06/13/2012Robin Hammond, winner of the third Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award
© Robin Hammond, Panos photo agency, for the Carmignac Gestion photojournalism award
When he was 14 years old, Nyatwa, now aged 76 years old, walked from Mozambique to Zimbabwe looking for a job. He shoveled coal in a sugar refinery. Now, he can no longer work due to an illness. “I’ve seen the country change a lot. We were sleeping in the bushes. There was a war. You people (The whites) were discriminating against us. They were treating us like slaves. It was a difficult time. When independence came we thought it would be good. But in the end we were killing each other.” Lucy, his 22 year-old granddaughter, looks after him. She also takes care of her six year-old daughter, her deceased sister’s eight year-old son, and her 16 year-old intellectually handicapped brother. Her father died in 2001 and her mother in 2005. They manage to survive with the help of their uncle who sends them money from South Africa, where he lives. Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans rely on their relatives living abroad, and especially in South Africa, to help them buy food and pay the rent. It is estimated that 2 million Zimbabweans have left the country in search of a better life for themselves and their families.
In 2009, the Carmignac Gestion Foundation created the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Prize, which finances a photojournalism report each year that covers a proposed theme and lasts over several months.
The theme proposed to photographers for this third edition was Zimbabwe, a Southern African country suffering from the oppressive regime put in place by the dictator Robert Mugabe.
© Robin Hammond
Panos photo agency
Robin Hammond chose to depict the humanitarian crisis affecting the country, which is today plunged into chaos and poverty. He stayed in Zimbabwe from December 2011 to April 2012, putting his own life at risk in extremely difficult conditions.
A member of the Panos photo agency, Robin Hammond is a freelance photojournalist and is originally from New Zealand.
Winner of the Amnesty International Media Awards for human rights journalism, he has travelled to over 50 countries since the start of his career, generally to report on the dramatic living conditions of people all over the world or on lack of respect for the environment.
The panel of judges appreciated his determination to report on the unrelenting combat by Zimbabwe's civil population against the atrocities of the Mugabe regime.
Chaired by Susan Meiselas, President of the Magnum Foundation in New York, the panel of judges for the third edition was made up of:
- Massimo Berruti, documentary photographer and winner of the 2010 Carmignac Gestion Award
- Sophie Bouillon, journalist, Albert Londres prizewinner 2009
- Christian Caujolle, journalist, author, exhibition curator and founder of the VU’ agency and gallery
- Philippe Guionie, documentary photographer and Roger Pic prizewinner 2008
- Françoise Huguier, photographer and artistic director of Photoquai 2011
- Yacoubé Konaté, professor at the University of Abidjan and art critic
- Alessandra Mauro, artistic director at the International Centre for Photography in Milan
- Patrick de Saint Exupéry, editor-in-chief of XXI magazine
His work will be exhibited in the Chapelle de l’Ecole des Beaux-arts in Paris from 9 November 2012.
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