Message from the head of jury

For me, to be a photojournalist is, metaphorically speaking, as if you are carrying around a torch in a dark cage. If the cage is the world where we live in, then the torch is the camera, and our heart is the fuel that keeps the torch alight.

With this torch we can illuminate dark corners and break through difficult terrains. After observing, analysing, and settling the images, we can then come back with these shreds of reality in our hands to inform and give accounts – ultimately, to tell a story where narrative and style combined not only lead us from one place to another but also helps us to have a better understanding of what is happening in the world.

To make a good photograph is not difficult. Any person can do it. However, to tell a story brings in a different challenge. That was what drove me to be part of the jury of ESTAÇÃO IMAGEM | MORA – the challenge to select stories.

Just as the words in a fine text, the images that make a fine photography story need to be ordered in a fashion that compels us to see the next image and so forth. The immediate aftermath of the whole report needs to be a delightful sigh of having watched something special that touched our hearts.

These are hard times for photojournalism. Its death is announced every day. But, just as Leonel de Castro’s Warrior of the North, we keep on dodging the hits lest anyone throw the knockout at us.

Perhaps for this reason, the assessment process brought great relief as we got to know several warriors  –  with his report on Leandro, Nelson d’Aires is a testimony that photojournalism is far from dead and also that, I should add, when one has journalistic instinct, persistence, and a talent for story-telling, it definitely comes out reflected in the pictures.

In the same spirit, the working Grant – awarded to Paulo Alegria in this edition – gives me the feeling that there are in fact people who truly believe we must keep on multiplying the torches. And this can only be a very good sign.

April 2011

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