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(New York, December 11, 2014) – The photographer William Daniels has been awarded the fourth annual Tim Hetherington Grant, Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo announced today.

Daniels was selected for his work on the Central African Republic, a project entitled “Roots of Africa’s Unholy War.” He will receive a grant of €20,000 (approximately US$25,000) to complete the project.

The jury, meeting in New York on December 10 and 11, 2014, selected the winner from among 198 applications.

“Roots of Africa’s Unholy War: Central African Republic”
The Central African Republic (CAR) has been plunged into the bloodiest crossroads of its short history. In 2013, rebels from the Séléka seized power, unleashing months of anarchy, followed by a brutal backlash from anti-balaka militias, that has subsided only partially, and only recently, with the arrival of foreign peacekeepers. Daniels undertook five trips to CAR during this period, in an effort to understand and document the human drama of this under-reported conflict. Daniels will use the Hetherington Grant to underwrite further trips to CAR as it struggles to escape its bloody past. His plan is to present his work in the media, in a street exhibition in New York, and in a book.

“Tim Hetherington brought attention to a forgotten crisis in Africa,” said Carroll Bogert, deputy executive director at Human Rights Watch. “That is what we hope William Daniels’ future work will do.”

“I appreciate William Daniels’ sense of going behind the headlines of what happened in the Central African Republic,” said Maarten Koets, acting director of World Press Photo. “I love the ambition that speaks out of this project.”

William Daniels’ work revolves around social issues and humanitarian concerns, mostly in isolated or weakened communities. Past projects have focused on malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis, as well as the aftermaths of the tsunami in Asia and the earthquake in Haiti. He has also covered conflict in Libya, Kyrgyzstan, and the Central African Republic. Daniels’ long-term work on malaria was exhibited on the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, and in London; his work on the three pandemics was shown in 2011 at the European parliament in Brussels. Daniels has published Mauvais Air, on malaria, and Faded Tulips, a long-term vision of post-Soviet democracy in Kyrgyzstan. His images appear regularly in the French and international press: National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, Le Monde, and Polka, among others. He holds two World Press Photo awards and a Visa d’Or. Daniels is represented by the London-based agency Panos Pictures.

Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo representatives joined a panel of judges at Human Rights Watch’s headquarters to select the beneficiary of the Tim Hetherington Grant. The panel consisted of Carroll Bogert, deputy executive director for external relations at Human Rights Watch; Inigo Gilmore, an independent journalist and filmmaker; Christopher Morris, a photographer with VII Photo Agency; Maarten Koets, acting managing director of World Press Photo; and Amy Yenkin, director of the Open Society Documentary Photography Project. David Griffin, of DGriffinStudio, served as secretary during the selection.

The judges reviewed the applications for qualities that defined Tim’s career and looked for work on a human rights theme that operates on multiple platforms and in a variety of formats; that crosses boundaries between breaking news and longer-term investigation, and that demonstrates a consistent moral commitment to the lives and stories of the subjects. Human rights photography should do more than present a tableau of suffering, but attempt to identify the perpetrator and point the way towards change.

The first day of judging fell on Human Rights Day, which commemorates the day on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948.

The Tim Hetherington Grant
The Tim Hetherington Grant is a joint initiative of Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo with the support of Tim’s parents, Alastair and Judith Hetherington. It was created to celebrate the legacy of the photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington, killed while covering fighting in Misrata, Libya, in April 2011.

The grant has enabled recipients Stephen Ferry (2011), Fernando Moleres (2012), and Olivier Jobard (2013) to take their projects to the next stage.

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