The award, given by the International Women’s Media Foundation, was created in honor of Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed while covering the 2014 presidential election in Afghanistan.
Heidi Levine is an American freelance photojournalist based in Jerusalem, who has covered the revolutions in Egypt, Libya and Syria as well as the Israel-Lebanon war and several conflicts in the Gaza Strip. She has also worked in India, Jordan, Iraq, Sweden, Afghanistan and Georgia.
“Her courage and commitment to the story in Gaza is unwavering. She documents tragic events under dire circumstances while displaying a depth of compassion for the people she ncounters,” wrote the jury about Levine.
“I am honored to be recognized with this award dedicated to celebrating the legacy of Anja,” said Levine, adding that “Anja was both a photojournalist and a person I admired, respected, and often consulted with in the feld under extreme circumstances. There was an incredible professional bond and sense of trust, a sisterhood so many of us felt, and she is greatly missed by us all”.
Other than the 1st prize and $20,000 awarded to Levine, the jury also recognized two other photographers who received an honorable mention.
Anastasia Vlasova and AP photographer Rebecca Blackwell were recognized for their coverage of the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine the Central African Republic, respectively.
“We are proud to honor and celebrate the courage of women photojournalists who risk their lives documenting confict and war while shedding light on moments of humanity,” said Elisa Lees Muñoz, IWMF Executive Director. “The images captured by the award nominees represent a collective vantage point on some of this decade’s most dangerous conficts. Their work helps us better understand the world and inspires us to take action”.
Lucky for these photographers their government didn’t confiscate their passports, as was the case for Japanese war photographer Yuichi Sugimoto.
According to the IWMF website, the award was created in 2014 with a $1 million gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and it will be given annually to a woman photojournalist whose work reflects the courage and dedication of Anja Niedringhaus
The award will be given to Levine at the official ceremony to be held in Berlin on June 25, 2015.
We recently featured a post about gender based photography groups. What are your thoughts about gender based photography awards?