World Press Photo has announced a last-minute decision to replace juror Eman Mohammed, a U.S. resident (and 2010 PDN’s 30) who fears she’ll be barred from re-entering the U.S. if she travels to Amsterdam this week to help judge the competition. Separately, a Syrian photographer scheduled to speak at International Center of Photography on March 8 has been denied entry to the US.

The World Press Photo announcement followed a Facebook post by Mohammed on Saturday, explaining that her lawyer had advised her not to leave the U.S. because of the executive order signed on Friday by Donald Trump. The order suspends entry to the US by refugees and by citizens of several predominantly Muslim countries.

Mohammed is Palestinian. Trump’s executive order doesn’t specifically bar Palestinians, but Mohammed said on Facebook, “I’ll be detained because Palestine isn’t a country according to the U.S.” (Countries singled out in the executive order include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.)

“We are angered and saddened that bigotry has prevented this talented member of the photojournalism community from joining us this week,” World Press Photo’s Managing Director Lars Boering and WPP’s board chairman Oswal Schwirtz said in a prepared statement on Sunday. They also said: “Eman’s place on the general jury will now be occupied by an equally talented photographer, Tanya Habjouqa.”

Boering was more pointed on Facebook: “I am furious that we can’t bring one of our jury members to Amsterdam… due to the ridiculous actions taken by Trump,” he wrote. “A contest that is about freedom of speech, a foundation that is all about inclusiveness can’t jeopardize a single mom to be separated from her kids just because she is born in a place in the world Trump doesn’t like. That is why I advised her not to leave the USA and stay home.”

Mohammed said on her Facebook post that if she’s barred from re-entering the U.S., she could be separated from her daughters, who are U.S. citizens. With no family in the US, she explained, she doesn’t know where or with whom her daughters might end up.

“Not in a million years I’ve imagined I’ll have to choose between my freedom and my daughters,” Mohammed wrote.

Meanwhile, Syrian refugee  Thair Orfahli has been denied permission to travel to the U.S. for a March 8 panel discussion at ICP about the center’s new exhibit called “Perpetual Revolution.”  Orfahli, whose selfies and social media posts are included in the exhibition, fled to Europe after his home was destroyed in the Syrian civil war. He had been seeking a visa to attend the ICP event when Trump signed the executive order, which bans Syrian refugees indefinitely.

“Thair Orfahli’s visa appointment was canceled without comment,” ICP adjunct curator Joanna Lehan announced Saturday on Facebook. “This is only one of thousands of stories we are about to hear, and admittedly not the most dire. Still, I’m devastated, and so embarrassed for our country. Thair, who risked his life crossing the Mediterranean, said he felt sorry for US.”


COMMENTS

MORE POSTS

Outside Mag Puts Photojournalist Erin Trieb on Women’s Issue Cover

Posted by on Thursday April 20, 2017 | Photojournalism

Outside magazine is celebrating its 40th anniversary in May with an issue devoted to “The New Icons” of adventure, a group of ten women that includes American photojournalist Erin Grace Trieb. Among the women featured alongside Trieb on the cover of Outside’s May issue are retired U.S. soccer player Abby Wambach, champion skier Lindsey Vonn, endurance... More

Sarah Blesener Wins the $20K Alexia Foundation Professional Grant

Posted by on Wednesday April 12, 2017 | Awards/Contests/Grants, Photojournalism

New York-based photographer Sarah Blesener has won the $20,000 Professional Grant from the Alexia Foundation for her series “Toy Soldiers,“ which documents youth patriotic clubs, education and summer camps in Russia. Blesener, a recent graduate of the International Center of Photography and recipient of the Alexia Student Award in 2016, will use the funds to photograph rising... More

Is Photojournalism Stuck in Its Past? Stephen Mayes Worries

Posted by on Wednesday April 5, 2017 | Photojournalism

In our recent interview with photography consultant and former VII Photo CEO Stephen Mayes, he shared his ideas about how photojournalists  can stay relevant in the 21st century. He had provocative things to say about current photojournalism practices that we didn’t have room to include in the print edition of PDN. Here are some excerpts.... More