He has won three World Press Photo awards and actively has his work published in The New York Times and Time magazine. Tomás Munita, is the most internationally acclaimed Chilean photojournalist. He has taken photos in places like Afghanistan, India, El Salvador, Japan, Syria, Peru, Pakistan and, of course Chile. But until this year, he had never been to Haiti.
Munita went to Haiti after being invited by América Solidaria. During his twelve days of trekking and exploring, he visited local markets, toured the neighborhoods, went to medical facilities, met the locals, and got a firsthand look at the work that the volunteers were doing.
“I went there without speaking a word of French or Creole and without a translator, to photograph the inside of several huts and shacks in the displaced persons camp. My relationship with the people there was direct but silent, and with it I was able to get a good look at the strongest feature of their idiosyncrasies: joy. It is extremely challenging to open yourself up to a group of people when you can’t communicate, and even more so if you are physically so different. But the hospitality and happiness was just overwhelming. If you consider the extreme poverty that surrounds you, you get a strong feeling, while full of light, is rather hard to explain, “says Munita.
Munita holds a number of awards, including an ICP Young Photographer Infinity Award in 2005, two World Press Photo awards in the same year for his coverage of the Kashmir Earthquake and one World Press Photo in 2013; the 2006 Leica Oskar Barnack award for Leaving the Shadows, his work on Kabul; the Henri Nannen Preis in 2010, for his work Island of Sorrow, published in Geo; an All Roads photography award from National Geographic, also in 2010, for his work Lost Harvest, Death of Loa River, a Visa d’Or News award in 2012, for his coverage of the Syrian conflict, and recently in the 2013 the Chris Hondros Fund Award and the Latin American Photographer of the Year Poyi.
If you are in Washington DC, you don’t miss out the opportunity to visit the Photo Exhibit.
Embassy of Chile in Washington DC
1732 Massachusetts Ave. NW
November 6-27, 2014