Renowned photographer Lynsey Addario was awarded a Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography in 2008 for her work documenting the crisis in Darfur. At the time, she had been working in the region for several years, but found it increasingly difficult to get the support needed to continue. Addario recounts her experiences:
“In March 2009, the International Criminal Court in the Hague issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur conflict, the first warrant issued by the ICC against a sitting head of state. In retaliation, Bashir expelled over a dozen NGOs, claiming they had been cooperating with the ICC.
The NGOs were responsible for providing medical personnel and supplies, the provision of water, food, and maintenance of latrines in the camps for the internally displaced of Darfur, and in their absence, Darfur refugees were vulnerable to malnutrition, disease, dehydration, and almost no medical care in the weeks and months after the expulsion.
At that time, only a handful of journalists were given permission to report from Darfur, and with most aid agencies gone, we were the eyes for the world on the state of the displaced and the camps. I traveled to Sudan with a Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography in March 2009, and published images with the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, despite constant harassment and detention from the Sudanese government and undercover intelligence agents.
I have been covering the conflict in Darfur for six years, and spent about one month each year in either Sudan or neighboring Chad from 2004 forward. This trip was the culmination of many years of coverage, due to the ICC indictment, and the refusal of President Bashir to acknowledge the international condemnation of his leadership, and the visceral reaction of Sudanese to the arrest warrant – both by supporters and those vehemently against Bashir.
The trip was inspired by the Getty Images Grant, as most publications in the US had lost interest in Darfur, and weren’t willing to send me at such a crucial time. I am so grateful to Getty for its support.”Find out more about the Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography