People of Mercy
Staged Portraits, first prize stories
Boubacour Diallo (18)
“I was born like this. It is God’s will. People sometimes laugh at me, but that doesn’t bother me. I am an honest Muslim. I don’t fear death.”
People receiving treatment on Africa Mercy, a hospital ship docked at Conakry, Guinea.
Panos for Mercy Ships / De Standaard
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About the photographer
Stephan Vanfleteren lives and works in his native Belgium. After his photography studies he started to work as a freelancer in 1993.
His black-and-white documentary photography covers the disappearance of small, anarchic worlds and the phenomena of everyday life in Belgium, as well as events from conflict zones and portrayals of everyday life around the world.
After working for the daily edition of De Morgen newspaper in the past, Vanfleteren now contributes to its weekend supplements.
His association with World Press Photo includes participation in the 1998 Joop Swart Masterclass, receiving awards in different categories, as well as serving on the jury of three World Press Photo Contests. Vanfleteren's work has been exhibited throughout Western Europe.
Books presenting his photography are Elvis & Presley, Tales from a Globalizing World, Flandrien, Belgicum and his recent photobook Portret 1989/2009 about portraits of artists and important people in Belgium and Holland.