FLIGHT FROM SYRIA: REFUGEE STORIES – Hugh Eakin, Lauren Gelfond Feldinger, Stephen Franklin, Joanna Kakissis, Alia Malek, Holly Pickett, Alisa Roth, Alice Su, Selin Thomas
Flight from Syria: Refugee Stories features the writing and photography of nine Pulitzer Center grantees—journalists who reported on Syrian refugees between 2012 and 2015. Their travels took them from Syria to Sweden, and from crowded camps to cramped apartments in city suburbs.
Each of the journalists—Hugh Eakin, Lauren Gelfond Feldinger, Stephen Franklin, Joanna Kakissis, Alia Malek, Holly Pickett, Alisa Roth, Alice Su, and Selin Thomas—lends a unique perspective.
Originally published in Al Jazeera, BBC News, Guernica, In These Times, Marketplace, NPR, The Atlantic, and The New York Review of Books, these stories tell of an abandoned homeland, an indifferent world, and an uncertain future. They trace the history of one of the biggest displacements of modern times—providing a testament to the suffering and courage of those who fled.
Flight from Syria: Refugee Stories was edited by contributing editor Kem Sawyer and designed by multimedia coordinator Evey Wilson. Information graphics by Liz Adetiba, Jin Ding, Akela Lacy, Jessica Obert, and Anna Ziv are also included.
ECOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION — Jon Sawyer & Jin Ding
On June 16, 2015, academics, journalists, scientists, government, religious and business leaders from China, the U.S., and other countries came together for the first time to discuss the environmental challenges facing China and the world—and the increasingly important role of religion and traditional cultures in finding sustainable solutions to the challenges we face.
Ecological Civilization is a compendium of the talks and proceedings of the International Conference on Ecological Environment. It took place at the Yale Center Beijing and was o-sponsored by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Communication University of China, and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
This e-book begins with an introductory essay by Jon Sawyer, founding director of the Pulitzer Center, and features presentations by Dean Liu Chang, director of the School of Journalism at Communication University of China, and by Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-director of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. Ecological Civilization includes photos and videos by Pulitzer Center grantees Sean Gallagher, Sim Chi Yin, Shi Lihong, and Gary Marcuse.
In a new e-book, Pulitzer Center grantee Amy Maxmen follows the money. She tells the story of how local health workers who faced the greatest risk were often denied the pay that they had been promised. "Ebola's Unpaid Heroes" is a necessary look behind the scenes of the international community's response to the Ebola epidemic.
A Newsweek Insights edition. Buy the Kindle e-book on Amazon.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of nurses and other frontline staff fighting Ebola have been underpaid throughout the outbreak—and many remain so today. The lack of pay is not simply a matter of corrupt officials stealing donor money, because so-called "hazard pay" was issued through direct payments to frontline workers starting in November, then electronic payments to bank accounts and mobile phones beginning in December. The problems appear to be twofold: first, Sierra Leone's national health system has been so underfunded for so long, that it was a monumental challenge to document all of the country's care workers and set up payment distribution channels to them. Second, it turns out that relatively little money was set aside for local frontline staff within Sierra Leone's health system in the first place. In fact, less than 2% of €2.9bn ($3.3bn) in donations to fight Ebola in West Africa were earmarked for them. Instead, the vast majority of money, donated from the taxpayers of the UK, the US and two-dozen other countries, went directly to Western agencies, more than 100 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and to the UN.
THE DESERT BLUES — Joshua Hammer
Manny Ansar and Iyad Ag Ghali had little in common—one was a politically connected intellectual, the other a rebel waging war on behalf of his nomadic people in the middle of the Sahara. They did share one thing, though: a passion for Mali's desert blues, a haunting mix of traditional music infused with the influence of Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, and Jimi Hendrix.
The Festival in the Desert was born out of that shared passion. A grand spectacle in Mali's desolate dunes, the festival attracted some of the most famous musicians in the world, including Bono, Jimmy Buffet, and Robert Plant. But as the music flourished, the friendship turned to enmity. Ghali, who once openly scoffed at religious piety, succumbed to the pull of radical Islam. Ansar, who couldn't fathom his friend’s transformation, maintained the festival in the face of increasing threats of deadly violence.
In "The Desert Blues", veteran foreign correspondent Joshua Hammer lays bare the longing at the heart of Mali's legendary sound, and brings to life the jubilant possibility the festival represented and the deadly drama that ripped it all apart.
Learn more about the project "Taking Timbuktu: Music, Manuscripts and Madness at the Edge of the Sahara."
EXPLOITING TURKANA: ROBBING THE CRADLE OF MANKIND [Kindle Edition] — Jessica Hatcher
Turkana in Kenya’s arid north is the most important place you’ve likely never heard of, quintessential to understanding mankind. Now, Turkana has oil. Is it a pending resource-curse catastrophe?
A Newsweek Insights edition. Download the Kindle e-book for 99 cents.
CONGO'S CHILDREN — Kem Knapp Sawyer and Jon Sawyer
A French language version is also available on Creatavist. Translated by Mary Deschamps in collaboration with Odile B. de Sauverzac.
"Congo's Children" contains essays, photographs, and videos by Kem and Jon Sawyer that draw on reporting for outlets ranging from the PBS NewsHour and The Washington Post to Truth Atlas, Dowser, and The Christian Science Monitor. "Congo's Children" takes readers on a memorable journey of hope through a land that has endured more than its share of troubles.
The e-book has received advance praise from some of the leading experts in the field. “The stunning photographs and deeply moving text of this book offer a fine introduction to the suffering—and hopes—of people in a part of the world we know far too little about,” said Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost.
“Here’s the Congo that doesn’t make the news clips or TV screens,” said Jason Stearns, author of Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa. “The everyday Congo, with people managing to organize, create art, and educate each other despite the odds. A touching paean to the country's resilience.”
John B. Hardman M.D., president and chief executive of the Carter Center, hailed "Congo's Children" as an important educational resource. "The Sawyers' book on Congo’s children is a powerful tool for students of all ages to begin to understand complex issues of poverty and conflict," Hardman said, "through seeing how knowing people as individuals is a first step in protecting human rights and resolving disputes."
For more about this e-book, see "Congo's Children E-book Release" by Lauren Shepherd.
You can download a pdf here. (Short videos and a slideshow cannot be viewed in the pdf version.)
TARNISHED: THE TRUE COST OF GOLD — Ben Depp, Nadja Drost, Mellissa Fung, Dimiter Kenarov, Jacob Kushner, Narayan Mahon, Larry C. Price, Jane Regan, Stephen Sapienza, Nadia Shira Cohen, Damon Tabor
Tarnished: The True Cost of Gold tells the stories of those who mine the gold, the risks they take and the dangers they face from injury and drowning to mercury poisoning and lung damage. Here are portraits of people whose way of life is threatened and who now are fighting back—a miner who calls for fair trade and fair mine certification, “a modern-minded mayor who takes a stand against modern mining,” a Romanian farmer-philosopher.
Children as young as four haul buckets of water and smash boulders. Activist farmers stage roadblocks to protest the foreign takeover of a local mine. Indigenous peoples are displaced and environments despoiled. All of this in the service of gold—the lustrous, coveted symbol of wealth that is too often borne of poverty, danger and disease.
Eleven journalists traveled to 10 countries, from Peru to the Philippines, to tell these stories. Their work combines first-rate reporting, vivid imagery and video, and informative graphics to paint an often startling picture of gold production around the world.
MELTDOWN: CHINA'S ENVIRONMENT CRISIS — Sean Gallagher
A visual travelogue through China’s under-reported environmental issues, by Sean Gallagher. Using beautiful images and engaging storytelling, Gallagher takes readers on a tour through China to places both familiar – like big megalopolises—and hidden—such as ancient cities wiped off the map by desertification.
Regular readers will recognize Gallagher’s work. He is a multiple Pulitzer Center-grantee and award-winning photojournalist.
The book captures the nomadic herders of Tibet and some of China’s iconic animals and landscapes, just as they may disappear forever. Four chapters—one each on wetlands, forests, desertification and the Tibetan Plateau—move you 10,000 miles through China, from delta to glacier. Multimedia features including maps and videos that allow readers to see China as Gallagher does—a country that is both beautiful and endangered.
Versions of this book can also be read on browsers, or though the Creatavist app.
CANCER'S GLOBAL FOOTPRINT: THE ECONOMICS OF A DISEASE — Joanne Silberner
Worldwide, more people die from cancer than from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria—combined. Yet until recently, cancer was almost ignored by the global health groups, charitable organizations and governments working to improve conditions in developing countries. Joanne Silberner looks at cancer issues in Uganda, India and Haiti. How do people experience cancer when they have no money for care, or when no care is available? What are the causes of cancer in the developing world? Are there inexpensive ways of detecting and treating cancer, and are these ways acceptable to the populations they’re aimed at?
The project was supported by PRI’s The World® and by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Versions are available to read also through your browser or using the Creatavist app.
BETWEEN THE LINES: FACIAL TATTOOS AND THE CHAOUIA — Yasmin Bendaas
Sepia-tinted photos from over 50 years ago show striking facial tattoos of women from indigenous populations in Algeria. But documentation of these women has faded like the aged photographs. In Algeria today the actual practice of facial tattooing is disappearing along with the older generation. One particular indigenous group losing this cultural marker is the Chaouia of the Aurès Mountains in northeastern Algeria. This project from Pulitzer Center student fellow Yasmin Bendaas captures incredible portraits and stories from Chaouia women and investigates the origins and disappearance of tattooing, especially with the advent of literacy and Islam's spread.
Versions are available to read also through your browser and using the Creatavist app.
VOICES OF HAITI — Lisa Armstrong, Kwame Dawes and Andre Lambertson
An itinerant preacher whose story reads like Job—except for an incandescent smile and a mountain-moving faith. A woman who remains resolutely joyful despite the HIV that has infected half her family. Young girls subjected to rape and forced into commercial sex. A couple whose triumph over the disease is a study in grace. “Voices of Haiti” tells these and other stories in a mesmerizing presentation that combines the poetry of Kwame Dawes, the prose of Lisa Armstrong, the photography of Andre Lambertson, and the music of Kevin Simmonds, from work that has been featured in The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, and USA Today. To purchase an enhanced version of the e-book exclusively for iPad, please visit http://bit.ly/voices-haiti. "Voices of Haiti" was recognized as one of the best e-books of the year by Pictures of the Year International Awards (POYi). The book was also awarded a Kirkus Star.
IN SEARCH OF HOME — Greg Constantine and Stephanie Hanes
They are not refugees. Often they are living in their homes in a country they consider to be their own. Yet they are stateless, denied the basic right to get an education, work in the legal economy, receive health benefits, get married, vote or own property. The cause is often rooted in religion or ethnicity and the stateless remain vulnerable even when there is no threat of persecution.
Writer Stephanie Hanes and photographer Greg Constantine draw on field work from the past six years to present a nuanced look at the stateless peoples of Kenya, Burma, and the Dominican Republic. "In Search of Home" received an Honorable Mention from the National Press Photographers Association in the Tablet/Mobile Delivery category, 2013.
MURDER ON THE MEKONG — Jeff Howe and Gary Knight
Available from the ATAVIST.
Jeff Howe and Gary Knight traveled to Southeast Asia to report on the 2011 massacre that had taken place along the Mekong River and Chinese influence within the region, specifically Burma.
Here's a taste of "Murder on the Mekong" from publishers the Atavist:
"At first, what happened on the Mekong River on October 5, 2011 seemed like a simple matter of rough frontier justice. A detachment of Thai military commandos reported that they had confronted a band of drug runners smuggling methamphetamines out of the Golden Triangle, the famously lawless borderlands between Burma, Laos, and Thailand. A gunfight ensued, the smugglers fled, and the commandos seized two barges and a haul of nearly a million pills. The story appeared to be over—until the bodies started washing ashore. There were thirteen of them, all Chinese merchant mariners—not hardened criminals. And they appeared to have been executed in cold blood. It was the largest massacre of Chinese civilians outside of China in over half a century, and Beijing quickly named the culprit: Naw Kham, a mysterious former guerrilla warrior turned river pirate who had haunted the Golden Triangle for years. Regarded as a feared terrorist by some and a local Robin Hood by others, Naw Kham was undoubtedly a skilled criminal—but was he a mass murderer? In Murder on the Mekong, Jeff Howe travels to the scene of the crime that transfixed East Asia and finds a tale of adventure, deception, and political intrigue."
What does China see in the world’s poorest nation? An opportunity for big business. Congo is known for poverty and conflict, but it is home to an enormous wealth of buried minerals. Already, tens of thousands of Chinese men and women have left their families behind to live in Africa to dig and process ore. Now, two Chinese state-owned companies are opening the biggest mine Congo has ever seen. In exchange, they’re spending billions of dollars to build new roads and modernize Congo's infrastructure. But will Chinese mines and roads help transform the country in a way Western aid and business has not? Or will Chinese businessmen and Congolese officials get rich while the people continue to live in poverty? Author Jacob Kushner takes us street-side to a grand, Chinese-constructed boulevard in Congo’s capital Kinshasa, to a mountain range where Congolese men, women and children dig for minerals with picks and shovels, and to a factory where Chinese immigrants melt aqua-blue rocks into molten copper lava. Two years after China overtook the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner, Kushner brings us inside the world of China’s rise in the continent.
"China's Congo Plan" was awarded the Grand Prize in the Atavist Digital Storymakers Award for Graduate Longform, sponsored by the Pearson Foundation.
How do you supply an entire war in landlocked Afghanistan? Mostly by truck. In the fall of 2012, award-winning journalist Matthieu Aikins found out firsthand, riding in a rickety 1993 Nissan along the U.S. supply route, from the port city of Karachi into Pakistan’s scorching flatlands and lawless borderlands, then through the famed Khyber Pass and on toward the Afghan warzone. The result — the second in the Borderlands ebook series from Foreign Policy and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting—is both a harrowing account of life on Pakistan’s highways and an anatomy of the way foreign military intervention can transform a society.
In 2012, Mali, once a poster child for African democracy, all but collapsed in a succession of coups and countercoups as Islamist rebels claimed control of the country's north, making it a new safe haven for al Qaeda. Prizewinning author Peter Chilson became one of the few Westerners to travel to the conflict zone in the following months to document conditions on the ground. What he found was a hazy dividing line between the uncertain, demoralized remnants of Mali's south and the new statelet formed in the north by jihadist fighters. Chilson's definitive account is the first in the new Borderlands series of e-books from Foreign Policy and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
AFGHANISTAN BY DONKEY — Anna Badkhen
Available from FOREIGN POLICY.
Anna Badkhen’s extraordinary account of a year in northern Afghanistan is a travel guide to a conflict that has raged for the last decade, with little end in sight. Over the course of a year, war correspondent Badkhen chose to embed with civilians in the remote villages and hamlets of the Afghan north, returning again and again by foot, by taxi and even by donkey. It’s a place so remote that even the death of Osama bin Laden barely registers, where war is taken as a fact of life alongside rituals of mourning and of celebration.
DEEP WATER by Dan Grossman
Dan Grossman is an award-winning science journalist, regular contributor to public radio, and multiple Pulitzer Center grantee. He has been reporting on science and the global effects of climate change for over a decade, with field reporting that has taken him from Mongolia and the Andes to Europe and Australia. Dan's new e-book, Deep Water, is a partnership with TED books and makes innovative use of their app to bring us a multimedia adventure about the urgent research into one of the most critical issues of our time.