosystem.
Over a total of 22 months, international specialists
in biology and biogeochemistry together with
skilled sailors have spent periods of time on
board the schooner Tara, following paths once
sailed by famous ships such as the HMS Beagle
with Charles Darwin on board and Ernest
Shackleton's Endurance, and going as far as is
possible across the planet.
The Microbiome Mission is a saga with many
chapters, and the exhibition has focused on one
episode in Tara Ocean history: the expedition on
the Weddell Sea, east of the Antarctic Peninsula.
In the face of roaring winds, the crew sailed
around giant icebergs, studying the melting of the
ice cap and the impact on the ocean which is one
of the world's largest carbon sinks. Almost 30%
of human CO2 emissions are captured by the
oceans, and 40% of that is in the Southern Ocean.
As ice melts at an ever faster and dangerous rate,
as temperatures increase in Antarctica, reaching
a record high in March 2022, it is essential to
gain an understanding of such effects requiring
humans to change and adapt.
Oceanographic expeditions are usually
conducted on board huge icebreakers or other
large vessels, but the Tara Ocean Foundation
initiated its small-scale model in 2003 and has
continued to use it, thus providing convincing
evidence that scientific studies can be carried out
on board less costly sailing boats, offering greater
flexibility for logistics and technical facilities and
causing less damage to the environment. The
Tara Ocean program, conducted in partnership
with UNESCO, the European Union and leading
international research institutes, has brought
change to the way basic research is conducted,
and continues to sail the world as did the great
explorers of the past.
, Feature Reporter, Le Figaro Magazine
Lucas Barioulet/Le Monde
Winner of the 2022 Ville de Perpignan Rémi Ochlik Visa d'or Award
Ukraine: war as a daily experience
5.30am, Moscow, February 24, 2022. Vladimir
Putin was seated at his desk and announced the
start of a special military operation in Ukraine.
The first strikes hit the country, and President
Volodymyr Zelensky called on his people to
take up arms. The life of millions of Ukrainians
changed in a matter of moments.
In a hospital in Kyiv, a mother is at her son's bedside;
she has been there for three months; he was
wounded in shellfire and his leg was amputated.
In what remains of Borodyanka, an elderly woman
is asking for directions; she is lost in her own
home town. In Lviv, the curator of a museum is
contemplating the empty walls. And a mother weeps
for her son, her second to die in combat.
Here it is not just land that is lost; it is an entire
country, its identity, heritage, and economy.
Some, people have had no other choice than to
flee; others have chosen to remain. Life is now
in underground shelters, in trains and tunnels, to
the sound of sirens as death comes from the sky,
and the trauma of war permeates every thought. ''I
saw a video showing Russian soldiers engulfed in
flames, and I laughed. For a moment there I didn't
know who I was; everything had changed. I would
never have thought I could behave like that.''
Alina, who lives in Kyiv, was telling her story.
The pictures here were done on assignment
between March and May for the daily newspaper
Le Monde. They are my endeavor to show the
everyday experience of war, to show the impact
it has on the people, presenting a documentary
record of their life which, while torn apart, still
continues. We realize that war is more than just
weapons and destruction, that it has an impact on
the lives of millions, some of them trapped in their
homes, their cities, their country. At a time when
news reporting has been exploited, distorted and
instrumentalized, it is essential to show the real
experience of war.
In the field are people doing their jobs: the fixers,
doctors, volunteers and soldiers, and when
we leave they remain, still working there. The
experience is on both the outside and the inside,
revealing what human beings can do, for better
or for worse, what can be seen and experienced,
and what the limits are. There is waiting, even
boredom, there is fear, doubt, a sense of
absurdity; there is life and death. These pictures
can only convey a split second of everyday
life out there where war is present, all the time,
Nelle stanze della mente
Femmes, hommes et enfants vivent tous ensemble. Centre d’accueil psychiatrique d’Avrankou, Bénin, 2021. © Valerio Bispuri
My work tells the tale of mental illness today.
This is the fourth chapter on freedom lost (after
Encerrados, Paco and Prigionieri), continuing my
extensive, in-depth study exploring the world of
people hidden far from the public gaze.
Venturing into the realm of mental distress is a
complex, delicate and demanding experience,
and the challenge of presenting it through
photography is even more complex, delicate
and demanding. Who are these ''mad'' men and
women? What do they feel? In a bid to find
answers to these questions, I had to become
part of their universe. Their movements and
expressions are lost in an inner world, often totally
cut off from the surrounding environment which
they may see as hostile or even terrifying, a world
that can lead to self-destruction.
The starting point I chose was Africa, there where
mental illness has only recently been given formal
recognition. This makes it difficult to work out
how many people are mentally ill, and to find
where they live. Often they wander the streets
of huge cities, or they can be hidden away in
remote villages. Mental disorders are often seen
as an evil caused by non-human, supernatural
and sometimes threatening elements. This is
the case in north-western Africa, in countries
such as Benin, Togo and Côte d'Ivoire where
voodoo witchdoctors consider the mentally ill to
be demons and tie them to trees in the villages.
Fortunately there are some wonderful people
such as Grégoire Ahongbonon, a missionary who
for the past twenty years has been working to
have the mentally ill treated with dignity in special
centers which he has set up.
The first countries I visited were Zambia and
Kenya, in 2018, going to mental hospitals where
I saw the harsh reality of mental disorders, drug
addiction and patients simply abandoned in the
streets, both adults and children. In Kenya, I went
to the slums of Kibera and Mathare in Nairobi. In
Zambia, I went to the one and only mental hospital
in Lusaka, the capital city. I saw patients locked
in tiny cells, spending hours without moving,
foaming at the mouth, or others left to their own
devices, walking up and down the streets and
trying to shelter in the markets. Some were
born with mental disorders, while others have
destroyed their minds with drugs. Some have
suffered emotional trauma and lost all sense of
space and time.
During the pandemic, I kept on working, but
in Italy, at emergency departments admitting
patients to prison-security psychiatric facilities.
I would spend days with the patients, going
through all the stages, from acute crisis to
afternoons lounging around playing cards. The
time spent without taking photos meant I got to
know them, to look at them, to try and understand
Most recently, in 2021, I went to Benin and Togo to
continue the work on Africa that is being exhibited
I have always believed that both patience and
courage are needed for photojournalists to do
their job of telling stories that convey the real
experience. I always wait before I take a photo.
I try to fit in with the time of the person opposite
me. Who is the person? What do they feel?
Are they in a state of mental distress?
Mstyslav Chernov & Evgeniy Maloletka/ Associated Press
The dead were largely abandoned in the
streets. There were no funerals. No memorials.
No public gatherings to mourn those killed by
Russia's relentless attacks on the port city that
had become a symbol of Ukraine's ferocious
resistance. It was too dangerous.
Instead, authorities collected the bodies in a truck
as best they could and buried them in narrow
trenches dug into the frozen earth of Mariupol.
The mass grave trenches told the story of a city
under siege. There was the 18-month-old hit by
shrapnel; the 16-year-old killed by an explosion
while playing football; the girl no older than six
who was rushed to a hospital in blood-soaked
pajamas patterned with unicorns. There was the
woman wrapped in a bedsheet, her legs neatly
bound at the ankles with a scrap of white fabric.
Workers tossed all of them into the trenches,
moving quickly to get back to shelter before the
next round of shelling.
The world would have seen none of this, would
have seen next to nothing at all from Mariupol
as the siege set in, if it had not been for Mstyslav
Chernov and Evgeniy Maloletka, the Associated
Press team who raced to the city when the
invasion began and stayed long after it had
become one of the most dangerous places
For more than two weeks, they were the only
international media in the city, and the only
journalists able to transmit video and still photos
to the outside world. They were there when the
young girl in the unicorn pajamas was rushed to
the hospital. They were there after the maternity
hospital was attacked, and for countless airstrikes
that pulverized the city. They were there when
gunmen began stalking the city in search of those
who could prove Russia's narrative to be false.
Moscow hated their work. The Russian embassy
in London tweeted images of AP photos with
the word ''FAKE'' superimposed in red. At a U.N.
Security Council meeting, a top Russian diplomat
held up photos of the maternity hospital insisting
they were fake.
Eventually, the team were urged to leave. A
policeman explained why. ''If they catch you, they
will get you on camera and they will make you say
that everything you filmed is a lie. All your efforts
and everything you have done in Mariupol will be
It was terrible to leave. They knew that once they
were gone, there would be almost no independent
reporting from inside the city. But they felt they
had no choice. So they left, slipping away on
a day when thousands of civilians were fleeing
the city, passing Russian roadblocks, one after
Their work and the people they met speak for the
agony of Mariupol. Like the doctor who tried to
save the life of the little girl in her pajamas. As he
pumped oxygen into her, he looked straight into
the AP camera. He stormed with expletive-laced
fury: ''Show this to Putin: the eyes of this child and
the doctors crying!''
Winner of the 2020 Canon Female Photojournalist Grant
Muslims who memorize the entire Quran earn the
title of ''Hafız'' to be placed before their name. The
belief is that whoever memorizes the holy book
and follows its teachings will be rewarded by
Allah and will be raised to high status in paradise.
The practice dates back to days when illiteracy
was widespread, and paper and vellum were
prohibitively expensive. The Quran has a total
of 604 pages and 6,236 verses, so the hafızes,
as the guardians of the holy word, have helped
keep the text alive. The tradition of committing
the verses to memory, dating from the time of
Mohammed, has been practiced and passed on
through the generations for almost 1,500 years.
In Turkey, thousands of Quran schools exist for
this purpose, and many are for girls. The students,
aged from eight to nineteen, usually take three
or four years to complete the task which requires
discipline, focus and devotion. After the girls
graduate, most of them marry and have families,
but they will always remember the words of the
My aim is to show the everyday life of female
pupils in Quran schools preparing to become
hafızes, including moments outside their studies
when having fun or even breaking the rules. The
narrative showing the girls' individual experiences
stands as a record. Through these photographs
I want to give the girls the possibility of speaking
for themselves, thus avoiding any misconceptions
or misinterpretations. Outsiders will see a rare
view of the female perspective, with nuanced
perceptions. My goal is to cast light on the
experience, offering insights into the hearts and
minds of young girls just like me and my twin
sister as we were 18 years ago.
My sister and I attended a Quran school from the
age of twelve. I can therefore reveal this unknown,
unseen world. My project shows not only the
journey of the students on their way to becoming
hafızes, but also shows that they can, as young
hafizes, entertain dreams and have the same spirit
of adventure as other young women of their age.
Hafiz is my first long-term project and began in
2017. Thanks to the support of the Canon Female
Photojournalist Grant (2020), I have been able to
develop the project with additional content
On the Campaign Trail
Does political photography serve a purpose?
Not really, or perhaps not at all. It depends on the
sincerity of the photographer. A picture can never
tell the truth, but it should not mislead.
I no longer present politics as a comedy;
I stopped doing that when I realized that the
characters in front of me were from a tragedy.
I am not talking about distinguished members
of parliament or ministers, but rather about the
few men and women who put their lives and
reputations at stake in a bid to conquer the
ultimate position of power which they willingly
accept. These are the ones who never give up.
While working for the daily newspaper Le Monde
I have been able to cover political leaders,
following them at close range to capture moments
of joy, exhaustion and doubt that all contribute
to their portrayal. The editorial team of Le
Monde newspaper where the written word reigns
supreme has, for fifteen years now, accepted my
The only way I can cover politics is for a
newspaper. There is no such thing as universal
photography; we need to know who the audience
is. I know who the readers of Le Monde are, just
as I knew the readers of Libération in the 1980s.
Working for an editorial board is also a way
of getting away from the pressure of the
communications staff, those people who
have turned political reporting into captive
photojournalism, cutting back on space to move
and time to shoot pictures, bringing us in line
with official views and replacing us with in-house
photographers. Therefore I am also covering politics
to stop communication taking over the real world.
The 6th Extinction
Iguane des Petites Antilles (Iguana delicatissima), île de la Grenade, Caraïbes. Espèce vulnérable (UICN). © Alain Ernoult
The environmental apocalypse confronting the
world today now has recognized causes: climate
change, overexploitation of resources, pollution,
the loss of natural habitats, invasive species and
the impact of massive deforestation and intensive
agriculture, all causing permanent damage.
Since 1970, vertebrate populations have declined
in size by 60%; since 1980, some 600 million
birds have been lost across Europe.
The future of the planet also depends on
the oceans responding to climate change.
Plankton and phytoplankton absorb CO2, but
as temperatures rise and the oceans continue
to absorb more carbon, the sea water becomes
more acidic. And there is pollution, including
industrial waste with heavy metals, solvents and
toxic sludge. As a result ''dead zones'' have
formed, unable to support most marine life;
worldwide there are now more than 400 marine
dead zones. The impact can be seen at every
level, from coral reefs to fish and crustaceans.
According to the report by IPBES, the United
Nations expert group on biodiversity, a large part
of nature has already been lost and the decline
continues. Of an estimated 8 million animals on
earth (including 5.5 million insects) up to one
million are endangered, and many could become
extinct in a matter of years.
Certain species seen as more ''charismatic''
by humans (the lion, elephant, giraffe, leopard,
cheetah, gorilla, panda, wolf and polar bear)
can be ecosystem engineers; the elephant,
for example, brings down trees and stops the
savannah from turning into a forest. There
are also umbrella species providing indirect
protection to other animals in the same habitat.
As large mammals are less diverse they are more
vulnerable, and losses of these populations are
only the tip of the iceberg of massive decline in
biodiversity and the collapse of ecosystems.
My work on the ''6th Extinction'' is intended to raise
awareness on the vulnerability of species around
the world. The photographic concept is designed
to convey the emotional impact, being as close as
possible to the animal so as to capture the magic
then conveyed in the pictures. By seeing other
species, by being attentive and acutely aware
of non-human species and our relationship with
them, we have the values needed to observe our
Françoise Huguier/Agence VU'
For more than forty years the photographer
Françoise Huguier has been working discreetly.
She all but defies description, but when trying to
observe her at work, it becomes apparent that she
is only rarely seen taking a photo.
The woman is invisible, a distinguished reporter
distinguished by the art of disappearing, ready
to lurk in waiting, in ambush perhaps, whether
backstage during a fashion parade, in shadows
in Africa or Siberia, in old communal apartments
in Saint Petersburg, or behind the scenes in a
There is no rush to grab the camera. She listens
as people talk about their lives, asking a minor
question that can open the path to scenes inside
the everyday routine. And so her investigation
techniques have developed.
(Translated, abridged and adapted from a text by Gérard Lefort
Winner of the 2021 Canon Female Photojournalist Grant
The Pilots Connecting Remote Alaska
Across Alaska's rugged, diverse, and sparsely
populated terrain, one sound can be heard almost
anywhere: the distant drone of an aircraft. Only
20% of Alaska is accessible by road, and dozens
of its remote settlements, predominantly Alaska
Native communities, rely on aircraft for essential
services including mail and groceries, medical
care, and emergency transport.
Since the first mail-delivery plane took off in 1924,
small aircraft capable of landing on short runways
or on natural features like tundra, glaciers,
beaches, and water have played a critical role in
Alaska's development. Today, nearly all of Alaska
is highly dependent on aviation, both for essential
transport between communities and to access
remote wilderness areas. For many pilots, flying
is simply a way of life, a way to connect with the
landscape and each other.
Throughout my life in Alaska, I have known
flying to have an almost spiritual aspect. It
commands attention to safety and a deep
respect for the land, weather, and the lives of the
people onboard. While flying in Alaska is now
commonplace, it is frequently romanticized as
a dangerous enterprise. The early era of bush
flying between the 1920s and 1950s is famous
for the first bold pilots who flew without weather
forecasts, navigational technology or runways,
and who subsequently took risks with the weather,
survived crashes, and were often stranded alone
in the wilderness. Although the safety of modern
aviation has progressed considerably since that
time, the idea that flying in Alaska is dangerous
still lingers, to the detriment of professional and
private pilots who devote their flying careers to
From the city of Anchorage, to the Arctic, to the
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, these are portraits of
pilots who have been part of the Alaskan aviation
community for decades and of those who are
helping to shape its future. Their airplanes also
represent a living portrait of Alaska's past: most
aircraft chosen by these pilots (e.g. the Piper
Super Cub and de Havilland Beaver) have been
used, maintained, and passed on between
generations of pilots since they were first
produced in the mid-20th century.
As one pilot told me, ''So much happened
before the time of airplanes, and so much will
happen after the time of airplanes.'' As the
aviation industry undergoes rapid changes
with skyrocketing insurance costs, advances in
electric aircraft, and the recent approval of cargo
drones, the future of flying in Alaska is uncertain.
To Know the Earth from Above frames a pivotal
moment in time, telling the stories of pilots who
connect remote communities, rescue people
in need, teach and inspire newer pilots, and
transport people to the wildest parts of the state.
''Zor'' Inside Europe's largest Roma ghetto
In Europe today with the challenge of
unprecedented migratory flows and nationalist
movements operating not only along borders
but also inside countries, minorities have been
forced into ghettos where they are cut off, needing
to be healed and prevented from infecting the
In 2019, Europe had more than 11 million
members of Roma and Sinti communities, a
number equivalent to the entire population of
Belgium. But Roma communities suffer systematic
discrimination. In June 2021 in the Czech
Republic, a Roma man died when police officers
knelt on his neck. In November 2021 in Greece, a
little Roma girl was crushed by a gate, and died
after more than an hour while passers-by simply
looked the other way.
According to the European Union Agency for
Fundamental Rights (FRA) in its second survey
on minorities and discrimination (EU-MIDIS II),
80% of Roma people are at risk of poverty. The
same survey reported that Roma people formed
the largest minority in Europe, and suffered more
discrimination than other groups.
In the city of Plovdiv in Bulgaria is Stolipinovo, the
largest Roma ghetto in Europe. In the Communist
era, it was an ordinary neighborhood, but became
a ghetto after the fall of Communism and with
the privatization of industry when Roma people
lost their jobs because of discrimination. Today,
the people of Stolipinovo (approximately 80,000
according to the European Forum for Democracy
and Solidarity) are social outcasts rejected by the
Bulgarians living in Plovdiv.
The residents in the ghetto of Stolipinovo have a
Turkish background, speak Turkish and identify
as Turks. Most are Muslim, but diverse religious
identities, including paganism, coexist within the
community. The social structure is based on the
family unit, with clearly defined gender roles and
hierarchies according to levels of respect from the
community and wealth. Cultural traditions are core
values; events are celebrated in the open, usually
on the streets, and are open to the community.
Residents of the Roma ghetto of Stolipinovo
are victims of discrimination, being seen as
stereotypes not fitting in with the local Bulgarian
lifestyle and culture. They live in squalid
conditions, with social, housing and health
problems at critically dangerous levels.
Stolipinovo, being surrounded by hostility and an
atmosphere of increasing nationalist sentiment,
stands as a portrait of systematic discrimination in
Europe in the 21st century.
Inside Myanmar's Armed Uprising
In Myanmar hopes for peaceful, democratic
progress have faded. The Southeast Asian nation
is now mired in conflict and chaos. Decades of
poor governance and repressive military rule
created a climate of violence, human rights abuses
and chronic poverty. Steps towards democratic
change were dashed when the military seized
power in a coup on February 1, 2021.
Thousands of civilians have been killed as fierce
resistance from newly formed militias and ethnic
armed groups are now waging guerrilla warfare
on multiple fronts across the country.
In the town of Demoso in Kayah State, destroyed
buildings and empty streets testify to the intensity
of the clashes. Most of the area is under the
control of the armed wing of the government in
exile and the Karenni Army that has been fighting
the armed forces of Myanmar, the Tatmadaw, for
over 70 years.
Maw Soe Myar* is no ordinary child. She is only
one year old but her world has been turned
upside down by the cruelty of a regime that
plunged her country into violence and uncertainty,
forcing thousands of families like hers to flee.
Gone are the familiar voices of neighbors echoing
through the village; gone are the bright colors of
the floormats in her home, and the whispers of
her parents rocking her to sleep at night. What
remains is the silent, somber look of her mother,
Maw Pray Myar*, as she carries her across rocky
valleys, through teak forests and tall, sharp,
elephant grass that scratches her skin. Every step
is a calculated move for fear she might trip and
hurt her baby girl. They cross the Salween River
and venture into a thick bamboo jungle, towards
the border with Thailand, to safety. Here hundreds
of displaced families have found refuge from the
regime's brutal crackdown.
In another IDP camp not far from Demoso, a
woman voices her worries while keeping an eye
on her three children playing beneath a clear
blue sky. ''We always live in fear of airstrikes by
the military. We know it is easy for them to attack
civilians. That is what they do.''
In an attack by the Tatmadaw in Hpruso Township
(Kayah State) on December 24, 2021, at least
35 people, including four children and two
humanitarian workers, were burned alive. On
January 17, 2022, it was reported that an airstrike
on an IDP camp had killed two young sisters in
their sleep and an older man nearby, and left
Despite all odds, over the past year a growing
sense of comradeship has spread throughout the
population, with what seems like millions in both
cities and rural areas rallying to the cause, putting
their normal lives on hold to help in one way
or another in the struggle for a future free from
In a hospital at a secret location near Loikaw, the
capital of Kayah State, thirty medical students
who followed the Civil Disobedience Movement
are now de facto doctors, treating patients
with the limited medical supplies available. A
22-year-old medical student from Yangon who
joined the uprising described the situation. ''We
lack medicines to treat the injured. We have to
refer many to other hospitals, far away, through
government-controlled areas.'' Pausing by the
bed of an eight-year-old boy suffering from severe
burns to his legs she explains, ''We do our best
with what we have.''
All photos taken in Kayah State. [*All names have been changed.]
Andrew Quilty/Agence Vu'
A Forever War Ends
Les filles portent des robes neuves pour la fête de Norouz, le nouvel an du calendrier persan. Le père et le fils réparent la moto. Kaboul, mars 2018. © Andrew Quilty / Agence VU’
It was a harsh winter starting in 2013 that Afghans
faced. In the city of Herat on Christmas Day,
people burned trash by the side of the highway
to keep warm after fleeing fighting and, ironically,
drought in outlying rural districts. But there was
hope, wary though it may have been. In 2014, for
the first time since the fall of the Taliban in 2001,
the presidential election, previously organized
by international players, was to be organized by
At dawn on election day, the sound of exploding
rockets echoed through Kabul. The Taliban had
promised bloodshed. The skies were gray, but
voters waited in line in the rain, patiently coping
with the inevitable logistical hitches and security
threats. A total of 6.5 million votes were cast and
the day was heralded as a success.
The excitement, however, was short-lived, and
pessimism soon shrouded the country. When the
run-off vote between the two leading candidates
resulted in accusations of fraud, an audit was
called. Confidence in the Afghan republic
plummeted, as did the national currency and
foreign investment, while unemployment soared.
At the end of the year, the international military
mission handed responsibility for security over to
Afghan national security forces.
The Taliban had been biding their time until the
better equipped, better trained and motivated
foreign forces departed, then quickly went on
the offensive. They overran their first major city in
September 2015 when they captured Kunduz in
the north. During the operation to recapture the
city, US airstrikes destroyed a trauma hospital run
by Doctors Without Borders, killing 42 patients
and staff in one of the most horrific incidents of
the entire war.
As the momentum of the Taliban on the battlefield
surged, American diplomats revived efforts for
peace talks with the Taliban. In February 2020,
after 18 months of negotiations under President
Trump, the deal to bring peace to Afghanistan
was signed by representatives of the US and the
Taliban, in effect signing America's defeat with
the provision for the Afghan government and the
Taliban to engage in peace talks of their own, and
for international forces to withdraw entirely the
following year. But the United States, under both
presidents Trump and Biden, was more intent on
withdrawal than on sustaining stability
In early 2021, after President Biden confirmed that
the US would abide by the withdrawal agreement,
the Taliban stepped up offensives across the
country, overrunning rural districts at great speed
as government forces crumbled, many simply
laying down their weapons and surrendering.
By early August, Afghanistan's 34 provincial
capitals were all virtually surrounded. With the
prospect of a no-holds-barred battle for Kabul, the
remaining foreign forces and diplomats hastened
their evacuation efforts. In the end, the Taliban
regained power much faster than even they had
predicted. It took just ten days for all but a handful
of provincial capitals to be overrun by the Taliban.
By dawn on August 15, their fighters had reached
the gates of Kabul.
For two weeks, victorious Taliban fighters guarded
Kabul International Airport where foreign forces
under the command of the US Army were airlifting
as many as 10,000 people a day: foreign
diplomats, aid workers and journalists, but mainly
Afghans, desperate to flee. Scores were killed,
crushed in the crowd or shot by Taliban fighters
trying to control access to the airport as tens of
thousands attempted to make their way inside.
An ISIS suicide bomber attacked, killing 180,
including thirteen US troops. Days later, in an
apparent bid to prevent a follow-up attack, a
family home was struck by a Hellfire missile fired
by an American drone. The ten victims, including
eight children, were buried in a cemetery by the
airport as the last American planes climbed into
the sky leaving Afghanistan for good.
Based on some fifty years of photography, this
exhibition could be structured chronologically,
from my very first photographic stories in the
American South in 1969 till I returned to the
Arkansas Delta in 2019. On the other hand,
it could be structured thematically: American
poverty, the plight of the mentally disabled, the
human cost of drugs, of war, a woman's cancer.
Either approach would make it seem that from the
outset I had a part in planning this exhibition. Not
true. I began searching out these photographs
long months ago at my son Sam's suggestion.
He witnessed my feeling especially down, frozen
in place. The deadly spread of Covid was on
my mind, as were Afghanistan and Iraq and the
realization that other wars were looming.
I was also struggling to come to terms with the
societal divisions and in turn journalistic changes
in America. There were increasing numbers of
promoters of identity politics suggesting that some
of us are more worthy of support doing stories
than others. That the age, race, class, gender of
journalists are factors to be considered before
sending us out into the world. Additionally it
appeared to me that, with the possible exception
of photos of war, the pictures being published in
books and news magazines were less and less
of the moment, more often set up, constructed,
in collaboration with the subjects. ''Collaborative''
being a kind of buzzword of our time.
As happened, it was my son who directed
me toward an alternate way of publishing and
speaking out. ''There's pretty much no support
right now for what you feel you should be
doing,'' Sam observed, ''so put your pictures on
Instagram.'' ''Instagram,'' I said incredulously.
Then as if on auto-pilot I began to flip through the
warped, cracked binders of contact sheets that
take up seven or eight shelves in a back room
of our house. Leafing through the pages, I went
looking for pictures I hadn't shown or published
before, sifting through hundreds of moments in
the lives of others, awash in memories.
Then, much to my surprise, Jean-Francois*
phoned. This is a man who doesn't care who
you are, what age you are, where you are from,
what your gender identification is, as long as you
are attempting to tell the truth. His interest in my
pictures, along with Sam's and my wife Janine's
tender treatment of me, got me back to work.
*Jean-François Leroy, Director-General, Visa pour l'Image
Arnaud Robert & Paolo Woods
For a long time the question of happiness was
considered to be a matter for religion, philosophy
or even politics. But today the pharmaceutical
industry is using science, marketing and
communication to provide a standardized
response so that human aspirations can be
fulfilled. The idea of a magic pill conjures up
many familiar images, e.g. Alice in Wonderland
or The Matrix, and is seen as an almost
magical response to help cope with moments
of weakness, melancholy or other pressures on
human existence. The promise of a chemical
compound that is able to cure and transform
provides the perfect metaphor for a Promethean
society focusing on efficiency, power, youth and
performance, a society where the appearance of
happiness is almost as good as happiness itself,
where appearance prevails over genuine feeling.
For five years, journalist Arnaud Robert and
photographer Paolo Woods traveled the world
seeking out Happy Pills, drugs able to ease the
pain of human suffering, to achieve excitement,
work, power, and action, with formulae capable of
retrieving patients from the abyss of depression,
with painkillers ingested by the working poor
who are simply trying to feed their families.
Everywhere around the world, whether in Niger,
the United States, Switzerland, India, Israel or the
Amazon, the Big Pharma world has expanded
and is offering overnight solutions where once
there were eternal problems.
The exhibition features a series of photos
plus ventures into social media, for an original
presentation confronting us with our own
relationship to medical drugs.
Happy Pills is also a book published by Delpire
& Co. and a documentary film produced by
Exhibition produced by the Ferme des Tilleuls, Switzerland.
Alexis Rosenfeld in partnership with UNESCO
1 Ocean, A Decade of Exploration in the
21st Century is a project conducted by the
photographer Alexis Rosenfeld in partnership with
UNESCO. As part of the United Nations Decade
of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development
(2021-2030), we are telling the story of the Ocean,
of its riches, of threats affecting it, and solutions
we can provide. 1 Ocean is a journey of discovery
of the Ocean, over a full decade seeing secrets at
great depths and the wonders of marine life.
The feature report has been developed along
three key lines.
For centuries, basic curiosity has been the central
driving force urging human beings to explore,
to slake their thirst for knowledge, climbing ever
higher, crossing deserts and diving to extreme
depths in the Ocean. Such human ventures in
the past had one sole purpose and that was to
provide knowledge to the human race, knowledge
of worlds hitherto unknown, never even imagined,
but they also revealed fragile aspects of the
environment. Explorers who traveled the world
related their experiences and, in many ways,
shaped the legend of the ''blue continent'' as seen
on the surface, but there was another world far
below, a world all but beyond the scope of human
knowledge, almost impossible to reach. Now, in
the early 21 st century, the ''1 Ocean'' crew has
embarked on voyages of discovery of unexplored
realms, uncovering many mysteries of the Ocean.
The reason for this exploration is to generate new
knowledge. Explorers of the past who traveled the
seas would return with objects that were added to
the great collections of Europe: stones, botanical
specimens, art works and artefacts were brought
back, thus providing future generations with
valuable samples from the past. Today, following
the example of our predecessors, 1 Ocean,
A Decade of Exploration in the 21 st Century
will produce new content. Alexis Rosenfeld is
providing visual coverage of the journeys, through
both still photography and documentary films.
This documentary record is designed so that
everyone can see the story of the Ocean and its
riches. The idea of sharing knowledge, passing
it on from generation to generation is a key part
of the project which is founded on the principle
that knowledge is the first step on the path to
protection. Given the environmental threats to the
Ocean today, we are duty bound to report on this.
Our ambition is to raise awareness in minds today
and, above all, to build the minds of the future.
Tiers of Trauma
Some might think the catastrophe that happened
in Beirut on August 4, 2020, and the crisis that
hit Lebanon happened from one day to the next,
but there had been more than three decades of
negligence and corruption flowing through the veins
of the nation, bringing the country to its knees.
On August 4, 2020, ammonium nitrate stored in
unsafe conditions in the port of Beirut, caught
fire and exploded, killing more than 200, injuring
6,000, and leaving 300,000 homeless.
The disaster struck in the midst of the Covid-19
pandemic and at the beginning of what would
become one of the worst economic crises in the
world, just a few months into what the Lebanese
call ''the revolution.''
The previous year, on October 17, 2019, tens of
thousands of Lebanese had taken to the streets
in protest against deteriorating living conditions.
It was the first time in years that the country had
witnessed such a strong sense of unity, but the
dream was to be short-lived.
The exhibition documents the past two years in
Lebanon, focusing on protests across the country,
and the aftermath of the explosion, as well as
some rare lulls in between. Not a single soul in
Lebanon has been left untouched by the events
of the past two years. Financially, those who had
savings lost their money. Physically, there was
the explosion that left more than 300 disabled, the
everyday stress facing everyone in Lebanon, plus
the Covid-19 pandemic, and many have simply
been unable to cope. The country's morale too
has been hard hit as it appears to be in a state
of depression, suffering constant anxiety, and
even ''schizophrenia'' as citizens attempt to lead a
normal everyday life in such an absurd setting.
People have been trying to get things changed;
some have focused on the prospect of the
elections in May 2022, while others have
taken to the streets to express their anger. But
change takes time, and Lebanon seems to be
running out of time. A huge proportion of the
younger generation has now left the country, and
understandably so as they choose to leave in the
hope of finding a ''normal'' life somewhere else,
i.e. a life where buildings have not been gutted by
an explosion, where streets have electricity, and
children can dream of the future.
To date in Lebanon, there has been no change.
Since 2019, there have many changes of
government, but with no impact. In fact, things
seem to have gone from bad to worse.
Lebanon is no longer a country at war. It has
been and remains to this day a country in conflict,
surrounded by war, and at the mercy of foreign
Until change comes, until justice is done, and until
the families of victims of government negligence
over the past few years are given the response
they need, these pictures will stand as evidence
of the injustice prevailing in the country.
Exhibition supported by the French Ministry of Culture and MICOL (France's interministerial coordination mission for Lebanon)
Global Fisheries Harvesting Marine Wildlife
The past two decades have seen a rapid
expansion of fishing on an industrial scale with
international fleets of mega-trawlers, super-
seiners, and factory motherships competing with
increasing numbers of native fishing boats to
strip the oceans of marine life. This is a classic
example of a tragedy of the commons where
individuals voraciously deplete a shared resource.
The severity of the global problem was recently
quantified in a ground-breaking ten-year study by
Daniel Pauly (University of British Columbia) which
showed that the number of fish being caught
worldwide is 50% higher than figures reported
by the UN Food & Agriculture Organization, the
reason being that the source data is self-reported
by each country. Pauly's team painstakingly
reconstructed historic data to show that the global
fish catch peaked in 1997 at 130 million tons;
since then it has declined by 1.2 million tons a
year even though there has been a huge increase
in the number and size of fishing boats, and new
fish-finding technologies. There are clear signs
that wild fish stocks are plummeting as humans
accelerate the harvesting of the biosphere.
The photographs in the exhibit were taken
over the past six years in nine countries.
They document some of the largest and most
sophisticated new ships harvesting marine
wildlife, as well as poor fisherfolk from some
of the world's least developed nations who are
scouring coastal waters in a desperate struggle
to feed their families. But as I traveled the seven
seas, I did not see only doom and gloom. I also
discovered well-managed fisheries that harvest
specific species sustainably, with scientific
monitoring of fish populations to guarantee
long-term abundance. Here was a reminder that
there are solutions, but only if we do a better job
of understanding the sources and impacts of
our food decisions so that we can make more
informed choices. So, the next time you buy
marine life, try to understand how it got to your
local marketplace and remember that even
farmed seafood, like shrimp and salmon, depend
on wild fisheries for their food.
The project was partially funded by a grant from the National Geographic Society.
Brent Stirton/ Getty Images for National Geographic
Bushmeat and Epidemics
Jonas Manguba, un Bayaka de la république du Congo, a commencé à chasser avec son père dès son plus jeune âge. Dans le cadre d’une initiative de la Wildlife Conservation Society et du Programme de gestion durable de la faune sauvage, les tribus comme celle de Jonas peuvent participer jusqu’à deux fois par mois à des chasses légales et contrôlées en bordure du parc national de Nouabalé-Ndoki. © Brent Stirton / Getty Images pour National Geographic
Ebola, Covid-19, SARS, and monkeypox: zoonotic
diseases occur when pathogens pass from
wild animals to humans, and can develop into
epidemics, or a pandemic.
Millions of people around the world consume
bushmeat which is an important source of food for
many rural communities. It is often perceived to be
healthier and strong cultural beliefs reinforce the
practice. Bushmeat draws high prices and is sold
by hunters, but most is not consumed where the
animals are hunted. After the first sale, the meat
moves to nearby towns where it triples in value,
and there is also international trade on a daily
basis, mostly to African expatriate communities in
Europe, plus a huge market in Asia.
The trafficking of bushmeat to cities to meet
non-essential demand poses a major threat to
many animal species. As urban populations
grow, consumer demand for wild meat increases,
exerting ever greater pressure on wildlife. One
of the largest zones for the trade is the Congo
Basin. Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of
Congo and Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo
are two capital cities separated only by the Congo
River. Combined, they form the third largest urban
agglomeration in Africa, with a total population of
15 million, and by 2050, Kinshasa is forecast to
be the fourth-largest city in the world. According
to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society,
it is estimated that over 33 thousand metric tons
of bush meat is traded in Kinshasa every year,
making it the hub of this worldwide trade. While
alternative animal protein like beef and chicken is
available in these cities, bushmeat has social and
cultural significance, and is therefore consumed
as a luxury.
As bush meat introduces novel pathogens to
densely populated cities, there is a significant
risk of zoonotic disease, as seen with the case of
fruit bats featured in this report. Epidemiologists
observing camps of fruit bats have found that up
to one-third are positive for Ebola and other viral
The situation is simply not sustainable, and the
land is being stripped of wildlife. Alternatives must
be found, e.g. sustainable fishing, the farming
of weevil larvae, and the new and revolutionary
science of cell-based laboratory-grown meat,
which may be approved for production in the
United States and China.
Large portions of this photo essay were shot in
cooperation with the United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organization (Sustainable Wildlife
Between War and Peace
Today, when words are too often used to conceal
the truth, photography still stands on the side
of reality. A photo speaks the truth. For nearly
two centuries, photography has been the art
that records history forever and keeps us from
forgetting it even if we do not always learn the
lessons we should. In this modern world of
conflict, confrontation and concern for the future
of our planet, photography is more important
than ever. That is what has helped drive me for
the past thirty years when the camera has been
my life. During that time I have helped show the
world what is happening, from the wars in the
Balkans to the War on Terror, to the Arab Spring
and the way that uprising was crushed in Syria.
From Afghanistan to Africa and from Iraq to Latin
America, I have had the chance, and the duty,
to encounter the best and the worst of humanity,
and to record it for all time. Sometimes it has been
dangerous, sometimes it has been beautiful. It
has always been interesting. The pictures here
are only a handful of the tens of thousands that I
have taken. My goal has always been to get close
enough to the action to do justice to the subjects
and to bear witness for those who see the world
through my lens.