Emilio Morenatti began photographing the elderly in Spain during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as she decided on communities across Europe, and gave insight into what was happening to the most vulnerable populations internationally during the rest of the year.
A devastating sight of a body on a stretcher next to a Christmas tree two days before the holidays. Elderly couple hugging and kissing through plastic wrap screen. The body of a person holding a rosary lying peacefully in a coffin.
For his work, the Barcelona-based photographer received the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Film Photography, one of two Pulitzer Prizes for Photography from The Associated Press this year.
“The outstanding work of AP’s photographic staff to cover racial justice protests and Emilio Morenatti’s compassionate look at the impact of COVID-19 on older people in Spain are two shining examples of what photojournalists are doing. strive to do everywhere: use light and shadow to bring knowledge and understanding to all corners of the world, ”said J. David Ake, associate editor and director of photography of AP, in a public statement.
Morenatti’s goal reflected a stark contrast between what was happening on the ground in Europe and the lack of concern of some international officials for the pandemic – Spain accounting for nearly 4 million cases and more than 80,000 deaths since.
In 2010, Morenatti was named National Press Association of America Photographer of the Year.
His more than 30 years of photography experience includes a stint in Afghanistan, where a vehicle he was traveling in was hit by a bomb, causing his left leg to be amputated below the knee.
Getty Images staff was recognized as a finalist in the category for their global coverage of COVID-19. Tyler Hicks of the New York Times was also a finalist for his work showing the impact of the pandemic in the Brazilian Amazon, a place that is home to indigenous tribes.