Tuesday 30 June 2015
(AFP Photo / Philippe Desmazes)
"The thermometer in the foyer is stuck on 50 degrees Celsius. The highest it can go," writes AFP's Michel Moutot. "It’s not yet noon on the French army base at Timbuktu airport."
"Why did AFP ask to follow a French army unit into Mali's lawless north? Two reasons. Firstly, to report on the soldiers actions on the ground. Secondly to gain access, under the protection of the army, to one of a rising number of places in the world where reporters can no longer venture alone without risk of kidnapping or death."
Friday 26 June 2015
Passers-by help a heatstroke victim in a market area of Karachi on June 23, 2015 (AFP Photo / Rizwan Tabassum)
As Pakistan's sprawling metropolis Karachi finally cools off after a deadly heatwave that killed more than 1,000 people, AFP's correspondent in the city Ashraf Khan reflects on covering - and living through - one of the hottest weeks in living memory.
Friday 26 June 2015
(AFP Photo / Mehdi Fedouach)
"How many times have I heard this refrain since joining AFP nearly 20 years ago: ‘With millions of stories in our archives, we’re sitting on top of an information gold mine’," writes the journalist Marlowe Hood. "The European Hostage Project is a serious attempt to extract some of that buried treasure. A case study in data journalism, it uncovered patterns in the terrible traffic in hostages from Europe that up to now remained elusive if not invisible."
Tuesday 23 June 2015
(AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
"The culprit of this story is hardly an ideal subject for photographers," writes AFP photographer Ed Jones. "Invisible to the naked eye, microscopic images of the coronavirus responsible for an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea are fascinating enough, but they do little to illustrate the fear the virus has spread among the population of 50 million. It’s a dramatic threat but my attempts to photograph it have been quite the opposite - largely involving prowling the streets, where most of us photographers like to spend our time anyway."
Thursday 18 June 2015
(AFP Photo / Jean-Sebastien Evrard)
"The Spindrift 2 is the world’s largest racing trimaran. An extraordinary sailboat. Forty metres long, it holds a round-the-world record and frequently hits speeds of more than 45 knots – or 85 kilometres per hour," writes the AFP photographer Jean-Sebastien Evrard. "At full speed, its rudders and daggerboards are sharp as razor blades. Not something you wish to see hurtling towards you out at sea. Yet that is what I witnessed, on June 16 in the afternoon, off the coast from Lorient in Brittany."
Wednesday 17 June 2015
(AFP Photo / Manoocher Deghati)
In Backstories, a new video series by Laurent Kalfala and Sylvain Estibal, AFP journalists take us behind the scenes of a powerful moment in their career.
For the second instalment, Patrick Anidjar recalls how while based in Jerusalem, he was among the first journalists to learn of the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist on November 4, 1995.
Monday 15 June 2015
(AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)
"We have been on the Turkey-Syria border for a week now, within sight of Tal Abyad where Kurdish forces are battling Islamic State jihadists for control," writes AFP's Bulent Kilic. "On Sunday, June 14, thousands of people fleeing the fighting suddenly appeared from behind the hill and swarmed down towards the border fence. Everything happened in five minutes. It was like a Hollywood film."
"I have been photographing this refugee crisis for nearly four years now, but yesterday was different. Almost every woman had children with her. I have never seen anything like it."
Friday 12 June 2015
(AFP Photo / Joel Robine)
"On Friday June 14, 1985, Flight 847 of the US carrier TWA was travelling between Athens and Rome with eight crew and 145 passengers on board when it was diverted towards Beirut airport, opening one of the longest hijacking crises in aviation history," writes AFP's Patrick Rahir.
"Three days earlier I had watched three hijackers blow up a Boeing at Beirut airport. A day later a young Palestinian threatened to set off a hand grenade on a flight from Beirut to Cyprus. At first I thought it was a joke. Another hijacking, this time of an American plane?"
Thursday 11 June 2015
(AFP Photo / Robert Atanasovski)
"We have our fair share of problems here in Macedonia. The country is in deep political crisis," writes the photographer Robert Atanasovski. "Alongside this another crisis, a humanitarian one, is playing out day by day on the main road running north to south through the country, along the Vardar valley."
"For thousands of destitute people, the road is a passageway towards what they hope will be a better life in one of the countries of the European Union."
Tuesday 9 June 2015
(AFP Photo / Jean Liou)
"When Saint Helena appears on the horizon at dawn, after five days at sea, I can’t help but feel privileged. For years I have dreamed of travelling to this remotest of islands, all but cut off from the world out in the South Atlantic," writes AFP's Jean Liou. "A few months from now, an airport will be opening on the British islet. But until then it remains one of the last places on Earth accessible only by boat. And the crossing from Cape Town, a case study in slow travel for our hyper-connected world, only adds to the sense of anticipation."
Friday 5 June 2015
(AFP Photo / Ria Novosti / Alexei Druzhinin & AFP Photo / Presidential Press Office / Kayhan Ozer)
"I arrived in Turkey just under a year ago expecting something very different from what I experienced during five years in Putin’s Russia," writes AFP's Stuart Williams. "The differences between Turkey’s genuinely democratic and Russia’s more authoritarian political systems are very real. But the more time I spend in Turkey, the more I am struck by the growing similarities between Turkey and Russia in the early part of the 21st century, parallels that are fascinating but also very troubling. They have become all the more telling in the run up to June 7 parliamentary elections."
Wednesday 3 June 2015
(AFP Photo / Valeriano Di Domenico)
"When AFP calls at five pm on Tuesday evening, to ask me to cover a last-minute press conference at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, I have little idea I will be getting a front-row seat to football history," writes the photographer Valeriano Di Domenico. "When Sepp Blatter announces his resignation, I can’t believe my ears. But suddenly I realise none of the shots I have taken so far illustrates the magnitude of what is taking place. THE picture, the one that symbolises the fall of the boss of world football, will be the one of him leaving the room."
Tuesday 2 June 2015
(AFP Photo / Christophe Simon)
"It’s another sunny morning in the Flamengo park, a lush oasis of palm trees and talkative parrots opposite the Guanabara Bay – where the sailing races will be held during next year’s Olympic Games," writes AFP's Laura Bonilla. "Two friends bump into each other and stop for a chat. As they part I hear one say to the other: ‘Muito amor, muita saúde, muita paz’ – much love, much health, much peace. 'Peace?' But Brazil is not at war... Or is it?"
Monday 1 June 2015
(AFP / Christophe Archambault / Chaideer Mahyuddin)
On May 14, AFP's Christophe Archambault photographed a boat adrift off the coast of Thailand with 400 starving migrants on board, most of them members of the persecuted Rohingya minority from Myanmar. A week later, the vessel reached the coast of Indonesia's Aceh province, where his photographer colleagues Romeo Gacad and Chaideer Mayhuddin were finally able to put names to the faces captured in his dramatic images.
Friday 29 May 2015
(AFP / Chris Jek)
"I have never hunted, and I never will. Especially not an elephant," writes AFP's Johannesburg correspondent Julie Jammot. "People willing to defend hunters are few and far between these days. Those who hunt for hunting's sake, for a 'trophy', are widely seen as criminals."
But when she travels to Botswana to report on a recent hunting ban, she sees villages hurting from lost tourism revenue, harvests destroyed by elephants emboldened to trample over fields. "By this point I have had to review some of my certainties," she writes.
Thursday 28 May 2015
(AFP / Carl de Souza)
"The first time I went to Mogadishu there were soldiers on the roof of the airport terminal and a crashed cargo plane on the apron with a rocket-sized hole in its fuselage. I wore body armour pretty much all the time, was woken by explosions at night and ducked rifle fire by day," writes AFP's Tristan McConnell. "That was five years ago. I was back again recently and went out for a pizza, at night."
Wednesday 27 May 2015
(AFP / Joseph Eid)
"The Hezbollah fighter grimaced as a bank of photographers kneeled in front of him, struggling to take pictures that complied with the group's strict media rules but would still have news value," writes Sara Hussein. "The interaction was part of an unusual media tour organised by the powerful Lebanese Shiite group of their positions in the Qalamun region on the porous Syria-Lebanon border."
Tuesday 26 May 2015
(AFP / Valery Hache)
"Two floors above us is an impossible level of glamour, people of such mind-bending charisma that the mere sight of them walking on carpet can set off a frenzy of shutter clicks and hysterical screaming," writes Eric Randolph, fresh from covering the 68th Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera. "But pan down through the floors into the basement, and things are decidedly less glamorous."
Wednesday 20 May 2015
(AFP / Menahem Kahana)
"Two words tweeted by a Nepali journalist friend moments after the second quake last Tuesday summed up the mood in Kathmandu: 'Enough already'," writes AFP's Claire Cozens. "Few people slept that night. Like the buildings imperceptibly weakened by the first quake that crumbled in the second, the city's stoicism appeared to falter. And yet just a day later, residents were out helping the army clear rubble from the streets. No one expected the government to help, so they were helping themselves – and each other."
Tuesday 19 May 2015
She was an extraordinary journalist, who lived an extraordinary life. Anna Kipper was a Polish Jew driven from Europe during World War II who went on to become AFP’s first female bureau chief, in Bogota in 1946. A reporter whose career mirrored the upheavals of the 20th century, from Europe to Latin America. This is her story, told by Yves Gacon, AFP's director of archives and publishing.
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