“It was a really tough story to cover, because the subject wasn’t there,” says Chris McGrath. “There was so much press there, and everyone was having the same problem – I was talking with other photographers and the Getty Images office about how to tell the story. It became every day going to the same place, standing, trying to get a picture that said something.”
The story was the disappearance of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi and the problem was exactly that – a Saudi Arabian journalist, author, and editor, who wrote for The Washington Post, Khashoggi had gone to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on 02 October 2018 and vanished. Lurid reports that he’d been killed and dismembered soon circulated, but his body has still not been found and initially, the Saudi Arabian government denied his death. There was, as McGrath says, very little to photograph.
Then on 15 October, Saudi and Turkish officials were allowed in to inspect the building, and McGrath, along with many other journalists and photographers, went along to photograph the development. “We didn’t know when the inspectors would arrive, but everyone was there,” says McGrath. “All the press was trying to get something, and this guy was holding us back.”
Our pick of the key stories from the past week, including interviews with World Press Photo-nominated photographers, details of Bangladesh’s Chobi Mela festival, plus Piero Percoco on his wildly successful Instagram The Rainbow is Underestimated
Our pick of the key stories from the past week, including the World Press Photo and MACK First Book Award nominees, and interviews with Iain McKell, Tommaso Rada, and Mona Kuhn
Nadia Shira Cohen has won the $10,000 Women Photograph + Getty Images grant for her work on the abortion ban in El Salvador – and the five grants of $5000 awarded by Women Photograph with Nikon have gone to Tasneem Alsultan, Anna Boyiazis, Jess T. Dugan, Ana Maria Arevalo Gosen, and Etinosa Yvonne Osayimwen.
Nadia Shira Cohen’s series Yo No Di a Luz documents the effect that the complete ban on abortion in El Salvador has had on women – particularly on those forced to give birth to children conceived as a result of rape. “Doctors and nurses are trained to spy on women’s uteruses in public hospitals, reporting any suspicious alteration to the authorities and provoking criminal charges which can lead to between six months to seven years in prison,” writes Shira Cohen. “It is the poorer class of women who suffer the most as doctors in private hospitals are not required to report.
When scientists first discovered neon in 1898, they knew there was something extra-ordinary within its distinctive red glow. They named their newborn gas neon after the Greek word for ‘new’ and quickly put it on the market. After being rejected by homeowners who took offence to its devilish glow, neon eventually found a place for its eye-catching self in commercial America; within the tubes of advertising slogans, strip clubs and dive bars that continue to pepper the landscape to this day. While neon continues to play out its twitching career across a jaded USA, in Saudi Arabia, the inert gas is considered as both a symbol of status and luck, says photographer Celine Stella. “The neon shapes and objects photographed here first caught my attention when we were driving through the desert at night a couple of summers ago. It was pitch dark and suddenly these kiosks appeared like balls of light in the middle of nowhere. The colours shining in the dark were beautiful, but alien. The contrast between the light and what was …
Since moving from Saudi Arabia to the UK in 2007, Wasma Mansour has turned her lens towards other women who have made a similar choice. Single Saudi Women takes an almost scientific approach to the ways in which these émigrés evolve in contemporary British society through three carefully crafted typologies – portraits of the women in their homes, still lifes of significant possessions in their homes, and studio images of veils packed in bags. “In the past, my awareness of photography had been limited to its use as an illustrative tool and as a means for providing visual evidence,” says Mansour, who recently completied a PhD in photography at London College of Communication. “Through collaborating with the participants when building their portraits, I became increasingly aware of the need to protect their anonymity. This led me to further revise and expand my use of photography.” Rather than imposing a personal view on how her subjects should be depicted, Mansour enters into a dialogue with each, involving them in the process – from setting the 4×5 camera to proofing the Polaroid test before taking the …