shifting sands – desertification in China

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Sean Gallagher won Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey’s first Emerging Photographer Fund in 2008, and used the prize to travel to China to photograph the devastating effects of desertification on the most populous country on earth. Since then he has also received grant money to continue his work from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. Recently he even managed to slip into North Korea, disguised as a tourist.

I’ve been following Sean’s progress through his many blogs – his own, one on Resolve and one for the Pulitzer Centre.

Now he’s put some of his work together onto a multimedia piece for Pulitzer, and very impressive it is too. I hadn’t realised the scale of the disaster facing China. At 13 mins the slideshow is long but holds the attention. The photography is mature and the subject matter of international importance. This is where photography excels. Video, radio or print just couldn’t come close to such a visual crisis. This is desperately important work and a great lesson in how to go about doing long-term projects.

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CIARA LEEMING

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