Saturday, May 5, 2018

Pulitzer and World Press Photographs of the Year: 1987


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Pulitzer Prizes for Photography:

Between 1942 and 1967 a Pulitzer Prize for Photography was awarded for photojournalism, that is, for photographs telling a news story. In 1968 that award was replaced by awards in two new categories:
·          the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography (photography in the nature of breaking news, as it has been called since 2000); and
·          the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography (human interest and matters associated with new items).


World Press Photo of the Year:
From 1955 World Press Photo has awarded prizes for the best photographs in 10 categories, with an overall award for the image that "... is not only the photojournalistic encapsulation of the year, but represents an issue, situation or event of great journalistic importance, and does so in a way that demonstrates an outstanding level of visual perception and creativity".

The photographs are interesting not only in their own right but for being windows on history.

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Award:
Pulitzer Prize for Spot / Breaking News Photography
Year:
1987
Photographer:
Kim Komenich, San Francisco Examiner
Photograph(s):
Photographic coverage of the fall of Ferdinand Marcos.


The Photographs:

Some of the 48,000 photographs taken by Kim Komenich between 1984-1986 of the Philippines revolution against Ferdinand Marcos:




A large bust of Ferdinand Marcos carved into a hillside in Benguet is overtaken by demonstrators.

Thousands of supporters gather in a human barricade that repeatedly turns away Marcos tanks and troops and protects the pro-Aquino troops and leaders inside. A flag bearing the likeness of assassinated Filipino political leader Benigno Aquino Jr. waves over the crowd.

Catholic nuns, rosaries in hand, form the first line of defense against machine-gun wielding Marcos troops.

Corazon Aquino is sworn in as President of the Philippines. Doña Aurora Aquino, the mother of Ninoy, holds the Bible.

A defiant Ferdinand Marcos and an anguished Imelda Marcos facing their supporters before fleeing the country.

The Photographer:

(Kim Komenich (1956 - ) was hired as a photographer for the san Francisco Examiner in 1982.  He  continued working as a staff photographer for the Examiner until 2000. In 2007, Komenich graduated from the University of Missouri with a master's degree in journalism. From 2000–2009, Komenich served as a staff photographer and editor at the San Francisco Chronicle before accepting a full-time teaching position at his alma mater, San José State University. In 2015, Komenich accepted an assistant professor position at San Francisco State University.


Background:

Ferdinand Marcos (1917 – 1989) was President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986, who ruled as a dictator under martial law from 1972 until 1981. His regime was infamous for its corruption, extravagance, and brutality.

When Marcos placed the Philippines under martial law in 1972, he revamped the Constitution, silenced the media, and used violence and oppression against the political opposition, Muslims, communist rebels and ordinary citizens.  Public outrage led to the snap elections of 1986. Allegations of mass cheating, political turmoil, and human rights abuses led to the People Power Revolution in February 1986, which removed him from power. Corazon “Cory” Aquino, the widow of assassinated opposition leader Benino “Ninoy” Aquino, became President of the Philippines, the first woman to hold that office. She is widely accredited as the Mother of Asian Democracy.

To avoid what could have been a military confrontation in Manila between pro- and anti-Marcos troops, Marcos was advised by President Ronald Reagan to "cut and cut cleanly", after which Marcos fled to Hawaii.

According to source documents provided by the Presidential Commission on Good Government, the Marcos family stole US$5–10 billion and removed billions of dollars from the Philippines between 1965 and 1986. His wife Imelda Marcos, whose excesses made her infamous in her own right, spawned the term "Imeldific", meaning ostentatiously extravagant, sometimes to the point of vulgarity.

Ferdioand Marcos

Imelda Marcos

Cory Aquino

About the photos:

Kim Komenich won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1987 for capturing images of the “People Power” revolution that rocked the Philippines.  On assignment from the San Francisco Examiner, he took over 48,000 photographs between 1984 and 1986, documenting the rise of “People Power” that saw Cory Aquino become the head of opposition to Marcos after her husband was assassinated at Manila Airport upon his return to the Philippines.  According to Komenich, he “focused on the excesses and corruption of the Marcos regime. It was a wild time. One day we would spend with the communist New People's Army, and the next night we'd be having dinner with Imelda Marcos."

In 2011 Kim Komenich had an exhibition to mark the 25th anniversary of the People Power Revolution that saw Cory Aquino elected President and the ousting of the Marcos.  Entitled “Revolution Revisited”, it was a revisiting of the people he had photographed in the earlier years, the photographs being an exhibition of then and now.  The exhibition was opened by President Benigno Aquino 111, the son of Ninoy and Cory Aquino, President of the Philippines from 2010 until 2016.

President Benigno Aquino III (middle) receives a token from photojournalist Kim Komenich (right) during the launching of "Revolution Revisited" photo exhibit at Ayala Museum. Looking on is Ayala Corporation Chairman Emeritus Jaime Zobel de Ayala.

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Award:
Pulitzer Price for Feature Photography
Year:
1987
David C Peterson, Des Moines Register
Photograph(s):
“Farm Owners”
Photographs depicting the shattered dreams of American farmers.

The Photographs:

A sample:


The Photographer:

David Peterson won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 1987 and again in 1991 for community service while working for the Des Moines Register. He has photographed thirty-seven Drake Relays for readers of the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Des Moines Register, and Track & Field News. His work has also appeared in National Geographic, numerous Harper-Collins photo books, Parenting Magazine, Newsweek, Smithsonian Magazine, and the IOWAN. Before graduating from Kansas State University, he was a six-time All-American and Big Eight champion in track and field and served as team captain his senior year. A newspaper photojournalist for thirty-three years, Peterson now has his own business specializing in editorial, corporate, and travel photography. He lives in Pleasant Hill, Iowa.


Comments:

In the 1980’s, the situation facing farmers in the US was the worst that it had been since the Great Depression.  Declining crop prices and rising interest rates resulted in foreclosures and forced sales.  Where generations of farmers had passed farms to succeeding generations, for many there was nothing left to hold onto, much less pass on.

Photographer David Preston was determined to put a human face on the tragedy and took leave of absence from the Des Moines Register.  He spent time with Pat and Elmer Steffes, Iowa farmers trying to make a go of their small holding.  The farm crisis was especially severe in Iowa.  The symbol of death of a farm was a white wooden cross planted at the front of the farmhouse.  The Steffes planted a number on their lawn.  They ended up losing their farm when the bank foreclosed after they defaulted on their loans.




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Award:
World Press Photograph of the Year
Year:
1987
Photographer:
Anthony Suau
Photograph(s):
Election in South Korea

The Photograph:


A desperate mother in Kuro, South Korea leans against a riot policeman’s shield and begs for mercy for her son, arrested during a demonstration. After the November election there were protests against the government, accused of electoral fraud.

The Photographer:


Born in the United States in 1956, Anthony Suau has been based in Europe since 1987 and has dedicated his career to documenting the effects of international events on the lives of people around the world.  His awards as a photographer include:
·       the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for his images of the famine in Ethiopia;
·       a 2008 World Press Photo of the Year for his image of an armed officer moving through a home following residents' eviction as a result of mortgage foreclosure.

He has also published books and made documentaries.

Comments:

From Anthony Suau’s website at:

After two decades of building an economic miracle, in the summer of 1987 tens of thousands of frustrated South Korean students took to the streets demanding democratic reform. "People Power" Korean-style saw Koreans from all social spectrums join in the protests. With the Olympics to be held in South Korea in 1988, President Chun Doo Hwan decided on no political reforms and to choose the ruling party chairman, Roh Tae Woo, as his heir. The protests multiplied and after 3 weeks Chun conceded releasing oppositionist Kim Dae Jung from his 55th house arrest and shaking hands with opposition leader Kim Young Sam. Days later he endorsed presidential elections and an amnesty for nearly 3,000 political prisoners. It marked the first genuine initiative of democratic reform in South Korea and the people had their victory.




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