Correspondent / behind the news

Behind the image

A local taxi driver pelts with stones a man on the ground during a confrontation with foreign nationals in the Johannesburg Central Business District on April 15, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI)

(AFP Photo / Marco Longari)


A flash of xenophobic rage


A South African taxi driver hurls paving stones at the head of a foreigner, during xenophobic clashes in Johannesburg on April 15, 2015. AFP photographer Marco Longari explains how he came to witness this brief but spectacular explosion of hatred, in a country where outbreaks of xenophobic violence are a recurring problem.

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Above the fold

Across the water from Yemen

Thursday 16 April 2015 - Eye witness

A Yemeni woman sits on April 13, 2015 in her designated quarters at a UNHCR boarding facility at Obock, a small port town in Djibouti located on the northern shore of of the Gulf of Tadjoura (AFP PHOTO/TONY KARUMBA)

In the fishing port of Obock, in Djibouti, hundreds of people fleeing the Saudi-led air war on Yemen have been landing in skiffs at all hours of the day and night.

"I photograph the sweet smiles of the young, the questioning looks of teenagers and the deep, reserved glances of their elders. I try to work as sensitively as I can, to capture the emotions on their faces," writes AFP photographer Tony Karumba. "But as always when I am documenting someone else's pain, reporting on the nightmare their lives have become, at the back of mind there is a bleak awareness my work can make little difference to their plight."

(Photo: AFP / Tony Karumba)

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Boko Haram, through the eyes of children

Monday 13 April 2015 - Eye witness

Young Nigerian refugees draw on April 6, 2015 during a therapy program managed by UNICEF in the refugee camp near Baga Sola. (AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZES)

"We are on the shores of Lake Chad in the Dar-es-Salam refugee camp, a dusty, crowded site sheltering some 5,000 people who fled over the border from northern Nigeria to escape the Boko Haram insurgency," writes AFP photographer Philippe Desmazes. "Among them are a great many children. Under a large white tent UNICEF has been holding art therapy workshops for young refugees. It’s a common technique used to help children in war zones overcome their trauma - and also a way to fill the endless days in the camp."

(Photo: AFP Photo / Philippe Desmazes)

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Seeking the soul of Istanbul on the Bosphorus

Friday 10 April 2015 - Eye witness

A ferry leaves the Kadikoy landing as a captain walks on the roof on May 3, 2014, in Istanbul. (AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC)

"It’s commonplace among Istanbul residents to complain about the pace of change in the city," writes AFP journalist Stuart Williams. "Too much unchecked construction, too much traffic, too many new infrastructure projects, people say. Yet everyone still knows a place that for them is the soul of the city. For me, the easiest way to feel the soul of Istanbul is on the water. On one of the commuter ferries that ply their way on the Bosphorus."

(Photo: AFP / Bulent Kilic)

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With the nomads of New Delhi

Thursday 9 April 2015 - Eye witness

Indian nomadic shepherd Dheeya poses as the camp she shares with her family on the outskirts of Faridabad some 30 kms from New Delhi on March 22, 2015 (AFP PHOTO/MONEY SHARMA)

"In a year since moving to Faridabad, a fast-growing satellite of New Delhi, I have spotted from time to time nomadic tribes with their herds in the middle of the road. I would always wonder where they came from, and where they were headed," writes the AFP photographer Money Sharma. "One day last month, I saw a group of them as I was driving home. This time, I was not going to let them get away."

(Photo: AFP / Money Sharma)

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'You have 10 minutes to get out of your house!’

Wednesday 8 April 2015 - Decoding

Yemeni supporters of the Shiite Huthi militia demonstrate in Taiz on April 1, 2015, to protest at the Saudi-led coalition’'s Operation Decisive Storm against Huthi rebels in Yemen. (AFP PHOTO / ABDEL RAHMAN ABDALLAH)

Months of bloody combat in one of the world’s poorest countries. A web of warring factions pitting Iran-backed Shiite rebels against militias loyal to a fugitive president, both Al-Qaeda and Islamic State jihadists, and a Sunni coalition led by Saudi Arabia. There you have the ingredients of the escalating conflict in Yemen, as difficult for an outsider to grasp as it is perilous for journalists to cover on the ground, explains AFP's Dubai bureau chief Rene Slama.

(Photo: AFP / Abdel Rahman Abdallah)

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Waiting game on a Swiss lake

Thursday 2 April 2015 - Eye witness

US Secretary of State John Kerry looks out of the window of his room at the Beau-Rivage Palace hotel during a break in Iran nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 1, 2015 (AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI)

"For the past week I have been with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Switzerland in the marathon search for a nuclear deal with Iran," writes AFP photographer Brendan Smialowski. "Covering negotiations like these is as much about official photo ops as behind-the-scenes moments and features. As the negotiations dragged on, the ops got fewer and fewer, then dried up completely. But a photojournalist can go hunting for other moments to illustrate the story."

(Photo: AFP / Fabrice Coffrini)

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Serendipity in South Kivu

Wednesday 1 April 2015 - Eye witness

A passenger in the first class section take a picture from the top deck of the ferry on the Kivu lake as it leaves Bukavu for Goma on March 26, 2015. (AFP PHOTO/FEDERICO SCOPPA)

"The ferry trip from Bukavu to Goma is a real journey into Congolese society," writes photographer Federico Scoppa. "I moved to Kinshasa a month ago, and I was wrapping up my first trip outside the capital, into the restive east. I was constantly on the look-out for images. I set about exploring the boat inside out, to observe the differences between the classes, the sailors and passengers. I spent time with everyone I came across."

(Photo: AFP / Federico Scoppa)

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Twitter and news agencies: BFF or frenemies?

Tuesday 31 March 2015 - Decoding

A Brazil fan uses a mobile phone prior to the third place play-off football match between Brazil and Netherlands during the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the National Stadium in Brasilia on July 12, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN)

"A lot of (mostly virtual) ink has been spilt on the looming threat of Twitter to so-called ‘legacy’ news media," writes AFP journalist Marlowe Hood. "Agencies such as AFP, Reuters and the Associated Press (AP) – global wholesalers that gather and sell content to other media – were said to be especially vulnerable to the 500+ million mini-messages that course through Twitter every day, blanketing the planet on every subject imaginable."

"This is the story of how Agence France-Presse and Twitter tied the knot, paving the way for AFP to make and market a novel news service situated somewhere near the crossroads of Social Network Ave. and News Agency Blvd."

(Photo: AFP / Odd Andersen)

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