Pulitzer Center Update

Pulitzer Center-Supported 'Cambodia Burning' Wins Earth Photo Award

A burning field in the Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary, in northern Cambodia. Beng Per is a sanctuary in name only as most of the land has been sold by the government for agricultural concessions and rubber plantations. Image by Sean Gallagher. Cambodia, 2020.

A burning field in the Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary, in northern Cambodia. Beng Per is a sanctuary in name only as most of the land has been sold by the government for agricultural concessions and rubber plantations. Image by Sean Gallagher. Cambodia, 2020.

Sean Gallagher’s Pulitzer Center-supported project, Cambodia Burning, has won Earth Photo’s 2020 Short Film Award.

The documentary used a combination of drone footage and poetry to explore the rapid deforestation in Cambodia, as well as its impact on the Cambodian people. Estimates say only 3 percent of primary forest remains in the country, primarily due to conversion of forest land for agricultural use and the logging of valuable species for the Asian furniture markets. 

Gallagher is one of six Earth Photo winners this year, with Cambodia Burning selected from over 2,600 entries submitted to the competition.

A longtime grantee, Gallagher is a decorated British photographer and filmmaker based in Beijing. His work focuses on the climate crisis and other global environmental issues, including biodiversity loss, pollution, desertification, and deforestation. 

Earth Photo is an international photo competition and exhibition created by the Royal Geographical Society and Forestry England. It “rewards photographs and videos that document the natural world, its breath-taking beauty, and its ever-growing fragility,” according to its website.

For a full list of Earth Photo 2020 winners, please click here.