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

Photographer Shahidul Alam, Drik Founder, Seized by Police over his Reporting in Dhaka (Update)

Posted by on Monday August 6, 2018 | Photojournalism, Photos In The News

A group of plainclothes police forcibly removed photographer Shahidul Alam from his home in Dhaka on Sunday night. An official with the Dhaka Metropolitan Police detective branch later said that Alam, founder of the Pathshala Media Institute school and the photo agencies Drik and Majority World, was detained for interrogation over his social media posts... More

Fadi BouKaram on How to Shoot Better Street Photography

Posted by on Tuesday July 31, 2018 | Photojournalism

In this excerpt from The Candid Frame podcast, Lebanese photographer Fadi BouKaram, a founding member of Observe Collective, explains how he trained his eye as a street photographer, and learned to shoot street photographs that have emotional impact. BouKaram also talks about the value of respecting subjects. He was interviewed by Ibarionex Perello, host of... More

Eddie Adams Workshop Announces New Sexual Harassment Reporting Policy

Posted by on Friday July 27, 2018 | Photojournalism

The organizers of the Eddie Adams Workshop (EAW) today announced they will work with anti-harassment experts and others to institute more safeguards against sexual harassment, create new procedures for handling reports of harassment, and do more to raise awareness about the EAW’s “zero-tolerance policy” for sexual misconduct. EAW’s announcement, posted today on the EAW website... More