[News] And the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography Goes to…
Massoud Hossaini, who is also the first Afghani to win a Pulitzer Prize. Hossaini’s work captures the horrors of violence that occur in Afghanistan on a regular basis. The photo was captured just as a suicide bomber took his own life and that of many others in the vicinity. A girl dressed in green screams as blood runs down her face, and she is surrounded by bodies of the wounded and dead.
The moment was captured by Hossaini, who himself was wounded in the attack.
It was the Shia Muslim festival of Ashura, the day Shias mourn for Imam Hossain, their third imam and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. The girl in the photo, named Taraneh, had begged her parents for the green dress, which are typically worn by children to celebrate the holiday. A man, who turned out to be the suicide bomber, walked into a plaza, sat down, and detonated the device he wore, which killed many and sent shards of shrapnel flying in all directions.
Hossaini was wounded, yet continued to take photos, working one-handed. After some time, he had his driver take him back to his hotel, as he could no longer bare to shoot photos of the event. Continuing to work one-handed. Hossaini uploaded the photos to the press wire and very shortly after, he received word that his photo had been picked up by a number of publications across the world.
This is not the first award that Hossaini has won for the photo: he also won the Pictures of the Year International award for best news picture, and took second place for Spot News in the World Press Photo 2012 contest.
But all of the awards do not make it any easier for Hossaini, who says that he does not feel comfortable looking at the pictures that won him the awards. He remarks: “I still can’t go back and look at the pictures I took on that Ashura day.”