Getty Images will once again have a significant presence at Visa Pour L’Image, the international photojournalism festival held annually in Perpignan, France. This year, Jerome Sessini and Alvaro Ybarra Zavala and been nominated for the prestigious Visa d’Or awards, in the news and feature categories, which will be announced on 1 and 2 September, 2011 respectively. One of three finalists in the features category, Alvaro Ybarra Zavala has been nominated for his work on the conflict in Colombia, while Jerome Sessini is one of five finalists in the news category, for his work on Libya.
Furthermore, Getty Images will be announcing the winners of its 2011 Grants for Editorial Photography at the festival, which aims to showcase and support powerful and inspiring photojournalism projects. The winners will be announced on stage during the evening screening on Thursday 1 September, with the winning recipients showcasing their chosen projects on Friday, 2 September from 3 – 4pm. Since the grants inception in 2005, Getty Images has awarded over $600,000 to professional photojournalists. Further information on the Getty Images’ grants programme can be found online at: www.gettyimages.com/grants
Reportage by Getty Images photojournalists’ Shaul Schwarz and Alvaro Ybarra Zavala have also been chosen by the festival to exhibit their work. Additionally, Getty Images’ photojournalist Ed Ou shall be exhibiting his work, after having received the prestigious Young Reporter of Perpignan award.
The moving and inspiring exhibitions will focus on the following:
Alvaro Ybarra Zavala / Reportage by Getty Images
After more than 40 years of civil war, Colombia is a divided country. Decades of violence have put an end to far too many lives in this extraordinary country. The sequence of events in the war is now dictated by strategic and economic interests, far removed from the ideological values that led to the conflict. Today’s talk of left-wing or right-wing armed groups is misleading. Drug trafficking, palm oil, water and now the market for offsetting CO₂ emissions are all factors driving the conflict. The systematic violation of human rights has become part of the general way of life. The number of internally displaced persons is the highest in the world – more than three million. But officially, there is no war in Colombia.
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Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images
“Let’s face it – the heroes these days are not the lawyers or the politicians. The heroes are the guys flashing the money,” says Narco music promoter Joel Vasquez outside a Narco-Corrido club in Los Angeles. “The market is bigger than ever. I think we can be the next hip hop.”
While death statistics have been documented ad nauseam, far less has been said about the broader social reality created by the drug trade and affecting the lives of millions of Latin-Americans. For many there, Narco traffickers provide the only models of fame and success. Greed, drugs and violence have now created a new culture – a Narco Culture.
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