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Manu Brabo: Photojournalism at its best

By Josian Phillips, 

Sometimes I have trouble marketing. But never writing. Today is one of those days. Instead of updating the brand section of the Brightlines Translation website that will tell you about our translation work for Associated Press, I am here, distracted. Halted in my tracks. For a moment I can not shut my eyes to world conflict: the images taken by Manu Brabo have got me captivated. And today I am going with that. I want to bring Manu Brabo to you.

The AP site is open beside me and I am drawn in by the power of the imagery. Instead of clicking on ‘Royal Baby Coverage’, I have chosen (because I am human and have choices, don’t get me going on that one) to click on ‘Depth of Focus’ and I am looking at the emotive photographs of Manu Brabo, and listening to him being interviewed. He is composed, but clearly troubled, his voice has a discernible resolute sorrow about it. Manu Brabo is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalistic photographer recently back from Syria, where he was working for Associated Press. I am listening to this peaceful and sensitive man, he is speaking — openly, honestly, quietly — about hospital arrivals. He falters, it’s horrific, but he is finding a way to inform us, truthfully and protectively about the conflict in Syria. The man has seen atrocities that he can not rawly project to us. Must not. But his released images expose a dreadful reality that must not be ignored. He wants us to know. Share with him. Yet he doesn’t want to shock us, frighten us.

I am not getting political, this is about terribly beautiful photojournalism. Artistry. Compassion. Violence is all around us and it is photographers like Manu Brabo that gently, creatively and respectfully bring it to our attention. We can look if we want. Or we can choose to pretend it’s not there.

I want to believe humans around the world are happy, engaging, socially-friendly beings. Not violent, desperate animals. Manu Brabo helped me get real for a moment. His images will stay with me, quietly reminding me of world conflict.

The images of Manu Brabo are up to you. They are shocking, but beautiful.

Brightlines is honoured to translate for Associated Press – the world’s largest and oldest news gathering organisation. Open your eyes with Associated Press and its amazing photographers.

Further Information

AP recently won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography of the Syrian civil war. The Pulitzer Prize is awarded for achievements in newspaper and online journalism (literature and musical composition).

It was a team of 5 photographers that won the award: Rodrigo Abd, Manu Brabo, Khalil Hamra, Muhammed Muheisen and Narciso Contreras.

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