Ed Ou, a Reportage by Getty Images photographer, has received this year’s City of Perpignan Young Reporter Award. He wins an exhibition at Visa Pour l’Image and a €8000 cash prize
The winner is selected by a panel of international picture editors, which includes representatives from newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The Independent, The Sunday Times, Elle, Le Monde, Paris Match, Geo, Vanity Fair, Tim, The Guardian, Newsweek and many others.
This year, the award goes to Ed Ou for his work Children of Men. “According to Somali human rights groups and United Nations officials, the Somali Transitional Federal Government, which relies on Western aid to survive, is fielding hundreds of children on front lines, some as young as nine, in their fight against Islamic insurgents,” reads the project’s statement. “Child soldiers are deployed across the globe, but UN sources maintain that the Somali government is among the ‘most persistent violators’ of children’s rights, sending them into war and putting the government on a list with notorious rebel groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army. Ed Ou has spent time in Mogadishu, looking into the lives of children who have grown up knowing nothing but war.”
Speaking to BJP, Ou explains that he was taken by surprise when he heard the news. “As all eyes this year seems to be on the uprisings in the Middle East, it’s good to have an opportunity put a spotlight on underreported regions, especially now given the famine that is taking place in the horn of Africa.” He adds: “Somalia is a place that I hope to keep returning to. I am quite grateful for the support that has been given for my work, especially from The New York Times, whose bureau has been quite commited to covering Somalia and the horn of Africa.”
Children of Men will be on show at Visa Pour l’Image, where Ou will receive his €8000 cash prize from the city of Perpignan.