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Indonesia in World Press Photo

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Indonesia and Indonesian are not something new in World Press Photo.

Back in 1980, Mochtar Lubis whose name is now being used for one of the most prestigious journalism award in Indonesia, was appointed as one of the jury. Many years before, in the mid 60s, a young Indonesian photojournalist worked for Associated Press that time, Piet Warbung, born in Manado, took a picture of a protest, where a soldier stand tall on guard position, facing demonstrators, one of which a young woman, with despair look for exhaustion being in the protests for many days. The picture didn’t win any award, but made its way through the catalog and being exhibited around the world, along with all the winning images.

Kartono Ryadi, a legend in Indonesian photojournalism, and one of Kompas’ most valuable photojournalist, received certificate from the World Press Photo, twice. The first one would be in 1974, showing Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, holding an orang utan, when he visited the Ragunan Zoo, in Jakarta, Indonesia, as the president of the World Wildlife Fund. The other picture took in 1980, a story about the birth of the dolphins in Ancol, Jakarta Bay. Those pictures, received the WPP certificate for “Happy News” and “Sequences”.

Another Indonesian photojournalist who also received a certificate for Spot News category, would be Zaenal Effendi. He’s also the father of my fellow photojournalist in Tempo News Room, Gunawan Wicaksono. His black and white picture of a worker who got electrocuted and died hanging on the top of electric poles in the streets of Jakarta, taken in 1977.

Then finally, in 1995, Sholihuddin, a reporter with a camera, won the WPP’s 1st prize for Spot News category. He worked for JawaPos when he took the winning image.

A military truck carrying over 100 youths keels over under its heavy load. The passengers were supporters of local football club Persebaya, enjoying a free ride home and waving flags to celebrate their team's victory. The truck - one of 24 made available by a military commander - capsized after only one kilometer. Most of the passengers escaped unharmed, but 12 were hospitalized with minor injuries.

Tarmizy Harva from Reuters, has also awarded for Honorable Mention for Spot News Singles category in WPP 2003. The quiet guy with long frizzy hair always looked serious and hardly smile. Maybe because he had all the tough times in Aceh. His picture was about a 20 years old Muzakir Abdullah, a pesantren teacher (Islamic boarding school) in northern part of Aceh, who was killed during Military Emergency era in Aceh, Indonesia.

Another image taken in Aceh was,

Destroyed palm trees line near Banda Aceh two months after the massive tsunami that swept over the area. It is estimated that the height of the wave exceeded 15m when it hit the shore. Almost all buildings, trees and vegetation around Lhoknga were washed away. Low-lying agricultural land behind the town remained under salt water for four days after the tsunami, with severe consequences for farmers. In some places nearly all of the sand on the beach was removed by the wave.

NOT made by Indonesian photojournalist, but a photographer based in Rome, instead. The Italian Massimo Mastrorillo, won the 1st prize, in Nature category.

That picture, for me-personally, was a big loss. Not just because there are alot of Indonesian photogs who were also there, covering tsunami in Aceh, and come back home with haunted memories of the dead bodies there, but also because I know there’s a similar angle took by Indonesian photojournalist, Maha Eka Swasta, shot at the same spot, and didn’t win.

Photo by ANTARA FOTO/Maha Eka Swasta

Well, am not saying I know better who can be the winner, since I never even won any award! Duh.. But am just saying, how close it was, you know.. But yes, the winning picture was more intriguing.. and seems more – quiet, alone and .. haunting..

But it was then..

NOW, the result of World Press Photo 2010 has been announced. An Indonesian photojournalist, shooting in Indonesia is awarded for 2nd Prize Stories this year. BRAVO!! Congratulation for Kemal Jufri for his winning pictures of the Eruption of Mount Merapi, Central Java, Indonesia, shot in November 2010. His work was selected among 108059 images that were submitted to the contest. The number of participating photographers in WPP 2010 itself, was 5847, representing 125 different nationalities.

Kemal is one of Indonesia’s leading photojournalist. [ Heck, he was Asia’s leading photojournalist, and now, he’s taking the world. ;p ]. He’s one of a very very few Indonesian photojournalist who decided to be freelance, going pro, all the way and built his carrier in the hard way for many years when others preferred to be in a settled media institution. His work has been paid off. Again, CONGRATULATION! He is officially the first Indonesian Photojournalist who put Indonesia in the winners’ list.

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Written by nickmatulhuda

February 11, 2011 at 9:29 pm

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