SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir
Sana Irshad Mattoo, 28, a Kashmiri woman photographer, has been awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize in feature photography for her coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Besides Mattoo, who contributes to Reuters as a multimedia journalist, three Reuters photojournalists, Adnan Abidi, Amit Dave and late Danish Siddiqui, also won the award for the coverage of the pandemic that killed tens of thousands in India.
Mattoo became the third Kashmiri to win the prestigious prize. Associated Press photojournalists Mukhtar Khan, Dar Yasin and Channi Anand won the 2020 prize for “striking images captured during a communications blackout in Kashmir depicting life in the contested territory as India stripped it of its semi-autonomy" in August 2019.
She captured images of health workers administering vaccines in a remote hamlet of Kashmir Valley named Lidderwat, which she reached by partly riding a pony and partly trekking for nearly six hours.
Mattoo told Anadolu Agency: “This prize has brought mixed emotions for me. In the grim situation prevailing in Kashmir, this prize comes as a hope."
“I believe this is the beginning. Such honors come with great responsibility and I look forward to producing even better work,” she added.
Her bio on the Pulitzer Prizes website described her work as concentrating “on depicting tensions between the seeming ordinariness of life and the stark symbols of a menacing militarized milieu of Kashmir."
Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines around the world and has been screened and exhibited in various exhibitions and festivals, Pulitzer said.