LIKE A CHILD’S FUNHOUSE NIGHTMARE . . .
Making our annual staff selections of favorite Pulitzer Center photography is a holiday treat for all (except for the fact that Pulitzer Center grantees produce such exceptional work that we’d like to highlight even more). The exercise is also a window on the personalities of our colleagues here—as in the haunting explanation from Amanda Ottaway, our education coordinator, as to why she chose this image by Tomas van Houtryve.
"The aerial photography in Tomas’s project “Blue Sky Days” brings an experience that can seem distant and clinical—U.S. drone strikes abroad—jarringly close to home, like to this playground in Sacramento County, California,” Amanda writes. “The image makes me dizzy, as if I’m spinning in a child’s funhouse nightmare, in a disorienting and distinctly sinister contortion of reality. But what I find most unsettling is the apparent shadow of a child in the middle, raising her hand high as if she’s saying, 'Pick me! Pick me!'"
For other staff choices, and some extraordinary photography, view the gallery assembled by Meghan Dhaliwal, our multimedia projects coordinator. Meghan came to us three years ago as a Campus Consortium student fellow, from Boston University. As a staff member she has been a key creative spark behind photo exhibits, museum collaborations, E-books, and more. Next month she heads to Mexico City, to begin a career in freelance photography. We’ll miss her—and will be following her images.
A HAVEN, SO FAR, IN SWEDEN
Joanna Kakissis continues her series for NPR on refugees from Syria who have escaped the civil war—this time with a profile of Lulu al-Aydi, a 25-year-old blind woman and aspiring writer who has found a new home in Sweden.
Sweden has taken in more refugees relative to its population than any other country in Europe, Joanna notes, but faces growing popular support for an opposition political party that would like to cut immigration by 90 percent.
European countries have thus far taken in at least 150,000 Syrian refugees. Several million more are in camps in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. The United States, thus far, has accepted only about 300.
But in the meantime, Joanna reports, “Lulu al-Aydi is still dreaming big. She's writing an autobiographical screenplay about a blind girl who flourishes in Europe. And she hopes to bring from Syria her husband and her sister, who are also blind.”
With hopes from all of us for a peaceful, productive 2015—and our thanks for your interest and support.
Until next week,