“A World Without Walls“:

An International Congress on "Soft Power", Cultural Diplomacy and Interdependence

(Berlin; November 6th - 9th, 2009)
An Interview with Mr. Suau »

Anthony Suau

Photographer, 1984 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Born in Illinois, USA in 1956, Anthony Suau is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who has extensively covered crises and conflict the world over. After graduation, Suau began his photography career working for both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Denver Post, a six year period that saw him nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for photography with a photo series depicting the consequences of famine in Ethiopia, a prize he went on to win with critical acclaim. Suau moved to New York in 1985 where he worked for the Black Star Photo Agency under the guidance of the revered Howard Chapnick, winning the ICP Infinity Award for ‘Outstanding Photographer under 30’ the same year.

In 1987 a picture depicting a Korean mother who desperately clings to the shield of a police officer after the arresting of her son during a demonstration was selected by the World Press Photo for ‘Press Photo of the Year’ and Suau himself gained the honour of ‘Magazine Photographer of the Year’ at the NPPA Pictures of the Year competition. Suau relocated to Europe in this year, and was appointed as a contract photographer with Time magazine in 1991. Suau went on to publish an illustrated book on the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, followed by another of the war in Chechnya in 1995. For his work in Chechnya he was honoured with the Robert Capa Gold Medal.

Beyond the Fall is Suau’s longest running project, a collection which depicts the upheaval of change in former Eastern Bloc countries, and has been exhibited in Brussels, Washington, London, New York and dozens of Europe’s main cities. The exhibition covers the changes seen in each country of the former Soviet Union, including the fall of the Berlin wall and the conflict in Serbia, as well as the transition from Soviet influence to self governance.

Since completing Beyond the Fall, Suau has published another book depicting the slogan and propaganda war in the U.S. as opposed to the war being fought in Iraq. Suau chose to stay at home, feeling coverage of the spin, anxiety and extensive media coverage at home would be more powerful than that which he had already witnessed in the first Gulf War. His involvement in the first conflict in Iraq saw him held captive along with dozens of other writers, journalists and photographers in 1991 whilst covering the conflict in southern Iraq. Suau was subsequently freed. His 2001 show ‘Between Worlds—Kabul–New York’ juxtaposed images of the 9/11 aftermath with those of Kabul following the Taliban’s withdrawal, continuing his alternative take on current conflicts.

Suau’s style is not typical of conventional travel and press photographers, he typically shoots with a small Leica camera and confines the majority of his work to black and white. Suau currently lives and works in New York, and has recently covered the world economic crisis from Wall Street to Suburbia. His seminal photograph of a police sergeant foreclosing a home, weapon drawn, lead to his nomination and subsequent winning of the ‘Press Photo of the Year’ award for the second time in 2008. His other awards include the Canon Photo Essayist Award, and ICP Photojournalist of the Year.