Covering this monumental migrant story, I focused on the emotions, hopes and dreams of refugees who arrived on Lesbos Island, Greece – the gateway to Europe. The scenes I documented were heart wrenching and deadly, but at times joyful. My pictures show the extreme circumstances refugees face to try and better their lives, and just how deadly the trek is. More than 850,000 people entered Europe through Greece in 2015 in the continent’s largest refugee influx since the end of World War II, paying smuggling gangs to ferry them over from Turkey in often overcrowded fragile boats. Cold weather and winter seas have done little to stem the endless flow of desperate people fleeing war or poverty. Nearly all of those entering Greece on a boat from Turkey are from the war zones of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Paula Bronstein’s many nominations and awards span decades and represent only a small space in what is simply a lifetime of phenomenal frontline news and documentary photography across the globe. She sits alongside the most important female photographers of our time, as a multiple nominee and award winner of contests including The Pulitzer, Pictures of The Year International, The National Press Photographer’s Association.
With well over thirty years of experience in the news business, Paula worked as staff for major US newspapers including The Hartford Courant and The Chicago Tribune before moving overseas to Bangkok. She then went onto working for Getty Images as a staff photographer for over a decade. Paula’s images have been published in almost every globally recognized publication. Her work reflects a dedicated humanitarian and visual war correspondent finding moments nobody else would dare look for. She continues to photograph presidents and kings, natural disasters, political turmoil and conflict, and always the most impoverished and vulnerable people on this earth, from Mongolia to Afghanistan and Africa. Paula is currently freelance, represented by Reportage / Getty Images.
AWARDS / EXHIBITIONS: Paula has won numerous awards, among them: Pictures of the Year International; National Press Photographers Association (Runner up: “Photographer Of The Year”); The Pulitzer Prize (Finalist: “Breaking News”); The Overseas Press Club of America (John Faber Award); Foreign Correspondents Club: Thailand (“Asia Photographer of the Year”); Leica Oskar Barnack Award (Finalist); and China International Press Photo (“Photo Of The Year”). Her work has been featured in numerous individual and group exhibitions including “Afghanistan’s Health Crisis,” Lido, Italy (October 2015) and the Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles (December 13, 2014 – May 3, 2015); “Women in War” at the 2014 Korea Photo Biennale; and “Women Between Peace and War – Afghanistan,” which traveled to New York, Miami, Denver, Chicago, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Other venues include War Photo Limited in Dubrovnik – “Women War Photographers,” Visa Pour L’Image, Perpignan, France (2008), The Fence an outdoor Photography Exhibition – Photoville, New York (2014.)