Updated: Aug 19, 2021
On June 11th, Columbia University revealed the Pulitzer Prizes for 2021, which were awarded based on the Pulitzer Prize Board’s suggestion. Breaking News Photography and Feature Photography are two of the many genres dedicated to photography. The Associated Press won both categories this year. In this blog, I’m going to talk about Photographer Emilio Morenatti’s photo series, which won him the feature photography category.
Emilio Morenatti, the chief photographer of Associated Press in Spain, has worked as a photojournalist and documentary photographer for more than 30 years, covering international events in more than 50 nations, including armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Jerusalem, Gaza, and Pakistan. A bomb exploded in 2009 as he was working with a US military patrol in the south of Afghanistan, causing him to lose his left foot. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his “poignant series of photographs” depicting the life of the elderly, Agustina Cañamero (82) and Pascual Pérez (85) in Spain as they struggled through the Corona virus outbreak.
During the early months of the COVID-19 epidemic, at the end of February 2020, Emilio Morenatti began photographing the elderly in Spain. He gave an overview of what was going on in the world’s most vulnerable populations for the rest of the year. The most intriguing image has to be of Agustina Cañamero and her husband Pascual Pérez, who were seen hugging and kissing via a plastic film screen at a nursing home in Barcelona to prevent getting the coronavirus. On June 22, 2020, the photo was taken.
J. David Ake, AP assistant managing editor and director of photography, said in a public statement, “The outstanding work of the AP photography staff in covering racial justice protests and Emilio Morenatti’s compassionate, year-long look at the impact of COVID-19 on the elderly in Spain are two shining examples of what photojournalists strive to do everywhere: use light and shadow to bring knowledge and understanding to all corners of the globe.”
Morenatti said, “Covering the conflict in the backyard of my house has been something that I never thought I would have to do… All those photos were taken no more than five kilometers from my house, which makes a great difference with other conflicts I previously covered. This also happened in my own environment, my own neighborhood, my own city… It makes me even more empathic with the situation.”
Here are the winning images: