THOUSANDS OF WORDS

Powerful Instagram photos take us behind the scenes of the shots that won the Pulitzer

Every year a Columbia University committee awards two Pulitzer prizes to journalists for breaking news photography and feature photography (until 1967, the prize for photography was just one).

This year, the award for breaking news was given to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch photography staff, for “their powerful images of the despair and anger in Ferguson, Missouri.” Alongside the award-winning pictures published in the paper, the staff has shared powerful images of the riots in Ferguson on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Instagram account during the days that followed the killing of Michael Brown:

On the other side of the world, Daniel Berehulak, who won for feature photography, chronicled a very different struggle—that of the Liberian community hit by Ebola. Berehulak maintained a closeness to his subjects, who were dealing with a tragedy of epic proportion. And as it’s the case with the images from Ferguson, social media allows us to look at the making of such poignant images: The photos in Berehulak’s Instagram feed are as powerful as the images he published in the New York Times:

MONROVIA, LIBERIA – FEBRUARY 18: James Nyema, 9, sits and writes on the third day of school, after their 2nd grade teacher didn't show up for the third consecutive day, at the C.D.B. King Elementary School on February 18, 2015 in Monrovia, Liberia. Though Ebola cases have receded into the single digits in Liberia, lingering fear and a depressed economy have dampened the turnout at schools. Many have yet to reopen, having failed to meet the minimum requirements put in place to prevent the transmission of the virus. Many of those that have reopened – like C.D.B. King, which, though located in the center of the capital, lacks electricity and running water, and has only a few toilet stalls for a student population that numbered 1,000 before Ebola — are struggling. #ebola #liberia #monrovia

A post shared by Daniel Berehulak (@danielberehulak) on

MONROVIA, LIBERIA – FEBRUARY 18: Humphrey, a caretaker, sprays the grounds with a concentrated chlorine solution, prior to the start of morning assembly on the third day of classes, since schools closed 6 months ago, due to the Ebola outbreak, at the C.D.B. King Elementary School on February 18, 2015 in Monrovia, Liberia. Though Ebola cases have receded into the single digits in Liberia, lingering fear and a depressed economy have dampened the turnout at schools. Many have yet to reopen, having failed to meet the minimum requirements put in place to prevent the transmission of the virus. Many of those that have reopened – like C.D.B. King, which, though located in the center of the capital, lacks electricity and running water, and has only a few toilet stalls for a student population that numbered 1,000 before Ebola — are struggling. #ebola #liberia #monrovia

A post shared by Daniel Berehulak (@danielberehulak) on

MONROVIA, LIBERIA – AUGUST 28, 2014: A Liberian burial team wearing protective clothing, are sprayed down with chlorine as they work to retrieve the body of a suspected Ebola victim from the Ebola isolation ward, inside of the Westpoint neighbourhood, on August 28, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. The center, a closed primary school originally built by USAID, was being used by the Liberian health ministry to temporarily isolate people suspected of carrying the virus. Last week the center was looted by locals and some 10 patients had 'escaped' the building the night before, as the center had no medicine to treat them. The center has since re-opened and is a being used as an Ebola isolation ward. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,400 people in five West African countries, with Liberia having the most deaths. #ebola #ebolaisreal #EbolaOutbreak #monrovia #liberia

A post shared by Daniel Berehulak (@danielberehulak) on

While reporting for long stretches in Monrovia, his images reveal great tenderness and compassion. On both his Instagram and Facebook, Berehulak offered glimpses of the lives of people facing the epidemics—stories such as that of William Beyan, 5, shot here before he died of the disease.

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