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AP War Photographer Anja Niedringhaus to be Featured in Berlin Exhibit

11 August 2011

'At War' runs at C/O Berlin gallery Sept. 10 – Dec. 4

NEW YORK – The arc of war and strife since Sept. 11 is captured in an exhibit featuring the work of Anja Niedringhaus, an Associated Press photojournalist known for her striking images from conflict zones around the world. “At War” opens at C/O Berlin – International Forum For Visual Dialogues on Sept. 10 and will run through Dec. 4.

The AP, the world’s leading source for news and information, is cosponsor of the exhibit, which will showcase 40 black-and-white photos taken by Niedringhaus in the past 10 years. To accompany the exhibit, Hatje Cantz has published a 180-page catalog in German and English with an introduction by AP Director of Photography Santiago Lyon.

“In her remarkable photographs, Anja Niedringhaus takes us on an unforgettable visual journey to some of the more hostile and unforgiving locations of recent years,” Lyon writes. “In these days of mass media, instant Internet gratification, and image saturation, it is a refreshing privilege to have the opportunity to pause in front of these prints and absorb the images at our own leisure.”

Lyon adds: “A careful reading of Anja’s photographs reveals that they are, in many ways, a direct reflection of the artist herself: brave, direct, caring, compassionate and humorous. Her photographs remind us that, despite social and cultural differences that often lead to extreme violence, we all share a common humanity.”

Among the images selected for display are the following:

• Hundreds of Marines gather at Camp Commando in the Kuwait desert during a Christmas Eve visit by Santa Claus, December 2002;
• President George W. Bush presents a platter of turkey and fixings during his visit with U.S. troops for Thanksgiving at Baghdad airport, November 2003;
• An Iraqi mother tends to her baby outside the prison of Abu Ghraib in Baghdad as she waits for the release of hundreds of detainees, May 2004;
• The head of a child’s doll is mounted on a stick next to a checkpoint leading into the heavily guarded city of Fallujah, Iraq, February 2005;
• Palestinian children enjoy a ride on a Ferris wheel in an amusement park outside of Gaza City, March 2006;
• Soldiers of Moammar Gadhafi killed by rebels lay in the morgue of Jalaa hospital in Benghazi, Libya, March 2011.

Like the best war photographers before her, Niedringhaus focuses on people: soldiers, weary and traumatized civilians, and prisoners of war. Her photographs show faces marked by exhaustion, desperation, and tension, while still revealing brief, unexpected moments of laughter, lightheartedness and joy amid the suffering.

“She can react with lightning speed, keeping an eye on the whole, as well as on the details,” writes Swiss art historian and curator Jean-Christophe Ammann. “And she does not forget to see, allowing her vision to flow into the camera. Her points of view never appear as foreign entities in the pictures. Glimpses are not her thing. Her gaze is piercing, even when it is also characterized by humility, shyness, or tenderness.”

“If I don’t photograph it, it won’t become known,” Niedringhaus says. “Despite social and cultural differences that often lead to extreme violence, I’ve been lucky enough to photograph people and show the world how we all relate to each other – with pride, tenderness, affection, anger, grief, frustration, and sometimes surprisingly, with humor.”

Niedringhaus was born in Höxter, Germany, in 1965. First based in Frankfurt am Main for the European Pressphoto Agency, she moved to Geneva in 2002, for the AP. She has worked on the front line of every major conflict from the Balkans in the ’90s to the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. In addition to crises and wars, she also photographs sporting and political events. She has received numerous awards for her work, including two in 2005: a Pulitzer Prize in the breaking news category with a team of AP photographers for their coverage of the war in Iraq, and the Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF).

“At War” marks the first time that Niedringhaus will exhibit her work in Berlin. The exhibit will be shown again in early 2012 at the new headquarters of the Deutsche Börse in Eschborn near Frankfurt.

For more information on C/O Berlin, please visit Copies of images on display are available to the media upon request.


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