Infinity Award in Photojournalism honored REZA for his latest report on Afghanistan “Once upon a time, the Russian Empire”

On May 10, 2010, during a gala dinner in New York, Reza received the prestigious Infinity Award of ICP (International Center of Photography) in the category of Journalism, in front of an audience of 650 VIPs. His series of photographs on Afghanistan; “Once upon a time, the Russian Empire” was honoured.

Infinity Award was created in 1985 and its recipients are photographers whose works invite us to view the world differently.

“Once upon a time there was an unequal battle; that of a giant and murderous Empire, which was trying all the way to subdue a defenceless but rebellious people who had repelled all foreign invasions.

Once upon a time there was the Russian Empire against Afghanistan. It was thirty years ago. As a young photojournalist, I was covering that unequal conflict and the resistance of a handful of men lead by Commander Massoud. Russian fire was heavy, with helicopters, tanks, bombers, leaving no relief and little chance of escaping certain death. The massacred people was suffering. The resistance Afghan fought for the freedom of their country.

After ten years of a fierce fight, the biggest army in the World at that time was defeated and forced to withdraw from Afghanistan. Ten months later, waves of this failure shaked the foundations of the Russian Empire and caused the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Every empire has left ruins. Two decades later, remains of the Russian Empire are scattered through out Afghanistan, like war booties transformed into daily life use objects by a people whose pride has been the power of its resistance.

Empires, tyrants and their desire of conquest are but little things in front of passing Time and the will of a people marching towards freedom.

The witnessing of these fights are documented by photojournalists, at the risk of their lives.

I dedicate this award to all Iranian journalists who are imprisoned, tortured or killed, and to their solitary battle to get us informed of the oppression of a totalitarian regime. ”

“Carrying on the tradition of excellence in photojournalism is Iranian photographer Reza, who also had the crowd on its feet. In his remarks, Reza emphasized the power and importance of educating people to document their own stories.” The Wall Street Journal

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