Adrees Latif wins Pulitzer: Captured a shot heard around the world

Photo courtesy Reuters

A wounded Japanese photographer, Kenji Nagai, lay before a Burmese soldier yesterday in Yangon, Myanmar, as troops attacked protesters. Mr. Nagai later died. Published 28 September 2007 (Adrees Latif, Reuters)

This dramatic photograph, one of the harrowing and yet enduring images of 2007, has just won its photographer a Pulitzer Prize, announced in New York on 7 April 2008.

Ironically, the last defiant act of one courageous photojournalist has landed one of journalism’s most prestigious awards for another of his kind. Adrees Latif, a Pakistan-born American, had concealed his identity by blending in with the crowd in Rangoon/Yangon, and captured Nagai’s killing on film.

Read my 30 Sep 2007 post: Kenji Nagai (1957-2007): Filming to the last moment

Here’s the official citation from Pulitzer jury:

For a distinguished example of breaking news photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence or an album, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Adrees Latif of Reuters for his dramatic photograph of a Japanese videographer, sprawled on the pavement, fatally wounded during a street demonstration in Myanmar.

Adrees Latif, addressing meeting in Japan March 2008

Born in Lahore, Pakistan on July 21, 1973, Adrees Latif lived in Saudi Arabia before immigrating with his family to Texas in 1980. Latif worked as a staff photographer for The Houston Post from 1993 to 1996 before joining Reuters. Latif graduated from the University of Houston in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Latif has worked for Reuters in Houston, Los Angeles before moving to Bangkok in 2003 where he covers news across Asia.

Latif’s collection of photos from his days in Burma, “Myanmar Marooned,” recently won an award given by the prestigious Japanese photographic magazine Days Japan.

Reuters blog: Latif tells the story behind the Pulitzer photo

Japan Times, 11 March 2008: Witness recalls the day of Nagai shooting