Robin Hammond to exhibit in Paris

Last updated 11:50 07/09/2012
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ROBIN HAMMOND

AWARD WINNING SHOT: 76-year-old Nyatwa who use to shovel coal in a sugar refinery but no longer can work due to illness.

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Wellington photojournalist Robin Hammond, who spent close to a month in a Zimbabwe prison earlier this year, will soon exhibit his pictures in Paris.

Hammond was awarded the third Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award, an award organised by a European foundation and consisting of a 50,000 Euro grant ($NZD79,250).

He stayed in Zimbabwe from December to May this year, working to depict the humanitarian crisis, chaos and poverty in the country.

He was arrested on April 16 for breaching media regulations, when he and Zimbabwe woman Bertha Chiguvare were working on a story on irregular migration between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

In his report for the award, which was announced in June, Hammond described Zimbabweans as some of the friendliest people in the world.

"Constantly I had to stay one step ahead of informants, police, intelligence officers and the so-called war veterans who had become beneficiaries of the Mugabe government.

"My interrogation at the hands of the police made me understand why this is a country living in fear."

He said the fear made documenting the lives of these "tragic victims difficult and restrictions on media made recording the fallout dangerous".

Each year a theme is proposed by the Carmignac Foundation and photographers work within that. The theme this year was Zimbabwe.

Hammond’s work, entitled ‘‘Your wounds will be named silence’’ will be exhibited in Paris at l’École des Beaux-arts from November through December.

Hammond grew up in Wellington before moving first to Britain and then South Africa, where he has lived for about the past three years and has won international media awards for his work as a photo journalist.

In 2009 and 2010 he won Amnesty International media awards and Life Magazine included one of his pictures in their edition of Pictures of the Year for 2010.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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