Skip navigation
Help

Oded Balilty

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/vhosts/sayforward.com/subdomains/recorder/httpdocs/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.
Original author: 
Vaughn Wallace

Since 1948, the Overseas Press Club of America has recognized photographers and photojournalists for exceptional photographic reportage. On Wednesday night, the OPC will announce the four winners of the organization’s annual prizes.

The Robert Capa Gold Medal is awarded to a photographer producing “photographic reporting from abroad requiring exceptional courage and enterprise.” This year, Italian photojournalist Fabio Bucciarelli was recognized for Battle to Death, his project recording the harrowing battles in Aleppo in late 2012. “The battle for the conquest of Aleppo is a real massacre,” he told TIME. “It’s a pleasure to see my work recognized with such a significant prize, and see my name listed next to great photographers like James Nachtwey, Larry Burrow, Horst Faas and Eugene Smith. But the real pleasure is to spread what is going on in Syria and to have documented the lack of human rights in the country.” Associated Press photographer Manu Brabo was also recognized by the judges for his own work covering Syria’s civil war.

The Olivier Rebbot Award for “best photographic reporting from abroad in magazines or books” was given to Samuel James, highlighting The Water of My Land, a story on conflict over oil resources in the Niger Delta. Continuing to photograph the story even after it was initially published in Harper’s Magazine, James learned of the award while “waiting for sundown on a beach with a squad of oil thieves.”

The 2013 Feature Photography Award was awarded to Associated Press photographer Oded Balilty for his story, An Ultra-Orthodox Wedding.

The John Faber Award for “best photographic reporting from abroad in newspapers or news services” was given to Bernat Armangue for his photographs of the conflict in Gaza. “War is a strange universe full of extreme landscapes; also the best place to experience the best and the worst of every human being, starting by your own soul,” Armangue told TIME. “Winning the John Faber award was a total surprise. OPC has always been a reference of good journalism so winning the award has intensified my desire to keep doing what I know best: photojournalism.”

Founded by a group of foreign correspondents in 1939, The Overseas Press Club is an association of journalists working in the United States and around the world.

0
Your rating: None

In a scorching hot community gym in the northern Israeli city of Acre, groups of young Jewish and Arab boys gathered to fight as equals. Boxing, it seems, serves as an unlikely bridge to peace among adversaries.

Associated Press photographer Oded Balilty is no stranger to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—in fact, his photographic legacy is intertwined in the struggle. After photographing the often violent clashes in Gaza and the West Bank for most of his life, Balilty has begun turning to stories that move beyond the violence—stories that offer glimpses of humanity, cooperation and shared experience.

Balilty’s latest series goes behind-the-scenes of last week’s National Youth Boxing Championship, supported by an organization boasting approximately 2000 active members. Although boxing isn’t a major sport in Israel, it’s favored by many of the roughly 2 million Israeli Arabs in the country, who often face discrimination and other economic hardships.

Within the framework of the sport, Jewish and Arab fighters square off, putting aside the tensions one would expect within a physically brutal sport. The young fighters, clad in helmets and gloves, view each other as equals and are not burdened by the engrained history of conflict outside the ring.

Balilty was drawn to the young age of the children. Many are between 9 and 13, ages where children remain unburdened by the conflicts of their parents. “They are only kids—all they care is to have fun with their friends everyday,” Balilty told TIME, “just like in any other place. It really gives me hope.”

Oded Balilty is a photographer for the Associated Press based in Tel Aviv. LightBox featured his work earlier this year in The Art of Storytelling and The Stone Throwers of Palestine.

0
Your rating: None

Last week, seven Palestinian men sat for Pulitzer Prize-winning Israeli photographer Oded Balilty in a home in the West Bank village of Bilin. Against a black backdrop, one man posed with a taut slingshot, two small pebbles resting in the sling. Another stared defiantly through a gas mask. A third carried a tire.

Balilty is no stranger to his subject matter. Based in Tel Aviv as an Associated Press photographer for more than a decade, Balilty has photographed daily clashes as well as the longer-term friction between Israelis and Palestinians. In 2007, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his image documenting a lone Jewish settler challenging Israeli security officers in the settlement of Amona.

Although his subject matter is familiar, his portraits transcend the ongoing conflict.

Clad in checkered kaffiyehs, masks and flags, they carry with them the objects of protest used in resistance against Israeli soldiers. Their improvised arsenal of everyday objects echoes the ongoing conflict—a struggle temporarily put on hold while Balilty photographed the men.

“The clashes have been going for years and years and it’s become repetitive, all these clashes every weekend,” Balilty told TIME. “But, this time I said, ok, I want to do something a little bit different. How am I going to show the conflict in a different way?”

He arrived at the idea of shooting portraits, but consulted with his colleague, Nasser Shiyoukhi, the AP’s Palestinian photographer from the West Bank, for help with the access.

“I asked him if it’s even possible for me, as an Israeli,” he said.

Shiyoukhi helped Balilty get in touch with the organizer of the weekly street demonstrations, who gave his consent for the photos to be taken—even arranging for the portraits to be shot inside the organizer’s house in Bilin, a village in the West Bank.

“The Palestinians are definitely not like the Israelis—they are aware of the power of the media. And any exposure for them, in any way, is an opportunity to explain their situation and to talk about the conflict. They are very open minded—they cooperate for a specific reason,” explained Balilty.

Despite the serious nature of the shoot, the atmosphere inside the studio lacked the conflicted tension Balilty expected.

“It’s a very serious issue. But mainly for me, I was trying to focus on the person and to tell like the general story through a few individuals,” said Balilty.

“On the weekend, they are in those protests, but other than that, they are totally normal people—they live normal lives, they go to school, they work, they have families. But yet these guys are always standing on the front lines of the protest and some of them get injured, some of them get arrested, some of them get killed,” he said.

Looking back on the shoot, the photographer was surprised by the way the day turned out.

“At the end of the day, we became like friends. We spent the entire day together, sat together and smoked a cigarette together, and we [shared] some common jokes and it was a very cool day. I wish, you know…it was like that all the time and everywhere. The experience I had that day…for me was one of the best things.”

Oded Balilty is a photographer for the Associated Press based in Tel Aviv. LightBox featured his work earlier this year in The Art of Storytelling.

LightBox updated the story at 3pm Saturday with comments from Oded Balilty. 




0
Your rating: None