Photo category - international jury
Yuri KOZYREV - NOOR
"Dispatch from Libya" – Libye - february march 2011
Call it the Jasmine Revolution, the Arab Spring or the Facebook Revolution, there’s a powerful sirocco blowing across North Africa and the Middle East.
When the uprising started in Libya in February 2011, very few Western journalists had spent any quality time in it, so we were all going into Libya blind.
This was not a Facebook Revolution, and there was no central gathering point: no Tahrir Square or Pearl Roundabout. On the other hand, unlike Egypt and Bahrain, there was total freedom of movement. Usually, when you go to a war zone, there are a lot of difficulties in reaching the fighting. In Libya, you have total access to the war, from the rebels’ side: how far you want to go depends entirely on you.
It was immediately clear that the rebels lacked experience and discipline, which meant it would be very hard for them to topple Gaddafi. None of the fighters had anticipated that this was going to become a war, finding themselves at the receiving end of the tyrant’s tanks and artillery.
It was hard not to admire the rebels raw fearlessness and enthusiasm: they never stopped believing that with outside help, they would overthrow Gaddafi.
RAS LANUF, LIBYA - MARCH 11: Rebels flee under fire from the Libyan army
As a photojournalist for the past 20 years, Yuri Kozyrev has covered every major conflict in the former Soviet Union, including two Chechen wars. Immediately after September 11, 2001, he was on the scene in Afghanistan, where he documented the fall of the Taliban.
Kozyrev has was based in Baghdad for most of the time between 2003 and 2009, as a contract photographer for TIME Magazine. He has traveled all over Iraq, photographing the different sides of the conflict. More recently has has been reporting in great depth about the uprisings in the Middle East from Cairo to Bahrain, Libya and Yemen respectively.
Yuri Kozyrev has received numerous honors for his photography, including several World Press Photo Award for pictures from Chechnya, Iraq and Beslan. In 2007 he co-founded NOOR together with nine fellow photographers, a photo agency whose aim is to produce independent in-depth visual reports.
Kozyrev also took part in two large-scale group projects by the NOOR Foundation, firstly Consequences by NOOR, an eyewitness record of the humanitarian effects of climate change around the globe, followed by Solutions by NOOR, which is an investigation of what is and can be done to slow down or reverse the damage to our climate, both of which have toured as exhibitions around the world.