Photojournalist Eman Mohammed and the Immigration Ban

The blanket Executive Order signed by President Trump has caused respected Washington D.C. photojournalist Eman Mohammed to cancel her plans to serve as a judge of the prestigious World Photo competition in Amsterdam.

Photojournalist Eman Mohammed and the Immigration Ban

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The blanket Executive Order signed by President Trump has caused respected Washington D.C. photojournalist Eman Mohammed to cancel her plans to serve as a judge of the prestigious World Photo competition in Amsterdam.

Though Mohammed is a legal permanent resident of the  United States, her lawyer has advised she could face the possibility of not being allowed to return from the trip due to the fact that she is Palestinian, and under U.S. policy her country of origin isn't a country but an occupied territory.

Eman Mohammed has worked as a reporter and photojournalist in Gaza since the age of nineteen. Since she began reporting in 2006, the Saudi-born TED Fellow has shifted her focus from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to women's issues in the Gaza Strip. As one of the few female photojournalists based in the region, Eman Mohammed regularly faces discrimination, sexual harassment and open spite for what's seen as her audacity to join a men's field. Mohammed believes this can change for future generations of Gazan women. She says of raising her daughters, "Everything comes with a reason. They have the right to ask questions and do with whatever they wish or like, as long as it’s not hurting them or others."

In this short, visual talk, the TED Fellow critiques gender norms in her community by bringing light to hidden stories. Beneath the video is the full statement by the World Photo organization on the judging change caused by this decision.

 

 

Statement on a forced change to the 2017 World Photo Contest general jury involving Eman Mohammed

Statement by Lars Boering, Managing Director, World Press Photo Foundation and Oswald Schwirtz, Chair of the Supervisory Board, World Press Photo Foundation:

The World Press Photo Foundation is committed to developing and promoting quality visual journalism because people deserve to see their world and express themselves freely. We strive for equality and diversity in everything we do. We know there is always much more to be done, but there is one basic principle: we do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of age, gender, race or ethnic origin, religion, or sexual orientation. We oppose discrimination and harassment in our community and our world.

Yesterday we learnt that one of the esteemed judges we had selected to be part of the 2017 Photo Contest general jury is unable to travel to Amsterdam from the United States because of the U.S. government’s executive order restricting the rights of individuals from select countries.

Eman Mohammed has been advised that, as a Palestinian, the confusion surrounding the U.S. government’s executive order means she risks being unable to return to her family if she comes to Amsterdam. Eman revealed her situation in a Facebook post yesterday. Lars Boering has spoken at length with Eman and posted his own response.

The World Press Photo Foundation stands with Eman and will do nothing to jeopardise her family. We joined with her lawyer and advised her not to travel. We are angered and saddened that bigotry has prevented this talented member of the photojournalism community from joining us this week. Eman has worked with us before, and she will work with us again.

Stuart Franklin, the Chair of the 2017 Photo Contest general jury, said:

"Freedom to participate in international juries and conferences is a basic human right. I find it distressing that the risk of not being able to return home means Eman is being effectively denied the right to join our jury. Where will this end if we don’t take a stand against injustice now?"

Eman’s place on the general jury will now be occupied by an equally talented photographer, Tanya Habjouqa. We are looking forward to the selection the general jury makes in the coming next week. We will be working throughout the coming year promoting the work they award to open the eyes of the world to injustice and the importance of freedom. We have written to the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands to express our serious concern at the situation which has prevented Eman coming to Amsterdam.

About World Press Photo

The World Press Photo Foundation is a major force in developing and promoting visual journalism. Through one of the most prestigious awards in photojournalism and multimedia storytelling, an exhibition seen by more than four million people worldwide each year, and extensive research and training programs, we strive to inspire, engage, educate, and support both visual journalists and their global audience with fresh insights and new perspectives.

Founded in 1955, the World Press Photo Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The foundation receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon. There are also a range of collaborations with the World Press Photo Associates, the Friends of World Press Photo, and other partners.