Posted in Behind the News

Recognizing courage in the name of slain AP photojournalist

, by Lauren Easton

The 2016 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award, named for the AP photographer who was killed reporting in Afghanistan in 2014, has been awarded to Adriane Ohanesian, a freelance photojournalist based in Nairobi, Kenya.

The award, administered by the International Women’s Media Foundation, recognizes the work of female photographers who put themselves at risk to capture the humanity in conflict zones.

Adam Abdel, 7, was badly burned when a bomb dropped by a Sudanese government plane landed next to his family's home in Burgu, Central Darfur, Sudan. (Adriane Ohanesian)
Adriane Ohanesian. (Adriane Ohanesian)

Ohanesian, an American journalist, has been reporting primarily in Africa since 2010, covering the civil war in South Sudan, fighting in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan, clashes in Burundi and, most recently, the conflict in Darfur, Sudan. Her photographs depict the desperation and isolation of those forced to live in war zones. The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Al Jazeera, National Geographic and TIME have published her work.

“At the end of the day it’s not about me; it’s about the lives of the people in the pictures,” Ohanesian said in remarks shared by IWMF.

“My photographs document what I’ve seen in isolated areas of the world. I hope the people I photograph feel that these photos communicate their circumstances to the outside world. It takes a massive amount of trust on the part of my subjects to know that I’m accurately representing them and their story.”

Ethiopian migrants waiting to be smuggled by boat to Yemen live under a tree outside the town of Obock, Djibouti, on Jan. 12, 2016. (Adriane Ohanesian)

The award jury, which included photo editors from AP, The New York Times and VII Photo, gave Ohanesian the award for “evocative images” that demonstrate her “bravery and devotion to shedding light on the darkest corners and giving voice to those who live in the shadow of war.”

Lynsey Addario and Paula Bronstein received honorable mentions.

Anja Niedringhaus. (AP Photo)

Niedringhaus received the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award in 2005. She was shot and killed by an Afghan policeman in April, 2014. Her mother and sisters will attend this year’s award ceremony in Washington on June 9.