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Photojournalism. The Italian World Report Award 2014 in pictures

CULTURE-PHOTOSMajid Saeedi with “Life in War”, Oriol Segon Torra with “Young Patriots” and Gwenn Dubourthoumieu with “Child-Witches of Kinshasa” are the winners of the 4th annual World Report Award 2014, the Italian Award of Photojournalism. The pictures will be presented at the Festival of Ethical Photography in Lodi.Festival1_640
A group of Afghan National Army soldiers in northern Afghanistan during operations against opposition. NATO has been at war with the Taliban since 2001, and is scheduled to hand over security to the Afghan army and leave the country in 2014. (Ph.  Majid Saeedi ©).

The jury recognises the author’s ability to realize a tableau of Afghan society in its multiple nuances, recounting everyday life of a country that was able to keep its culture alive together with a flicker of normality in the midst of a devastating conflict. Ten years of war are told with a profound vision and the capacity for empathy managing to present the complete Afghan reality in its contradictory nature, a nature that oscillates between a profound desperation to a likewise extreme beauty. The work surpasses the classic development of a reportage story and instead is an account of an entire civilisation.

Festival3Portrait of a group of young participants in the military summer camp in Mogyoród equipped with out of order war material, a short while after exercise an action and mobility exercise, equipped with gas masks, in one of the forests of the camp (Ph. Oriol Segon Torra ©). Deepening into a rarified and surreal atmosphere, the author tells about the rise of nationalistic impulses in a country that is a member of the EU: Hungary.
The reportage, characterized by suspended aesthetics and attentive use of colours, finds a new language to describe the pervading sense of a movement of this kind, a movement that attempts to instill itself in different layers of the population until the new generations are engaged.

Festiva2_640This 7 month old child often has fever at night and vomits. In the center of the ‘spiritual surgical unit’, a «Holy Spirit doctor» extracts human flesh ingested by the child in the ‘second world’ and causing him to become a witch (Ph. Gwenn Dubourthoumieu ©). The author has been able to condense in five shots the dramatic sequence of events in the lives of child witches, that after decades still rages across the streets of Kinshasa and the Democratic Republic of Congo and has awaken the attention of international humanitarian observers.
The images effectively reflect not only the sense of estrangement and absurdity linked to the exorcism practices, but also the powerlessness and the pain of the accused children who find themselves bearing the weight. This intense and disconcerting work is supported by a great formal coherence and forces us to focus on the social problems that have caused the spread of these beliefs among the civilians.

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