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Migrant report wins AFP another Prix Varenne 2020

AFP journalist Clément Melki has been awarded the Young Journalist Prize in the National Daily Press category of the Prix Varenne for his report entitled "God, Water and Us: When Migrants Cross the Channel". The report was published by several media including Libération, Médiapart and La Croix. In February, two other AFP journalists received awards in the Prix Varenne, Kenzo Tribouillard (National Press Prize) and Léo Malafaia (the International Prize).


National Daily Press, Young Journalist Award: Clément Melki (AFP)


An AFP journalist since 2015, Clément Melki, 29, worked at the Middle East and North Africa desk in Nicosia before joining the Lille office in 2018.

With his colleagues Thomas Bernardi (video) and Sameer Al-Doumy (photo), he followed the journey of Falah, an Iraqi migrant, his two daughters, and a migrant from Kuwait, Walid, as they waited at a makeshift camp in Grande-Synthe on the French Channel coast for the chance to make the crossing to England.

They followed the daily life of migrants who survive, sometimes for several months, in these rough camps with insalubrious conditions, as well as their sea crossings on inflatable boats.

More than four years after the dismantling of the "Jungle" migrant outside Calais, nearly 10,000 attempts to cross the Channel were counted in 2020, with six people dying and three disappearing. Despite regular dismantling of their camps, hundreds of migrants continue to flock to the Channel coast in the hope of reaching the United Kingdom, whatever the cost.



To read more on this subject, see the Correspondent post by

Clément Melki, Thomas BernardiSameer al-Doumy :

Crossing the sea together, yet miles apart



National Press Award: Kenzo Tribouillard (AFP) 


A photographer for AFP for the past 15 years, Kenzo Tribouillard arrived at the Brussels bureau in the summer of 2019, several months before the turmoil of the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Exemplifying the Agency’s values, Kenzo has tried to convey the local specificities of this international story by going out and spending long periods of time in hospitals, urgent care centres and retirement homes.

As a result, he was exposed to the often dark daily lives of suffering patients, valiant but exhausted carers, and overworked funeral directors.

When, at the end of April 2020, he had the opportunity report on a 100-year-old woman being discharged from a Covid unit, Tribouillard finally experienced a glimmer of hope in a daily life that had been, and still is in great need of some good news.


29/04/2020 - SERAING, BELGIUM - Medical workers clap as 100-year-old Belgian patient Julia Dewilde leaves the Bois de l'Abbaye hospital (CHBA) in Seraing, after being succesfully treated for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, on April 29, 2020. © KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP


International Award: Leo Malafaia (AFP)


AFP freelance photographer, Leo Malafaia, 30, is originally from Pernambuco, a coastal region in north-east Brazil that has become the symbol of the population's struggle against an oil spill of unknown origin that contaminated 2,000 km of coastline in October 2019.

The photograph by Leonardo Malafaia, winner of the Prix Varenne International, opened the world’s eyes to the scale of this environmental crisis.

"In many ways, these beaches are an integral part of our identity. It's sad to see these stains. I grew up on this coast, my grandfather was a fisherman. They are our beaches, but the spill also affects the lives of hundreds of people who will be paying for the consequences of this unfortunate event for years to come. All this is revolting".


21/10/19 - CABO DE SANTO AGOSTINHO, BRAZIL - A teenager, Everton Miguel dos Anjos, emerges from the dark water on Itapuama beach in Cabo de Santo Agostinho with his torso covered with a large plastic bag stained with oil. In his expression: dejection. This 13-year-old boy just wanted to help his mother, Ivaneide Maria de Oliveira, owner of a café on the beach. © LEO MALAFAIA / AFP


Blog Correspondent: "Black tide in Brazil", by Mauro Pimentel


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