[News] And the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography Goes to...

[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."

Mike Kelley's picture

Michael Kelley (mpkelley.com) is a Los Angeles-based architectural and fine art photographer with a background in digital art and sculpture. Using his backgrounds in the arts, he creates images that are surreal and otherworldly, yet lifelike and believable. A frequent traveler, Michael's personal work focuses on the built environment of unique

Log in or register to post comments

It is both intriguing and disturbing that only news of violence and misery ever win awards

Beautiful baby puppies are easy to find and photograph.

Those poor poor babies.
Such horror is an eternal shame on humanity regardless of who commits it.

Crazy amazing photo! wow!  If this was staged I'm going to be PISSED!  too soon?

People died and you're joking?  Fuck off kid. 

this is all about the Pulitzer prize? so poor...

What? No..He's a photojournalist who's photo got nominated for the prize, he didn't get someone to blow themselves up and kill all these people for a trophy.

I was talking about the people who decide it to win this photo...

I'm disgusted by the number of people that think 1) that this photo was staged and 2) that a sick and morbid fascination with war and death are the only reasons photos win awards.

First, I think it would be beyond the pale for a person, any person, seasoned photojournalist or not, to go so far out of their way to have a suicide bomber blow up a group of people, injuring the photographer himself in a well documented attack in December, just to get an image. I know that there are photojournalists (maybe even some of you) that use Photoshop to edit reality to an extent that is unethical, but to think someone KILL PEOPLE to achieve a goal of winning an award or getting attention for your photos means that you have a twisted view on photojournalism or a terribly negative view of people in the Middle East.

Second, its not a fascination with death and war that wins these photos awards. Rather, its the effectiveness of the photos to convey a message or a feeling to people who are so far removed from the violence (or any event for that matter) that they can't begin to fathom the emotion of it. Sure, your photos of a Division III college softball team winning the National Championship may hold some inherent emotion and breaking news quality, but it doesn't have the broad-reaching impact, or even deep emotional impact that this photo has. Its not that these photos are glorifying war, its that the photographer was there at the right moment in time to capture an event that needed to be seen by the world, and did so with the utmost sense of artistry under duress.

I praise Mr. Hossaini for his diligent work in the face of danger and ability to get the photo that has impacted so many people. He deserved this award.

On a side note, the copy/paste on this and lack of proofreading detracts from the article. You repeat yourself a few times in the second and third paragraph. Clean it up please?

That's the first, and last, time I try to post from an iPad. Thanks for the heads up, glad someone is paying attention!

No problem, just trying to help.

The real question....... Nikon or Canon? :-). I kid! 
Amazing photo, almost surreal. Definitely sad.

What a sad comment....

Sometimes making a joke simply serves to make you look like a douche bag.
Well done on that one.

Personally, I think some things are better left unphotographed.  Just because you have a camera doesn't mean you should use it. Even the photographer is haunted by this. Makes me wonder how much better he'd feel if he didn't just sit there wounded, firing off shots.  But, you know, that's the discussion, isn't it.  I do congratulate him on his efforts.

Yeah, some things like shitty pictures of some ones cat or dog, This NEEDS to be photographed, People need to see what happens over there.

I think every potential suicide bomber should look at this picture before committing to do such a atrocity.As a parent myself, I cannot help but to think ...what if one of these kids laying lifeless were one of mine? Pictures like these are essential to raise awareness and remind the people that this kinds of acts could happen everywhere, not just Afghanistan.. Wining the Pulitzer Prize helps getting more exposure and raise awareness.
If you are offended by this picture.. then you're just a selfish person who refuses to see what's outside your bubble... if you think it's hard looking at this picture, then try to think whats like to be in it.

Don't try to fool yourself, they do look at pictures like this and are elated at the idea of how much notoriety they will receive. Rational thinking people will never be able to truly understand the people's mindset that are capable of crimes such as these. We can try, but there is no explaining away the disconnect from taking a childs life in the name of religion or any other foolish cause that these types of radicals believe is their root to heaven.

I think this photograph and other ones capturing the horror and destruction war and violence brings to our world are one of the best uses of a camera.
There's a large majority of people who are removed from the pain and suffering of other human beings and they need a wake up call.
It's the first time I see this photograph and it quickly reminded me of a photo taken after the bombing of Benazir Bhutto's rally in Pakistan.
It is clear proof to ignorant people who believe they are doing good in the world in the name of their god... 

Just hope people rely on their brain power more than their leaders' hateful lies!

Without photojournalists like this, the real horrors of our world will never be seen, I think they do a great job all around the world. However Im really not sure this type of photography should be winning awards, and Im sure 99% of true photojournalists are not in it for awards. 

She must have absolutely no explanation as to why someone would do that. I really sympathise with her expression. How can people do this to people?