Pulitzer Prize and Emmy-winning multimedia journalist Larry C. Price talked with Community Voices producer Jason Reynolds for WYSO Weekend’s “Culture Couch” segment in Dayton, Ohio.
Reynolds starts by saying, “Larry Price takes beautiful photos of disturbing situations.” This one sentence is good insight Price’s journalism career. His photos are alive and popping with color—they may show child labor in the Philippines or a child with hydrocephalus due to mercury poisoning from the gold mines.
Price says that the way he gets photos is by using a smile. He recalled one incident when he climbed down to the bottom of a mine in Burkina Faso—“I had no idea who was down there, you know it was just pitch dark. When I got down there I was able to shine my headlamp around and there were these two little eyes just staring at me, out of this crevice. I had no interpreter, and he had probably never seen a westerner in his life. I smiled, he kind of looked at me in amazement and just kept working.”
Reynolds describes Price’s photos as “both photojournalism and fine art.” Ben Montague, a Professor of Art and Art History at Wright State, points out that Price’s work reminds him of Sebastiao Salgado—one of the most talented and famous photojournalists of the 20th century.
The program also looks at the real world changes that Price’s work has brought, such as the ban on compression mining, a dangerous type of underwater gold mining, in the Philippines—the ban occurred after Price reported on the inhumane nature of the work.
Just because there is a law, Price says, doesn’t mean it is enforced.
However, as Reynolds points out, “It means that someone, somewhere had to acknowledge that these things are happening.”