Tuesday, October 18, 2016

and the award goes to...

Something must be going well in my country when the Dutch equivalent of an Emmy gets awarded to Floortje Dessing (remember, I once mentioned her program in another blogpost?) for showing us her travels to the most remote parts of the world. She deserves it!

She traveled to Syria before and after (or rather during) the war and her footage is full of contradictions: 
The beautiful centre of Damascus, with a night life, luxurious weddings and a flourishing Dutch chocolate shop. All of that existing alongside entire neighborhoods bombed to shreds, ghost towns, refugees staying in the pretty park in the centre and the sounds of artillery.

Floortje Dessing returns to Syria

Reminders that it must be an impossible situation for the Syrians. Come to Europe and get judged for fleeing. Stay, get used to the sounds of war and live life to the fullest despite all; you'll risk the judgment of those living in safe countries either way.

These kind of programs make me rethink the way I look at the World and other people. And the way I look at my own judgments. Go gentle on others, because you don't know how you would respond in their place.

Floortje mentioned Jeroen Oerlemans in her speech after receiving her award; how people like him deserve Emmy's. On the day that she had her glory moment, this photographer had his funeral. 

Jeroen Oerlemans was killed by an IS sniper in Libya on Sunday the 2nd of October. He didn't mean to get himself killed of course. Like Floortje, he admitted to being afraid of going into war situations. He meant to get us another story, because that was his job. He considered every risk he took, was careful and tried not to do anything stupid. He was brave enough to cover front-page news, or even the ethical dilemma's behind the news, showing the insanity of his own profession (below, the story is in Lebanon after an Israeli air strike in 2006 and World Press awarded him for the photo in 2007).

Honorable Mention Prize, World Press

I'm thankful there are people in my world, who bring me other worlds. They deserve honorable mention, so I like to mention them here. They inspire. I congratulate Floortje Dessing. And I salute Jeroen Oerlemans and thank his family and friends who supported him on unlikely journeys.

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