2021: A Year in Photos

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Photojournalism acts as a pathway to a more empathetic and compassionate understanding of the world around us. This reporting provokes change when we witness the vast diversity of the human experience with our own eyes. In 2021, the Pulitzer Center supported photographic storytelling from all over the globe that places underreported stories in the forefront of our minds. These photographers are dedicated to highlighting the systemic issues we face in the world today. Their work supports constructive impact and has been used to create educational curriculum for all ages that broadens the audience and promotes an informed, globally-engaged public.

This work documents the highs and lows of the fight against COVID-19, provides an intimate account of the refugee experience, and visualizes the toll of climate change on the environment and human lives. It also celebrates many facets of identity, the fight for human rights, and the reclamation of sacred values. These stories are told by photographers all over the globe, many reporting in their own communities, showcasing diversity in both stories and storytellers. We are grateful to our grantees and reporting partners for their tireless efforts, overcoming immense challenges, and continuously innovating the craft of storytelling.

Portrait of an older man against a dark background. He looks up. A few spots of light hit his face. His eyes are clouded. His face is shaven but an uneven stubble is starting to grow on his chin and upper lip.
Lima, Peru
He was seven years old when his mother, on her deathbed, left him under the care of a restaurateur in Lima. Vicente Vargas Valenzuela learned to read and write at a late age. He was 15 when he entered school. After a great effort, he was able to buy a small plot of land in Villa María del Triunfo. Despite his age, he continues working because he has neither medical insurance nor retirement benefits. “I can’t be lazy. My bones will rust,” he says. Image by Marco Garro. Peru, 2021. 
Tenía siete años cuando su madre, antes de morir, lo dejó bajo la tutela del dueño de un restaurante en Lima. Vicente Vargas Valenzuela aprendió a leer y a escribir tarde. Tenía 15 años cuando pisó el colegio. Luego de mucho esfuerzo pudo comprarse un terrenito en Villa María del Triunfo. A pesar de su edad, continúa trabajando porque no tiene seguro ni jubilación. "No puedo ser vago. Se me oxidan los huesos," dice.

A young man stands with his back to the camera. He is shirtless, his arms are crossed in front of his chest, and he has a bandage on his upper right arm. On his back are marks, dark brown, red and purple, running diagonally from his right shoulder blade.
Hamdayet, Sudan
Fisseha Welay, an 18-year-old Tigrayan student who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray, shows the wounds on his back from being beaten by Eritrean soldiers, hours after his arrival to Hamdayet, eastern Sudan, near the border with Ethiopia, on March 17. In Ethiopia, what started as a political dispute turned into a partnership with Eritrea and a larger campaign to purge the Tigray population from the northern part of Ethiopia. While the Ethiopian government has claimed life is returning to normal in Tigray, those still there say the abuse by soldiers continues. Image by Nariman El-Mofty/Associated Press. Sudan, 2021.

A face, eyes closed, lying on a pillow. Two hands, palms facing, fingers gently laced together, close to the camera. The face and the hands are doubled, a second, transparent, blurry, second copy overlapping the originals.
Washington, D.C., United States
"I reach out to my partner through the fog of my new sight." Estimates from a report by Physicians for Human Rights say 115 people were shot in the head with less-than-lethal weapons at protests between May and late July of 2020. Grantee and photojournalist Wil Sands lost his vision after getting hit in the eye by a tear gas canister covering the 2020 protests in Washington, D.C. To help better understand his experience, and navigate his new world, he sought out others who also had lost their vision to less-than-lethal weapons used by police during the 2020 protests. Image by Wil Sands/Narratively. United States, 2020.

An older woman sits staring to her right. Tears are welled up in her eyes. She sits in a dark room. Her gray hair is pulled back from her face, she wears a shirt with a photograph of a younger woman's face, smiling, printed on it.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Patricia Nasutti sits for a portrait wearing a printed t-Shirt with her daughter Ursula’s face in her living room in Rojas, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on April 9, 2021. On February 8, 2021, 18-year-old Ursula Bahillo was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend, 25-year-old police officer Matías Martinez. She had filed several charges against him, but no protective measures were taken. Image by Sarah Pabst/Zeit Online. Argentina, 2021.

“For this project, we (writer Karen Naundorf and I) focused on femicides committed by security forces. We traveled through the extensive Province of Buenos Aires to talk to family members and people who try to change the system. We wanted to tell the stories of lives that ended way too soon and that could have been saved, and of the endless fight for justice of the ones left behind. I was pregnant at that time and we were in the middle of the pandemic—it was definitely not easy.

This project is so necessary and important and at the same time incredibly heartbreaking. Femicides have widespread effects: the violent loss, intense grief, families are torn apart, children become orphans, and many surviving dependents are living under threats. There’s so much injustice.

This portrait of Patricia has become the iconic photograph of the project because it’s all there, in her eyes: her endless sadness and at the same time, her strength and tireless fight for justice for her daughter. She had promised her dead daughter that there would be justice. She succeeded—the murderer got a life sentence. But still, that doesn’t bring her back.”

 Sarah Pabst

A child lies on his stomach, his left arm under his head and his right arm stretched out to a pile of jewelry: a pair of silver earrings with stones, a pair of thick gold-colored hoops, a silver necklace, and a ring on the boy's finger.
Hamdayet, Sudan
Five-year-old Micheale tries on jewelry belonging to his late mother, Letay, inside the family shelter, in Hamdayet on March 14. Michaele's mother Letay died after giving birth with little help from surrounding clinics during the birthing process. As the conflict in Tigray continues, more than 6 million people have been caught in the crosshairs as they try to protect their families. Image by Nariman El-Mofty/Associated Press. Sudan, 2021.

A woman looks at the camera through leaves and branches. Only her forehead, eyes, and the top of her nose can be seen, the rest of her face and body are obscured by vegetation.
Ucayali, Peru
Sanken-Runa (40) is an Indigenous Shipibo-Konibo woman on the shore of a lake. Her father taught her to use plants to alleviate ailments. Like many Indiegnous communities in the Amazon, the Shipibo-Konibo isolated themselves during the pandemic, and turned to the forest, and their knowledge of medicinal plants as a way of healing and understanding coronavirus. With a crumbling health system and high community transmission, the Shipibo-Konibo created a network of artists, healers, and leaders to help combat the virus. This group with expansive Indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants began using matico leaves and eucalyptus to treat infected community members and provide relief from virus symptoms. Image by Florence Goupil / El País. Peru, 2021.

Profile of a man's head, shoulders, and part of his chest. He stands in front of a large square of white fabric, on a roll like a screen, hung from a nail on a wooden wall. He wears a collared shirt, white with thin light blue stripes.
 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
A man poses for an ID photo in an improvised photo studio outside the General Directorate of Migration in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, Nov. 22. The government has repeatedly said it treats migrants humanely. President Luis Abinader recently told the United Nations that his country had borne the burden of dealing with the ripples of Haiti’s crises on its own, without much help from the rest of the world. Image by Matias Delacroix/Associated Press. Dominican Republic, 2021.

Against a gray, cloudy sky, one single tree stands in water. The water reaches the top of the trunk, just before the branches. The branches are bare, no leaves. The water is gray and murky, almost the same color as the sky.
South Carolina, United States
In the South Carolina Lowcountry, the tide washes over trees at Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve on September 9, 2021. Archaeologists are racing to study nearby shell rings threatened by rising seas. Image by Lauren Petracca/The Post and Courier. United States.

Lines of light blue light curve through the night sky, multiple lines overlapping each other and following the same trajectory. They curve slowly and then fold back sharply. The lights are reflected below in water and wet sand.
Texas, United States
A proposed site for a Rio Grande LNG facility in Port Isabel, Texas. This photograph was created as a historical record to visualize the future environmental impact large oil and gas facilities will have on Texas. Using light painting, long exposure photography, and the support of a drone, the photography team was able to impose the effect of industrialization on land. Image by Ivan Armando Flores / Texas Observer. United States, 2021.

Against a dark sky is the front of a small stone church with a cross on top and an empty arch below the cross. He speaks to a phone on a tripod recording him.
Santa Barbara, Honduras
Friar Leopoldo Serrano celebrated Mass, broadcast via Facebook, at a chapel in Mission San Francisco de Asís in Honduras on June 19, 2021. Located on the border of the departments of Santa Barbara and Copan, his sprawling mission straddles the road that is one of the region's main drug trafficking corridors. Image by Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press. Honduras, 2021.

A girl stands in the center of the photograph, facing away from the camera but turned, head over her shoulder to look back. She is holding a baby on her hip. The cornstalks on either side are almost double her height. The path is not visible.
Nuevo Quejá, Guatemala
A girl holding a toddler eyes the camera as she walks through a cornfield in the makeshift settlement Nuevo Quejá, Guatemala, on July 10, 2021. Nuevo Quejá is home to about 1,000 survivors from Quejá, a community buried in a mudslide triggered by Hurricane Eta. Image by Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press. Guatemala, 2021.

“To explore. Go to the last land. As far as it was possible by our own means, as our ancestors did, to discover the last great adventure of Homo sapiens across the planet: Tierra del Fuego.

There, with support from the Pulitzer Center, I found a story that needed to be revised. A story that was no longer written by the winners, but by the survivors. A story so common in our history on the road to progress, which we call civilization. Despite everything written in the history books and laws of Man, the Selk’nam prove that they are alive.

I believe it is every explorer's dream to bring to the public new information that reveals new knowledge for history, science, journalism, and society so that we can build new solutions, repairs and relationships so that future generations can enjoy a better, more peaceful and more diverse world. I am grateful to the Pulitzer Center for allowing me to simply explore.”

 Marcio Pimenta

A man stands in a wheat field. The man wears an insulated, brown windbreaker and a tall brown fur hat. On his face are three white dots placed high on each cheek and on the bridge of his nose. A red line on each runs up each cheek along the cheekbone.
Punta Arenas, Chile
José Luis Vásquez Chogue, secretary of Corporación Selk’nam. This is the first time he has visited the land of his ancestors in Punta Arenas, Tierra del Fuego. “It was an emotion and energy that I had never experienced. I tried to see and experience this place with my grandfather's eyes.” His grandfather was given up for adoption to a French family. Believed to be extinct, survivors of the Selk’nam people are now fighting for recognition.⁠ Image by Marcio Pimenta/Folhapress. Punta Arenas, Chile, 2021.

A black-and-white composite image, with elements from different scenes on top of each other. A man faces the camera, behind his head are clouds. A wood fence cuts across his face, and through the stakes in the fence are trees silhouetted against a sky.
Saskatchewan, Canada
Marcel Ellery attended Marieval Indian Residential School from 1987 to 1990. He ran away 27 times, scaling fences like the one in his portrait, but he was always caught. “When I got out, I turned to booze because of the abuse," he says. "Ending up in jail was easy, because I’d already been there.” During the summer of 2021, many First Nation tribes in Canada discovered hundreds of unmarked graves of children who had been forced to attend residential boarding schools as a part of broader forced assimilation movement by the Canadian government. The effects of this experience and the abuse experienced at these schools is still felt in many Indigenous communities. The last of the Canadian residential schools closed in 1996, and inspired an ongoing project with photographer and grantee Daniella Zalcman to capture what memory means to Indigenous people. Image by Daniella Zalcman / National Geographic. Canada, 2021.

A woman lies on her side, propped up on pillows, looking at her phone in her hands. She wears a blue dress and has long hair. She is on a blue blanket. The wall behind her is made of bricks, painted blue. A small brown bag hangs from a nail in the wall.
 Chihuahua, Mexico
Vicki, a trans woman originally from Guerrero, Mexico, in the living space at Casa Carmelita. Vicki, 40, lived at the Casa de Colores shelter in Juárez for two weeks before she crossed the U.S. border as an asylum seeker. Image by Angel Chevrestt. Mexico, 2021.

A girl looks out of the window of a white van, looking into the distance. Her arm is out the open window. Close behind her is an older woman, holding black fabric to cover her mouth and nose, her elbow on the window, looking the same direction as the girl
Kabul, Afghanistan
Displaced Afghans from the northern provinces are evacuated from a makeshift IDP camp in Share-e-Naw park to various mosques and schools on August 12 in Kabul, Afghanistan. People displaced by the Taliban advancing flooded into the Kabul capital to escape the Taliban takeover of their provinces. Image by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images. Afghanistan, 2021.

A man with an American flag bandana stands between two stuffed leather armchairs with his hands in his pockets, staring at the floor. The window behind him is covered with a faded American flag. The walls are lined with insulation.
Arizona, United States
Jody Marquess, 43, looks at the recliner where his stepfather John Ramer died on June 17. It was Marquess’ birthday, but he was concerned about the 69-year-old, who eschewed air-conditioning. “He had tough-guy syndrome,” Marquess says, recalling a “stubborn” and “very frugal”— but also “honest and simple”—man. When Marquess stopped by that day—the high reached 118°F—he installed a portable AC unit for Ramer, who was sleeping. Two hours later, when he returned to drop off ice cream, Ramer was dead. From April through July, Maricopa County confirmed 47 heat-associated deaths, more than triple the figure confirmed by the end of the same period last year. Marquess had long wondered if this was how Ramer might die in Arizona: “I just didn’t think it was going to be this soon.” Image by Adam Ferguson for TIME. United States, 2021.

A shallow, square pit has been dug in front of a small wood house. Inside are two fires, ash, and sticks. One young man sits on a chair inside the pit. Another stands over the fire. A man crouches over a pot. Several more young men are in the scene.
Bihac, Bosnia
Migrants and refugees are seen cooking dinner in a makeshift, outdoor kitchen in the mountains overlooking Bihac, a small town in the Northwest region of the country, before attempting to cross the border into Croatia, the first EU member state bordering Bosnia. Image by Ziyah Gafic/National Geographic. Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2020.

“I've been a refugee. For a short period during the war in Bosnia in the early 90's I had to flee my home. Being a refugee means being uprooted—a feeling that hardly ever leaves you.

Bosnia became a principal gateway to EU countries since Hungary fortified its border with Serbia. The country that had half of its population displaced during the war now became an unexpected gatekeeper of Europe. When the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed Bosnia it became clear that it would only exacerbate the tension between the local populace and the people on the move.

People on the move are probably the most disenfranchised, marginalized group stuck in the country that doesn't want them. The plight of the people on the move has to be documented vigilantly, particularly in these uncertain times of the pandemic.”

 Ziyah Gafic

A woman stands in a graveyard, holding an umbrella over her head. The graves are packed closely together and stretch to the horizon. The graves are simple wooden crosses with names and dates. Some have flowers. Two men stand in the background.
Manaus, Brazil
Thousands of people in Manaus died in two separate surges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just about everyone in this city of 2 million people knows someone who died a slow and excruciating death after local hospitals ran out of oxygen. Officials bulldozed parts of the jungle for space to bury the dead. Image by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times. Brazil, 2021.

One car tire is stood up on its side in an empty clearing next to a road. The road is small and it disappears at the horizon. The closest building behind the tire is several stories tall, made of brick, with windows on the front facade.
Nevada, United States
A street in the mining town of Goldfield, Nevada. As the climate crisis worsens across the United States, many have either already left rural areas or will in the coming decades. With failing rural populations and increasing urban populations, socioeconomic conditions are often worsened, and cities struggle with the influx of people and being able to meet the needs. Many farmers in historically dry parts of the U.S. have watched as the country faced relentless droughts affecting crop supply. They also worry many young farmers, who see what's happening and leave the business sooner than they want to. "The climate crisis is dramatically changing people's lives," said Jack Henness, a land owner in Arizona. Image by Lalo de Almeida / Folha de São Paulo. United States, 2021.

Two people hug each other in the rain in a parking lot . One wears cargo shorts and a short sleeved shirt, his back to the camera. The other, facing the camera with a big grin and his eyes closed, wears a white shirt and black trousers.
Oregon, United States
Two protesters, Gabe and Drama, embrace in the rain following a march that was cut short by the storm. As protests erupted in the summer of 2020 in U.S. cities like Pittsburgh and Syracuse in response to the murder of George Floyd, reporting fellow Maranie Staab sought to photograph the humanity in small moments of compassion, friendship, and joy that was seen at these marches. Image by Maranie Staab. United States, 2020.

A man is shown in a short-sleeved, collared, button-up red shirt, with a white face mask. He crosses his arms over his chest. With one hand he grabs his shoulder, where his sleeve is pushed up, and in the other hand he holds his vaccine card.
Mato Grosso, Brazil
A resident of Mata Cavalo during immunization at the sports gym at Tereza Conceição de Arruda State School, in the Nossa Senhora do Livramento Parish in April. Image by Ahmad Jarrah/A Lente. Brazil, 2021.
Moradores de Mata Cavalo durante a imunização no Ginásio de esporte da Escola Estadual Tereza Conceição de Arruda, em Nossa Senhora do Livramento. Fotografia tirada em abril/2021. Ahmad Jarrah.

A woman with a face shield holds the wooden pole of a flag above her head. The flag has the words "Association of Household and Related Workers''. Behind her is an ornate, monumental building with white marble columns and a large bronze dome.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Estela Abila, president of the Asociación de Trabajadoras del Hogar y Afines (Association of Household and Related Workers), flies her organization's flag in front of Argentina's legislature at an April protest. With little protections, Argentina's domestic workers lost their incomes, and some their jobs, and others were forced to work despite the health risk amid a global pandemic. In response, Argentina's domestic workers are leading a new feminist movement. The growing movement is working to create unions and push legislation aimed at improving job security, wages, and more for women doing domestic work. Image by Anita Pouchard Serra / Globe and Mail. Argentina, 2021.

"I first met Sophia while covering a Black Lives Matter protest in San Francisco. She was eight months pregnant at the time. When I called her to ask if she would allow me to document her pregnancy, she immediately said, ‘Yes, what do you need from me? When do we start?’

Being able to document Sophia and the birth of her baby named Oshún was such a unique experience because Sophia was really excited to share her story. We both wanted readers to see a story that was representative of the Pacific Islander community. It was especially important to show that housing insecurity does not look the same for everyone.

After the story ran on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, Sophia said it was the first time she and her family had seen a story about the Samoan American community portrayed in a positive way."

 Sarahbeth Maney

A woman lies on the floor, her head on a pillow. Her shirt is rolled up over her stomach, knotted under her breasts, and her skirt is rolled down at her waist. She is pregnant. A second woman has her hand on the first woman's stomach.
California, United States
Birth worker Ruta Lauleva Aiono (left) massages Sophia Tupuola, who is 36 weeks pregnant, during a prenatal meeting in San Francisco on July 1, 2020. "We incorporate massage into our care, if the client is comfortable with it," said Aiono. "Growing up as a Samoan, massage is something that I always had to do for my elders and something I continue to do for the people I care for." Image by Sarahbeth Maney. United States, 2020.

A black-and-white photograph of a man on a ladder thatching a roof. He is leaning forward with a tied bundle of straw in his hands. The roof he is thatching is on a cobblestone tower. Mountains and hills are visible behind him.
Cusco, Peru
Mario Quispe's family and friends helped in the construction of the stone warehouse. Mario Quispe is a farmer, an independent researcher and has worked on archaeological excavations. Quispe has built a stone and mud qolca, a food storage silo inspired by ancestral technologies in his community at 12,400 feet above sea level, in Cusco, Peru. Image by Sharon Castellanos/Mongabay. Peru, 2021.
A black and white photograph of a man standing next to his cobblestone home with a thatched roof. He holds a candle in his hands. It is nighttime. Mountains are visible in the background.
Cusco, Peru
Mario Quispe burns palo santo to purify the contour of the qolca. Image by Sharon Castellanos/Mongabay. Peru, 2021.

Two women sit on a sofa, arms around each other. One woman faces the camera, with a gentle smile on her face. The second woman's hair is tied up at the back of her head, and her cheek pressed against the other woman's, her face not visible to the camera.
Marsabit County, Kenya
Dorcas Choya sits with Susie on her couch, who fled her home when her family brought a circumciser to cut her. “When I saw her, I just ran,” said Susie. “I didn’t bother taking anything. I ran without shoes." Image by Will Swanson/VICE World News. Kenya, 2020.

A woman sits at a table with a laptop, phone, and several papers spread across a plaid cloth. She holds a mechanical pencil in her hand and in an open spiral-bound notebook. There is a faded photograph and two other drawings are on the table.
Bahia, Brazil
Indigenous student Vanessa Braz da Conceição, of the Pataxó people, at her home in the Federação neighborhood of Salvador, capital of Bahia state, Brazil. Image by Raul Spinassé/Mongabay. Brazil, 2021.

Two women stand together, backs against a brick wall, outdoors, smiling and looking to the right. Both wear jackets and glasses, one holds a rainbow-colored umbrella above them both. Rainbow-colored triangle flags is hung on the wall behind them.
Tamworth, United Kingdom
Ella and Crina at the Pride party in Tamworth, England. Ella and her partner, Crina, migrated to England from Romania, where a majority of the Orthodox Christian population hold heavy political influence. With their relationship not legally recognized, and the growing stigma against the LGBTQ community, Ella and Crina worried for their safety, if they stayed. After researching where they could get married in Europe, Ella and Crina decided on England, knowing they both were fluent in English and had job prospects, despite looming fears about Brexit. Image by Cosmin Bumbut / Libertatea. United Kingdom, 2021.

A girl lies on the top bunk of a bunk bed on her back with her legs resting on the wall. Her very long, dark brown, wet hair falls off the bunk. The woman on the bottom bunk holds a hair dryer to the girl's hair while a girl runs a comb through the hair.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The hair of Antonella Bordon, 12, hangs from the top bunk while her sister blow dries it in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Antonella kept her hair growing, as she saw it as a key part of her identity. During the pandemic, she promised herself she wouldn't cut her hair until she was in school in person. This lasted two years. What began as a story about one young girl's hair and the pandemic turned into one about education inequities in Buenos Aires, amid isolation and lack of technology access. Many students living in the city's poorer settlements lost meals, and abandoned education entirely for a year. When Antonella finally returned to school, she cut her hair, a symbol of how much she had changed during lockdown, and who she had become. Irina Werning / The Guardian. Argentina, 2021.

“I’m drawn to small and happy stories, the type of stories you don’t really find in the media, but that make you think about what’s important in life and feel more optimistic about the future. I was very surprised and thrilled when the Pulitzer Center decided to support me in this project.

This picture transports me to Latin America and makes me think how the COVID crisis has tested education systems in unprecedented ways. We need to learn from our lessons and make a more effective, equitable, and resilient education system to better withstand future shocks.”

 Irina Werning

A boy faces the camera, only his head and neck visible, with vegetation and forest out of focus behind him. His eyes are closed, his face tilted up, and two small fruits, the size of small beads, are balanced on his face at the inner corners of his eyes.
Bahia, Brazil
Joao Pedro, 10, plays with murici fruits in the village of Cacimbinha in western Bahia. The region is home to communities that date to the 19th century, when escaped plantation slaves and other immigrants intermarried with Indigenous people. ​​Since the 1990s, much of western Bahia has been converted into cropland for agriculture like soy and cotton, making Brazil one of the largest exporters. A water-rich country due to frequent and large rainfalls allows Brazil's traditional farmers rich harvests. However, as the regional competition for water worsens, the rainfalls less, and the rivers dried up, some of the smaller farms are struggling to understand where the water went. Image by Dado Galdieri/Hilaea Media. Brazil, 2021.

A group of people sit on the ground facing the camera. Some hold children in their laps; others hold bags. Trees and piles of bags are in the background.
Cabo Delgado, Mozambique
Families displaced by conflict wait at a full resettlement area near Montepuez, Cabo Delgado. The ongoing conflict in Cabo Delgado has displaced over 700,000 Mozambicans, since 2017, as insurgent groups battle for the region's valuable natural resources. Image by Ed Ram / Telegraph. Mozambique, 2021.

A waterfall in a forest, with a man standing in front of it in profile. The water is moving rapidly, white foam filling the center of the photograph, out of focus from the speed. The water comes from between two rock faces. The man wears a green uniform.
South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Eco-guards work in a beautiful environment. But no matter how scenic, this environment is not always safe. Image by Robert Carrubba/Wildlife Messengers. Congo, 2021.
Une vue du couloir qui jusqu’à récemment était dangereux en raison des milices rebelles qui braconnaient et coupaient des arbres en plus d’autres activités illégales.
A pickup truck is stopped on a road overlooking a valley. Two men are in the bed of the truck, in green uniforms. One stands looking into the valley. The other sits on the bed, looking down at a third man. A fourth man sits in the driver’s seat.
South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
A view of the corridor, which until recently was unsafe due to rebel militias, who were poaching and cutting trees in addition to other illegal activities. Image by Robert Carrubba/Wildlife Messengers. Congo, 2021.
Les éco-gardes travaillent dans un bel environnement. Mais aussi pittoresque soit-il, cet environnement n’est pas toujours sûr.

Carcasses of dead bulls hang in the foreground of the photograph. Behind them is a man. Above his head hangs industrial machinery with a serrated blade. A large funnel sticks out of the tiled wall, with bright red blood dripping off of it.
Porto Velho, Brazil
A slaughterhouse in Porto Velho, in northwest Brazil, in July. Image by Victor Moriyama/New York Times. Brazil, 2021.

“This image helped tell the story of a salmon disaster on the Lower Yukon River village of Emmonak in Western Alaska. For generations, the region has relied on chum salmon for both income and food.

This summer’s low return has meant no subsistence or commercial fishing for chum, something residents told us they have never faced before. ‘We’re just devastated,’ mayor Wilbur Hootch said.

Traveling to Emmonak allowed reporter Zach Hughes and I a chance to hear directly from the residents about why one species of fish means so much and how the lack of it creates tangible concern for their future. When Mr. Westlock showed us his smokehouse, it was a rare opportunity to see a small amount of fish in the village that his son had traveled a long way from Emmonak to get.”

 Marc Lester

A man in a green windbreaker jacket and a gray woven cap stands in a small wooden room and looks up at strips of fish hanging from the ceiling to dry. His face is somber. The man's arm is on a blue metal ladder that leans against the wall.
Alaska, United States
Salmon hangs in John Westlock's smokehouse in Emmonak on August 12.Westlock said his son traveled to the Bering Sea coast to fish this summer. Image by Marc Lester/ADN. United States, 2021.

Two men sit on brown horses. Behind them is a short, wooden slat fence. A gray horse and several cows, black and brown, are in the background. Behind them is an open pasture with stumps of dead trees and young palms sparsely distributed.
 Rondônia, Brazil
Pandolfi and his son are shown near their farm. The Pandolfi family owns 200 hectares of land in the Amazon, and sells to some of the largest beef producers in Brazil. Deforestation and land ownership are complicated in this part of the Amazon in the northern part of Brazil, a region plagued by poverty. Image by Larissa Zaidan/Bloomberg Businessweek. Brazil, 2021.

Twelve women, wearing beige, short-sleeved shirts and pants, are visible through blue bars set into a light blue wall. The bars form two large windows and a door, padlocked closed. Bunk beds, blankets, and clothing hangers are visible.
Ilopango, El Salvador
Incarcerated women from sector D of the prison in Ilopango, El Salvador, in March 2021. In this part of the prison, there are only prisoners who have belonged to gangs. These women haven’t received visits in three years and may only leave their cell for one hour a day. Image by Ana María Arévalo Gosen/El País. El Salvador, 2021.
En la imagen, presas del sector D de la cárcel de Ilopango (El Salvador), en marzo de 2021. En esta zona del penal están únicamente reclusas que han pertenecido a pandillas. Estas mujeres no han recibido visitas en tres años y solo pueden salir de la celda una hora al día. Imagen de Ana María Arévalo Gosen/El País. El Salvador, 2021.

A woman wearing blue sits in front of a solid-colored background, holding a child's face in her hands while she sits on her lap. The child, wearing a pink shirt, is smiling, but the woman looks worried.
Mikele, Ethiopia
Smret Kalayu, 25, from Dengelat, Ethiopia, recounts her escape in April while Eritrean forces searched houses and "watched each other" rape women of all ages. She is shown with the daughter of a friend who lives in the same camp for the internally-displaced in Mekele, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia on May 10, 2021. With the continued presence of Eritrean forces and the ongoing conflict in Tigray, women are repeatedly subjected to sexual abuse from soldiers, with limited access to medical care. Despite claims from both Ethiopia, and Eritrea, the Eritrean soldiers remain present in northern Ethiopia, where they block food and medical aid, and kill local civilians as they continue to control the region's roads and borders. Image by Ben Curtis/Associated Press. Ethiopia, 2021.

A man walks in the sunlight in front of red buildings. The photograph is shot from inside a dark archway.
Goree Island, Senegal
A man walks through the House of Slaves on Goree Island off the coast of Senegal. Once 28 slave houses operated on the island, including this one with its infamous Door of No Return. The story, “I am Omar,” explores the connection between Senegal and South Carolina, once the epicenter of the slave trade, by following the story of Omar, a 37 year-old Muslim scholar who was captured in Senegal and put aboard a slave ship to Charleston in 1807. Image by Gavin McIntyre / The Post and Courier. Senegal, 2021.

A woman stands in water, facing the camera, looking away to the left. Her hands are together at her waist, fingers laced together. She wears loose, light-green shorts and a white tank top. Her hair is gray and she wears glasses.
North Carolina, United States
Jean Hooper stands in the Pamlico Sound at the Salvo Community Cemetery in 2018. Hooper has lived on Hatteras Island for decades, with most of her family members buried at the Salvo Community Cemetery. Fears of the island's future have been growing as the shoreline begins to erode with rising tides and climate change’s increasing threat to the island's homes and recreation areas. Image by Justin Cook / Coastal Review Online. United States, 2018.

A flock of white birds in flight fill the sky and the foreground of the photograph, many in motion flying different directions. More birds are perched in trees below. At the horizon is a city, buildings stretching into the distance.
 Mato Grosso, Brazil
A bird flock in an area of urban expansion in the city of Sorriso, in the Cerrado of Mato Grosso. The population of Sorriso grew 8.6% in the last five years, according to data from city hall. According to research released by the IBGE, the city is the largest producer of corn and soybeans in Brazil. Image by Rafael Vilela/National Geographic. Brazil, 2020.

“I spent almost a year documenting the consequences of the pandemic in my hometown of São Paulo during 2020, photographing hundreds of burials in the cemeteries and hunger in the streets. So for me it was very important to travel to central Brazil to get a close look at the food systems and possible breeding grounds for diseases more serious than COVID-19.

I spent 45 days traveling—between soybean and corn farms, Indigenous villages, fire devastated areas and areas dedicated to agroforestry—in search of answers about how our actions brought us to this pandemic and the positive actions trying to prevent new outbreaks.

In this image I was in the city of Sorriso, Mato Grosso, one of the cities that has grown the most in recent years in Brazil, and I could see in real time the transformation of the cerrado into a city, with thousands of birds being displaced to make way for avenues and buildings.”

 Rafael Vilela

A woman drives a golf cart across a field. A dog follows her. She wears an orange skirt, red sweater, and a pink scarf tied over her head. The field is dead and she drives along tracks, ruts in the ground, from a larger vehicle. Trees grow on the horizon.
Arizona, United States
Helen Nez looks for her sheep on her property in Blue Gap, Arizona. The Navajo people used to have some of the lowest rates of cancer. With a jump in privatized mining on Navajo land during the arms race years, many of the companies later abandoned the land, leaving radioactive waste rampant due to the lack of oversight. This led to a plethora of health and home problems for the Navajo people. Many have lost loved ones to uranium-related cancer and/or live in uranium-contaminated homes. Image by Mary F. Calvert. United States, 2020.

These photojournalists are being recognized for their crucial contributions in documenting our shared history. Ana María Arévalo Gosen won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award for her series “Días Eternos,” which chronicles experiences of incarcerated women in El Salvador, Sarah Pabst’s photography was featured in BuzzFeed News’ “9 Photo Stories To Challenge Your View of the World,” and Adam Ferguson’s documentation of climate change in the American West appeared in TIME's Top 100 Photos of 2021.

Pulitzer-supported stories are also creating real-world impact. For photographer Victor Moriyama and Rainforest Investigations Network fellow Manuela Andreoni, hours spent camped out of slaughterhouses, following trucks down unnamed roads, and paddling through the Amazon in a holey canoe paid off when a Brazilian state attorney cited their project investigating the supply chain of leather seats in luxury SUVs—striking down a law that had facilitated the destruction of the Jaci-Paraná preserve.

This work would not be possible without the support of readers like you. Will you help our in-depth, investigative journalism continue to shine a light on systemic issues and elevate underreported stories in 2022 and beyond?

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