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Women in Photojournalism Conference Exhibits 'Watch Night'


Event Date:

August 15, 2015 | 6:00 PM EDT
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To assist Liberia in containing Ebola, the US turned to its soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan from...

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'Watch Night' Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had lifted the months-long curfew, for just one night. A night of celebration and prayer ensued. Image by Cheryl Hatch. Liberia, 2014.

On New Year's Eve 2014, when Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf lifted the months-long curfew for just one night, a night of celebration and prayer ensued. Pulitzer Center grantee Cheryl Hatch came away with "Watch Night," her portrait of Liberians celebrating their New Year's Eve tradition of gathering across the country for prayerful vigils-turned-ecstatic revelry once the clock strikes midnight.

"Watch Night" is among 25 images gathered for a gallery reception on Saturday, August 15, as part of the Women in Photojournalism Conference: A New Perspective in Denver, CO. The Conference is organized through the National Press Photographers Association.

Hatch took her photograph at the Pillar of Fire Church, on the grounds of the Firestone Natural Rubber Company, where Reverend Luther Tarpeh led his flock through the final hours of a truly catastrophic year. A midnight to 6 am curfew had been introduced months earlier in September at the height of the Ebola epidemic to help curb spread of the disease, shuttering dance clubs and other gatherings across the country.

For a Pulitzer Center-supported project, "The 101st Airborne, Fighting Ebola in Liberia," Hatch traveled to Liberia with journalist Brian Castner, a former explosive ordnance disposal officer in the U.S. Air Force, to examine the efforts by local communities and the U.S. military to try to contain Ebola's spread.

Hatch is a documentary photographer with extensive international experience as an independent journalist. She has reported on war, its aftermath and its effects on soldiers, their families and those caught in the crossfire, especially women and children. She has worked in Liberia, Somalia, Iraq and Eritrea. In the winter of 2011-2012, she embedded with the 1/25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment in Afghanistan. Hatch also is a visiting professor at Allegheny College.

Women in Photojournalism Conference: A New Perspective
Gallery Reception
Saturday, August 15
5:30 PM
Syntax Psychic Opera
554 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80209


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