Last week, Danish photojournalist Jan Grarup was awarded the Oskar Barnack Leica Award 2011 for Haiti Aftermath.


Grarup tells “I want to put some focus on what is going on in other places in the world. […] When you try to photograph things from perspective, you get a little more in-depth of what is happening.”

So, I guess my question is ‘Does colour not exist in the other places of the world?’ Grarup originally shot the images in colour, converting to B&W in post-production. It should be said that not all images in his Barnack entry are part of the original dispatch and so there is a (slight) chance those files were made originally in B&W. [UPDATE 06.22.11, 10:00PST. It could be that as Grarup shot in RGB, and had his screen displaying B&W. It could be that he never intended to use colour. Yet, everything’s colour still, as you look at it through the viewfinder.]

I include shots from his 136-image portfolio, dispatched to his agency NOOR briefly after his stint in Haiti, so you can compare them with the B&W images of his winning portfolio. I’m not here to argue for or against colour and/or B&W – I just want to provide a starting point for conversation.


As part of my ongoing inquiry into the photojournalism surrounding Fabienne Cherisma’s death, Grarup offered Prison Photography a brief Q&A in March 2010.

Grarup took several photographs of Fabienne Cherisma dead on the collapsed roof-top; it’s an image, I argue, is both multi-authored and synonymous with the Haiti earthquake. Grarup did not include such an image in his Barnack entry, but did include a photograph of Fabienne’s brother and sister over her corpse after she’d been retrieved from the rooftop.


And to the main issue at hand. Jan Grarup, a member of NOOR Images, was given the award by a five-person jury. One of the jurors was Stanley Greene, a member of NOOR Images.

I should say that, by my reckoning, NOOR is one of the most responsible photo agencies I’ve looked at; it’s stories impress me consistently and they have a couple of my preferred photographers on staff. This is not a distant attack, but a very specific question as to how they could possibly see this one panning out without any questions being asked.

Moreover, the Oskar Barnack Award (OBA) either shouldn’t have allowed Greene on the jury, or if he was so vital to the jury process, they should’ve insisted NOOR photographers needn’t apply. Both NOOR and OBA have exposed themselves unnecessarily to ethical questions.


1) These images provide anchors to which the endless colour vs. B&W debate can gain some focus.

2) Stanley Greene‘s role as a juror deserves to come under serious scrutiny. As a member of NOOR images, it’s difficult to ignore the conflict of interest.

3) I feel obliged to report on any news, updates and industry awards as they have concerned the photographers involved in my original inquiry.

Jan Grarup photographs police beating a looter in downtown Port-au-Prince Tuesday afternoon. © Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star.


Part One: Fabienne Cherisma (Initial inquiries, Jan Grarup, Olivier Laban Mattei)
Part Two: More on Fabienne Cherisma (Carlos Garcia Rawlins)
Part Three: Furthermore on Fabienne Cherisma (Michael Mullady)
Part Four: Yet more on Fabienne Cherisma (Linsmier, Nathan Weber)
Part Five: Interview with Edward Linsmier
Part Six: Interview with Jan Grarup
Part Seven: Interview with Paul Hansen
Part Eight: Interview with Michael Winiarski
Part Nine: Interview with Nathan Weber
Part Ten: Interview with James Oatway
Part Eleven: Interview with Nick Kozak
Part Twelve: Two Months On (Winiarski/Hansen)
Reporter Rory Carroll Clarifies Some Details
Part Fourteen: Interview with Alon Skuy
Part Fifteen: Conclusions (Matt Levitch, Felix Dlangamandla)
Part Sixteen: Fabienne Cherisma’s Corpse Features at Perpignan (Frederic Sautereau)
Part Seventeen: Brouhaha in Sweden following Award to Paul Hansen for his Image of Fabienne Cherisma (Paul Hansen, Olivier Laban Mattei, James Oatway)
Part Eighteen: A Photo of Fabienne Cherisma by Another Photographer Wins Another Award (Lucas Oleniuk)