After the US, Brazil has the highest COVID death toll in the world. People are as likely to fall ill in Amazon River villages as in New York City.
Tyler Hicks — the 1988 Staples High School graduate who has earned international renown (and multiple Pulitzer Prize winner) for his New York Times photojournalism — traveled from his home in Nigeria to the Amazon Basin.
His images illustrate an important story, published online today. Along with powerful text and graphics, the piece demonstrates the global reach of the pandemic.
(Photo/Tyler Hicks for The New York Times)
(Photo/Tyler Hicks for The New York Times)
Click on or hover over the photos to enlarge them. Click here for the full story, and all photos.
Posted onDecember 18, 2019|Comments Off on The Year In Pictures: Tyler Hicks/Lynsey Addario Edition
Every year, the New York Times produces an end-of-the-year retrospective: “The Year in Pictures.”
The 2019 project was the most ambitious yet. Last Sunday’s photos were part of a stand-alone special section. It included interviews with the photographers, taking readers behind the scenes (and the lens).
Editors culled through over 500,000 photos. Just 116 made the cut.
Three are from Staples High School graduates. And one — by Tyler Hicks — is the first image shown, for the very first month.
(Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)
The 1988 Staples alum photographed Saleh Raken, a boy of about 10 years old, who was playing near his home in Yemen when a land mine blew off his lower leg.
On this assignment, I saw more of the humanitarian impact of the war than I had on any of my previous trips there, particularly in northern Yemen, where I took this photograph of a young boy who had lost part of a leg from a land mine explosion. There were also many other children and adults alike who had lost limbs or who continue to lose limbs every day in Yemen.
In this case, it’s very difficult when you walk into a clinic and a hospital and there are so many people suffering. You ask yourself: Whom should I photograph? You want to document every case, but that would be impossible.
This boy in particular had a very innocent face and reminded me a lot of any kids that I would see in my own community. And yet he was changed for life by something that he’s absolutely not involved in, and so I chose to focus on him and allow this boy to represent, in this case, all of the other children in the clinic.
Oftentimes, it is more effective for a photograph to be specific than it is to try to include a large group. It allows viewers to identify with somebody and interpret that subject and that photograph in their own ways.
Two other photos were taken by 1991 Staples grad Lynsey Addario. A shot from February showed Marine recruits at the beginning of a grueling 54-hour training exercise.
(Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)
Her second image was of Marieke Vervoort, a Belgian Paralympic athlete with a degenerative spinal disease that caused excruciating pain. This fall, she chose do end her life via euthanasia. Addario’s photos about Vervoort’s life and death appeared in a special Times report earlier this month.
Tyler Hicks’ photos of Yemeni children — skin and bones, listless, haunted — are “brutal,” the New York Times admits.
Yet, the paper said in a page 2 story in yesterday’s edition, editors felt they had to publish them.
Ahmed-Ibrahim al-Junid, a 5-month-old boy caught in the Yemeni tragedy. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)
Hicks — the 1988 Staples High School graduate, whose images from war zones, catastrophes and natural disasters around the globe have won him awards including the Pulitzer Prize — takes enormous risks.
And, the Times says, it is the paper’s duty to bring disturbing, horrific stories to light.
Here, in the paper’s “Inside the Times” column, is the back story:
This is our job as journalists: to bear witness, to give voice to those who are otherwise abandoned, victimized and forgotten. And our correspondents and photographers will go to great lengths, often putting themselves in harm’s way, to do so.
This report, “The Tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s War,” was written by Declan Walsh, and the photographs were taken by Tyler Hicks. To bring it to you, they not only had to navigate their way through a country devastated by war but also through their own emotional trauma.
Then, after they filed their report, came the time for the hard discussions in New York City.
Times editors don’t decide lightly to publish pictures of the dead or the dying. The folders of photo editors bulge with powerful images that did not make the cut because they were considered too horrific, too invasive or too gratuitous.
The images we have now published out of Yemen may be as unsettling as anything we have used before. But there is a reason we made this decision.
Bassam Mohammed Hassan suffers from severe malnutrition in Yemen. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)
The tragedy in Yemen did not grow out of a natural disaster. It is a slow-motion crisis brought on by leaders of other countries who are willing to tolerate extraordinary suffering by civilians to advance political agendas.
And yet somehow the vast catastrophe has failed to catch the world’s attention as much as the murder of a single man, the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
The story of Yemen and all its suffering is one that must be told, and as powerful as Declan’s writing is, it cannot be told in words only.
Yes, Tyler’s images are hard to look at. They are brutal. But they are also brutally honest. They reveal the horror that is Yemen today. You may choose not to look at them. But we thought you should be the ones to decide.
(Click here for the full New York Times story. Hat tip: John Karrel)
Tyler Hicks — the globe-trotting, Pulitzer Prize-and-many-other-honors-winning New York Times photographer — was in his hometown of Westport today.
If there’s a newsworthy event, he finds it.
Several dozen people — including Congressman Jim Himes and State Senate candidate Will Haskell — stood on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge downtown.
They held signs deploring the separation of children from families at the US border; the detention centers those young kids are placed in, and the government’s refusal to let even a US senator investigate conditions.
From his current home in Nairobi, Tylel Hicks roams far and wide. He covers deadly conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Russia, Bosnia, the Mideast, Chechnya and across Africa.
In 2011, he and fellow Westport Pulitzer Prize winner Lynsey Addario were kidnapped in Libya.
This protest was quieter than those he usually sees.
But the cause — the treatment of human beings — is as important as anything else Tyler shoots. As Rep. Himes said: “This is not a political issue. It’s a moral issue.”
So — as he always is — Tyler Hicks was there.
Tyler Hicks’ sister Darcy turned the tables, and photographed the photographer as he photographed the protest. (Photo/Darcy Hicks)
A tree fell earlier today on Hillspoint Road, by the Conservative Synagogue. It brought down utility lines, cutting power to over 50 customers. The traffic light at the Post Road by McDonald’s was out too.
A tree falls on Hillspoint Road
Darcy Hicks — who lives nearby — took this shot. Apparently her brother Tyler — the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times photographer — is not the only Hicks family member with an eye for dramatic news images.
Most journalists dream of winning a Pulitzer Prize.
Tyler Hicks needs a new dream.
The Westport native and Staples High School graduate earned his 3rd Pulitzer in 7 years today. He shared the award for Breaking News in Photography with 2 fellow New York Times photojournalists. The trio were honored for their images that “captured the resolve of refugees, the perils of their journeys and the struggle of host countries to take them in.”
This photo by Tyler Hicks appears on the Pulitzer Prize website. The caption reads: “After battling rough seas and high winds from Turkey, migrants arrive by rubber raft on a jagged shoreline of the Greek island of Lesbos. Fearing capsize or puncture, some panicked and jumped into the cold water in desperation to reach land. This young boy made it, unlike hundreds of others.” (Photo/Tyler Hicks, The New York Times – October 1, 2015). Click image to enlarge.
Hicks’ previous Pulitzers came in 2009 (as a member of a team, for International Reporting coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan), and 2014 (for Breaking News Photography, for his stunning shots of the deadly attack by terrorists on a Nairobi shopping center.)
Hicks began working for the Times in 1999, photographing stories throughout Africa. After 9/11, he traveled to Kabul, documenting the city’s liberation from the Taliban. He has returned to Afghanistan often.
Hicks has done award-winning work around the globe, from Haiti to Albania and Kosovo.
On March 16, 2011 Hicks and 3 other reporters — including fellow Times photojournalist and Westporter Lynsey Addario were abducted in Libya. After 6 harrowing days in captivity, they were released. (Click here for more details.)
On Feb. 16, 2012 in Syria, Hicks was with Times Beirut bureau chief Anthony Shadid, when Shadid died of an asthma attack. Hicks helped carry the journalist’s body across the border to Turkey.
When he gets a chance, Hicks visits Westport, where his mother and sister still live. He now calls Kenya home.
But — as his important, eye-opening Pulitzer Prize-winning photos attest — the world’s hot spots are truly his home.
PS: Congrats too to Matt Davies. The 1985 Staples grad was one of 2 finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Cartooning. Davies — who now draws for Newsday — won the Pulitzer in 2004, and was also a finalist in 2011.
(For full details of the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking Photography, click here.)
The 1988 Staples High School graduate has won a Pulitzer Prize, survived a kidnapping, shared Anthony Shahid’s final moments, lived around the corner from (and captured stark images of) the Nairobi shopping mall terror attack … you name it, Tyler has seen it. Or done it.
Now he’s run a marathon.
But this was no easy-peasy road race like New York or Boston. Tyler just completed his 1st-ever 26-miler: the Maasai Marathon in Kenya.
The bush of Kenya.
Tyler Hicks (#9) celebrates after the Maasai Marathon. (Photo courtesy of Darcy Hicks)
Terry Gross brings out the best in everyone she interviews.
Today the gently probing, always insightful “Fresh Air” host sat down with Tyler Hicks.
The New York Times photographer — a Westport native and 1988 Staples graduate — spoke about a variety of topics, from the back story of his Pulitzer Prize-winning shots of last year’s Nairobi mall massacre to being kidnapped in Libya with fellow Times photographer (and Staples grad) Lynsey Addario.
He also talked about performing CPR on Anthony Shadid, after the Times reporter suffered an asthma attack while sneaking across the Turkey-Syria border. Hicks said that telling Shadid’s wife and young son what had happened was “the saddest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
When Gross asked Hicks how covering war has affected him, he referenced Compo Beach:
Not long after [an assignment in Afghanistan] I was back in the states, I was in Connecticut with my sister and we were just going for a run. We were down by the beach in my hometown and there was some work being done on a house and there was a hydraulic nail gun that they were using and it really sounds a lot like incoming gunfire with this thing.
As we were running they put a few nails in and I literally almost hit the ground and my sister’s reaction was like, “Oh my God, you should look at yourself, man. You totally thought you were just being shot at.”
And it’s true; you can’t deny that that’s a natural protective instinct that you gain through these things.
A commenter on the “Fresh Air” website wrote: “This story should remind us that there are indeed real journalists still out there risking everything so that we may see what is happening on this crazy, beautiful, dangerous, delicious little planet of ours.”
To hear the entire interview, read excerpts and view some of Hicks’ photos, click here.
Plainclothes officers rushed into the Westgate mall. Hicks accompanied them, knowing well that many terrorists remained inside. He feared not only guns but explosives around every corner. (Tyler Hicks, The New York Times – September 22, 2013)
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