1993 Photo Contest, Others, Individual awards

Joël Robine

Agence France-Presse

17 December, 1992

A Somali boy runs toward an aid convoy that has just arrived in a village 25km outside Baidoa, the epicenter of the famine which hit Somalia harder than any other African country. A French legionnaire watches over the safe arrival of the supplies. Operation Restore Hope is a UN-endorsed American initiative aimed to ensure that international aid actually got through to the starving thousands. By the end of the year, however, the number of dead in Somalia was already estimated at more than a million. Joël Robine: 'I was tired of seeing photographers and of the whole image business, but nonetheless aware of the need to bear witness. I left the others with a heavy heart, under a leaden sun. I was in Baidoa, Somalia, one of the ends of the earth, a place with nothing but military barracks for soldiers who were there to ensure the safety of the aid convoys and the nomads. As I walked through the savannah, I was able to take a picture showing the hope of a child, the hope to live. He crossed my path and smiled at me. I owe him a big thank you.' (World Press Photo retrospective Children's Jury exhibition, 2003)

About the photographer

Joël Robine

Joël Robine (Paris, 1949) worked for Agence France-Presse between 1978 and 2005, moving to the French agency’s head office in 1981. Since the early 1980s he has traveled the worl...

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