Two photographers featured in the awards at Visa pour l’Image Perpignan for their work in Haiti. One of them photographed the aftermath of Fabienne Cherisma’s shooting.


From Lens Blog:

Damon Winter, a New York Times staff photographer, won the Visa d’Or news award for his photographs of Haiti. “Prayers in the Dark,” Jan. 15, 2010; “Where Is the Help?” Jan. 17, 2010; “Prison Break,” Jan. 19, 2010; and “Vignettes,” Feb. 3, 2010.”

Church Service, Haiti. © Damon Winter/The New York Times

Damon deserves the award. He succeeded where almost all other photojournalists failed and that was to dispatch thoughtful, emotionally affected work. He avoided some, not all, but some of the tropes of disaster photography.

Whether it was his or the New York Times’ decision to get him on the phone I don’t know, but the mix of audio and images was heartfelt. Michele McNally, director of photography at the Times backs this up.

Damon’s coverage of the broken Haiti prison was a story I followed (here, here and here). I interviewed Damon last year and I am sure he’ll take the honor with all the humility it demands.

Damon Winter was not witness to Fabienne’s death or its aftermath.


As many of you may know, I spent a lot of time looking at one particular incident in Haiti – the death of Fabienne Cherisma and the photographic activity about it.

Fabienne’s Father, Osama, and Fabienne’s sister mourn over the dead body of Fabienne Cherisma. Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 19th, 2010

Frederic Sautereau, who was one of the last of the fifteen photographers I identified at Fabienne’s side.

Sautereau won the Visa d’Or daily press award for his work in Gaza for the French newspaper La Croix. He was also nominated this year for the Visa d’Or news award for his photos of Haiti after the earthquake.

In his Haiti portfolio, Sautereau has 7 or 8 images from around the time of Fabienne’s death. I am quite ambivalent about the work. Some of the images are as bloody as the ones I’ve chosen not to show previously on this blog.


I must be wary of solipsism here. This isn’t about me. I want to convince you it shouldn’t be about Winter or Sautereau either. I want to bend your arm behind your back and tell you its all about Fabienne.

But, really, don’t I only care because I noted the story in January? And, despite all my efforts, I feel like I explained the circumstances of her death without actually improving her lot (in terms of justice) nor the lot of her family (in terms of healing or moving on or however you might measure that).

I guess I would just like to have handed out hard-copies of my inquiry and a CD of images to the Perpignan judges so that at least the possibility for remembrance could have carried with the awards.