Pulitzer Center Update

'Dying To Breathe' Wins Hong Kong Human Rights Press Award, Finalist for CINE Golden Eagle

May 05, 2016|

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He Quangui, a former gold miner, died on August 1, 2015, from complications related to silicosis, an irreversible but preventable disease he contracted from years of working in the mines. Image by Sim Chi Yin/VII. China, 2011.

Pulitzer Center grantee Sim Chi Yin received a top accolade in the Hong Kong Journalists Association's 20th Human Rights Press Awards and placed as a finalist in the 59th CINE Golden Eagle Awards for her reporting project on China's gold mining industry and the health problems associated with it.

Chi Yin's Pulitzer Center-sponsored project "China: Dying to Breathe" explores the life of former Chinese gold miner He Quangui and his struggle with silicosis. Sim spent four years documenting He's life and produced the short film "Dying to Breathe" with Tan Siok Siok. He contracted silicosis, an irreversible but preventable respiratory illness caused by inhaling silica dust, while working in small, unregulated mines in Henan Province in central China. An estimated 6 million Chinese miners suffer from the debilitating disease pneumoconiosis—of which silicosis is one form.

Chi Yin’s “Dying to Breathe” won the Photography Grand Prize from the Hong Kong Journalists Association's 20th Human Rights Press Awards. Winners of the Human Rights Press Awards were chosen from 274 entries, including 139 Chinese-language works, 80 English-language works and 55 works of photojournalism. All submissions covered human rights issues in the Asia-Pacific.

Chi Yin's film also placed as a finalist in the CINE Golden Eagle Awards' Nonfiction Content/ Short—Documentary category. Other finalists in the category are Simon Ostrovsky from VICE News and Lawrence Hott from Florentine Films/Hott Productions, Inc. Brandon Bray from Bittersweet Foundation StandProud won the award for the category. Winners and finalists will be celebrated at annual receptions in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.