Image by Anna Badkhen. Afghanistan, 2011. Add this image to a lesson

One approach to covering the decade-long engagement by the U.S. in Afghanistan has been for journalists to “embed” with U.S. or NATO troops on the ground. Pulitzer Center grantee Anna Badkhen has taken a different approach. Over the course of four extended visits in 2011, Anna embedded with the people of Afghanistan. She spent time in the remote villages of Balkh Province, living with families, sharing their meals, listening to their stories, absorbing the rhythms and routines of daily life in a society that she says is now “closing into a protective shell.” The result is a remarkably rich tapestry of reporting that appeared mainly in Foreign Policy. This week Anna talked about this project with Dick Gordon, host of American Public Media’s The Story.

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Extended engagement has also been the mark of our work in Haiti, before and after the earthquake that claimed upwards of 200,000 lives in January 2010. One of our most memorable initiatives was Voices of Haiti, a multimedia "poetry project" that captured the lives of Haitians living with HIV/AIDS. This past week four of our Pulitzer Center colleagues joined poet Kwame Dawes and other performers for special stagings of Voices in Port au Prince and at the University of Miami, one of our newest Campus Consortium partners. As Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer reports, the trip was also an opportunity to visit some of the remarkable people behind the poems.

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Congratulations to Stephanie Sinclair, winner of the first prize in the contemporary issues/stories category of the 2012 World Press Photo awards. Stephanie was honored for her photographs in a National Geographic article on child brides. The Pulitzer Center supported Stephanie's work on a multimedia piece on the same topic.

Until next week,

Tom Hundley
Senior Editor