Master Award 2018 | Paula Bronstein – ENG

Master Award Winner 2018Paula Bronstein

<< A humanitarian reportage that follows in the tradition of the greatest photojournalism, this storytelling maintains objectivity while respecting the pain endured by an entire population.

It achieves its goal of describing a terrible exodus in a profound and human way, making great emotional and documentary impact. >>

Stateless, Stranded and Unwanted: the Rohingya Crisis

The Muslim ethnic minority were always considered illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and denied the rights of citizenship. According to Human Rights Watch, the 1982 laws “effectively deny to the Rohingya the possibility of acquiring a nationality ”. Myanmar’s government also enforced severe restrictions on freedom of movement, state education and civil service jobs and health care. The Rohingya maintain they are indigenous to western Myanmar with a heritage of over a millennium and influence from the Arabs, Mughals and Portuguese.

For years Buddhist majority Myanmar has struggled to deal with a deeply rooted hatred towards the Rohingya in western Rakhine state.
The refugee emergency unfolded in late August 2017 after an attack on state security forces by Rohingya insurgents, triggering a brutal military crackdown that has forced more than half of the country’s 1.1 million population fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh creating the fastest cross-border exodus ever witnessed with over 700,000 new arrivals.

Thousands of children who are travelling alone are at serious risk of trafficking and exploitation. Many traumatized refugees arrived telling stories of horror alleging rape, killings and the burning of hundreds of villages, which have been well documented by the media, along with the U.N and various human rights groups. The government of Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, still refuses to address any of these atrocities while globally human rights organizations, including a recent visit by three Nobel women laureates state that she cannot avoid responsibility, calling the violence “genocide”. This further clarifies the discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya community as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing that are clear crimes against humanity.

Paula Bronstein’s many nominations and awards span decades and represent a lifetime of phenomenal documentary photography across the globe. Her work reflects the eye of a dedicated humanitarian photographer. She is an award winner of international contests, including The Pulitzer, Pictures of The Year International, and The National Press Photographer’s Association. She has judged some of the most important international photography contests, and exhibited extensively.

Bronstein’s work reflects a dedicated humanitarian and visual war correspondent finding visual moments nobody else would dare look for, as she brings a voice to those who have none. She continues to photograph presidents and kings, natural disasters, political turmoil and conflict, and always the most impoverished and vulnerable people on this earth, from Mongolia to Afghanistan and Africa.

She is the author of the award winning photography book Afghanistan: Between Hope and Fear. For 15 years Paula worked as staff for a number of US newspapers. Paula based herself in Bangkok 18 years ago covering the Asian region, she was staff for Getty Images News wire from 2002 until 2013.—exodus-to-bangladesh-2017/theunwanted_therohingya_bronstein001/