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Pulitzer Center Update September 18, 2009

China's Growing Sands Featured by duckrabbit



Desertification is one of the most important environmental challenges facing the world today...

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Dead poplar trees stand on the fringes of the Taklamakan desert. As the desert moves, whole swathes of trees can be eaten by the sand, reducing areas to forest graveyards. Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Image by Sean Gallagher. China, 2009.

Sean Gallagher won Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey's first Emerging Photographer Fund in 2008, and used the prize to travel to China to photograph the devastating effects of desertification on the most populous country on earth. Since then he has also received grant money to continue his work from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. Recently he even managed to slip into North Korea, disguised as a tourist.

I've been following Sean's progress through his many blogs – his own, one on Resolve and one for the Pulitzer Centre.

Now he's put some of his work together onto a multimedia piece for Pulitzer, and very impressive it is too. I hadn't realised the scale of the disaster facing China. At 13 mins the slideshow is long but holds the attention. The photography is mature and the subject matter of international importance. This is where photography excels. Video, radio or print just couldn't come close to such a visual crisis. This is desperately important work and a great lesson in how to go about doing long-term projects.


yellow halftone illustration of an elephant


Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change
navy halftone illustration of a boy carrying two heavy buckets


Water and Sanitation

Water and Sanitation