Spanish Emilio Morenatti wins a Pulitzer for his portraits of the impact of the pandemic on the elderly

Agustina Cañamero, 81, hugs and kisses her husband, Pascual Pérez, 84, through a plastic screen as a preventive measure against coronavirus in a nursing home in Barcelona, ​​on June 22, 2020.Emilio Morenatti / AP

Emilio Morenatti (Zaragoza, 1969) has won a Pulitzer Prize this Friday for his portraits on the impact of the pandemic on the elderly in Spain. The veteran photojournalist, who works for the news agency The Associated Press, is the first Spaniard to receive the award in the photo report category. The jury of the main prize for American journalism has highlighted its “moving series” of photographs that “brings viewers closer to the lives of the elderly in Spain who are struggling during the pandemic.”

Morenatti was away from his family for months to avoid the risk of infecting them while documenting the harsh reality of coronavirus victims in Spain, according to the AP. One of his most powerful images He took it in Barcelona from an elderly couple with a mask, who hugged and kissed separated by a plastic sheet. His portraits of homeless people, of the deceased in nursing homes or of nurses accompanying the elderly are part of the award-winning series.

The photojournalist has been working as a photojournalist and documentary photographer for more than 30 years. Much of his career was spent capturing images in war zones such as Afghanistan, Jerusalem, Gaza and Pakistan. In August 2009, in southern Afghanistan, I was traveling recessed in a US military patrol when the vehicle was hit by a bomb, causing the amputation of his left foot. He was also kidnapped in October 2006 for 15 hours in Gaza.

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“Although I have been through many difficult situations throughout my career as a photojournalist, having suffered serious combat injuries and being held hostage in a conflict zone, I have never felt so vulnerable as during those long first weeks covering the pandemic in Spain” , said Morenatti, AP’s chief photographer in Spain and Portugal, in the presentation of his series on the devastating consequences of the coronavirus in the lives of the elderly.

Among the many recognitions Morenatti has received throughout his career are the World Press Photo and the Ortega y Gasset Prize for graphic journalism. With the Pulitzer, he joins the list of Spanish journalists who have obtained this award in the photography category, made up of Susana Vera (2020), Manu Brabo (2013) and Javier Bauluz (1995).

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