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‘Images can change the world’: Veteran photojournalist

June 12, 2024 at 2:01 pm

Palestinians walk among the rubble of destroyed buildings as they return home after Israeli forces withdraw from Jabalia, Gaza on June 02, 2024 [Dawoud Abo Alkas – Anadolu Agency]

Yuri Kozyrev, a jury member of the Istanbul Photo Awards and a veteran photojournalist, expressed his belief that the horrific images coming from Palestine can mobilise people and potentially change the world, Anadolu Agency reports.

“I think we can absolutely call what’s happening in Palestine ‘genocide,’ without a doubt, and the power of photography still exists,” Kozyrev told Anadolu after attending “Istanbul Photo Awards Talks” where experienced photographers shared their experiences.

“I remember Eddie Adams’ photo showing the execution of Vietnamese people in 1968. Yes, that photo somehow caught the attention of students, and then people went out to protest the war in Vietnam,” Kozyrev recalled.

“We have students protesting the war in Palestine. I believe they have seen the horrific images coming from Palestine. This drives them to go out and do something,” he stressed.

“Therefore, I believe these powerful images can change the world,” Kozyrev said.

Kozyrev also hailed Mohammed Salem, who won the “Photo of the Year” award with his image titled “A Palestinian Woman Embraces the Body of Her Niece.”

“I think Mohammed captured an iconic image. It says a lot. And, at the same time, it’s not crude, raw or straightforward. It conveys so much in a very delicate way. You understand what’s happening there,” he noted.

“Most of the photographers applying from Palestine are locals. They are trapped there. So they are not outsiders. They are trying to do their jobs despite all this tragedy,” Kozyrev explained.

Kozyrev underlined that journalists who have no choice but to stay in Gaza are showing the world what is happening on the ground.

“They need to take care of their families. The conditions they work under are absolutely incredible. When most of us go to conflict zones, we have a return ticket; they don’t,” according to Kozyrev.

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