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AFP conflict coverage showcased in exhibition, screenings at Visa Pour l’Image
The international photo exhibition Visa Pour l’Image in the southern French city of Perpignan celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and showcases AFP images from DR Congo, El Salvador, Afghanistan and Bahrain.
Nairobi-based photographer Phil Moore’s coverage for AFP of the conflict in eastern DR Congo is featured in an exhibition – ‘Circle of Violence’ - in the atmospheric setting of the 16th century convent des Minimes.
Moore’s images capture the renewed insurgency by the M23 rebel group, which had joined the army under a peace deal then renewed their armed struggle in 2012, leading to the flight of some two million people.
British-born Moore has also worked with AFP in Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, Lebanon and Syria.
A highlight of the Perpignan photo festival is the open-air screening every evening of the best of news photography, and this year three AFP photographers are featured.
On Wednesday September 4 the festival pays tribute to Afghan photographer Qais Usyan, who was born in Mazar-i-Sharif and worked for the agency for 18 months before his premature death from illness at age 25.
In his brief career he covered floods, earthquakes and – thanks to his contacts – the Taliban. He had first wanted to be a radiologist, and then studied political science, but his calling, as the screening in the outdoor setting of the Campo Santo will show, was in photography. He became a staunch supporter of women’s rights and his image of a rape victim in hospital brought down on him the wrath of certain sectors of Afghan society.
He died in February leaving a wife and a young son.
The same evening, the festival will screen images by El Salvador-based photographer Jose Cabezas, who has covered the peace agreement between the notorious Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gangs. Cabezas, who was born in Los Angeles in 1971 and has US and Salvadoran citizenships, took images on the streets in some of the most dangerous areas of the capital San Salvador, and also in the prisons where the gang bosses who brokered the deal are held.
The festival on September 5 screens striking images by Bahrain-based photographer Mohammed Alshaikh of the civil unrest which has pitted the Gulf state’s Shiite majority against the ruling Sunni Al-Khalifa monarchy.
AFP has more than 500 photographers internationally and produces more than 3,000 images a day. The photo service has won many international photo awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.