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Yola Monakhov, then 25 years old, is hugged by a grandmother upon arrival to her home in Kosovo 1999 as the war was coming to an end. Photo by ©Yunghi Kim/ Contact Press Images

For two decades the story of a young American, female photojournalist, etched in film, remained stored in my file cabinet. It was time for these images to see the light of day and to tell the story of Yola Monahkov.

Yola Monakhov was 26 years old when she caught a bullet while working in Israel. She would have died if not for the fast actions of her Associated Press colleagues, who rushed her to the Haddassah hospital where the doctors there put her back together. She was fortunate to have had a network of friends, fellow journalists, like Ed Gargan, Matthew McAllester, photojournalists Alan Chin, Thomas Dworzak, Katy Daigle (a college friend), and especially AP staff photographer Lefteris Pitarakis.

Yola’s dream of being a foreign correspondent, a photojournalist, and her great curiosity about the world is what put her in harm’s way on November 11, 2000, the day she almost died. …


Women in Photojournalism from the Film Era — the next phase, housekeeping and logistics.

Part One: How The List Took Root

As you know I have been working on a list of women photojournalists from the film era: the “Silent Generation” project, I have titled it.

This list came about because of the broad and manifest knowledge gap that exists today about the contribution women photojournalists (and editors) from the film era. A partial explanation of this lack of wide-scale knowledge can be attributed to older archives that have gone un-digitized and therefore don’t exist for viewing or research on the web; in many instances newspaper and news wire photographers may not have access to their work. …


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I helped introduce the Comfort Women issue to the west in 1996. This was a personal project. Our archives are diverse and wide-ranging, there’s a knowledge gap because much of the work form the Silent Generation may not be digitized. I have been slowly digitizing my archive for the last few years; a daunting and tedious task.

Revisionist history threatens to whitewash The Silent Generation — women who paved The Way.

“For a very long time, we’ve been predominantly looking at the world through the experience and vision of male photographers,” wrote photographer Daniella Zalcman.

This is a sexist and ageist quote. It was published in a piece on NationalGeographic.com that also showcased the work of younger female photographers. The text included a reference to a male-dominated “status quo” working world that purportedly is only now starting to change. This is inaccurate and why I decided to write a response.

The impression given does not represent my 35 years of experience in the field of photojournalism. My recollections reveal a different, more complete narrative. …


Fifteen years ago, at the start of the war on Iraq, I left Turkey and walked for four nights through monsoon-like rains into Iraq. I was on assignment for Time. I didn’t tell this story for ten years.

*This article contains graphic photos*

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Aided by Americans, Kurdish Peshmerga took over the strategic oil rich city of Kirkuk. Looting in the streets, a father and child walk by a burning bank. © Yunghi Kim/Contact Press Images.

April 9, 2018 marks the 15th anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.

There was a small group of photographers camped out on the Turkish border with Northern Iraq, in the small towns of Cizre and Silopi. I thought entering Iraq would be a cakewalk: All I needed to do was follow the U.S. troops as they made their second push into Iraq, this time from Turkey.

I thought wrong.

At the last minute, Turkey decided not to let the United States use its land as a staging area, so there’d be no U.S. troops to follow. Northern Iraq was only 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) away, but the situation was fluid and impossible to read. The other photographers and I had been in Turkey for a few weeks, trying to position to cover the war. …


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Brooklyn Chinatown, Sunset Park. © Yunghi Kim/ Contact Press Images.

It boggles the mind!

Email sent to the leadership of Poynter (Journalism) Institute to counter this piece harvesting free image use “These Tools will help you find the right images for your story”

Dear Mr. Neil Brown

I am writing to you because I am shocked, baffled and deeply disappointed by a piece posted on the Poynter site [https://www.poynter.org/…/these-tools-will-help-you-find-ri…]. For a prestigious organization like Poynter that represents journalists and photojournalists, I find the piece amateurish and also find it to be damaging to Poynter.

Freelance photojournalists make up much of the workforce that provides work for publications. Freelance photographers carve out a modest living licensing (and re-licensing) images for editorial use. …


Ten female photojournalists share the stories behind their iconic award-winning images

Joanne Rathe Strohmeyer documented the first black community permitted to take public buses with whites during Apartheid South Africa. Jane Evelyn Atwood was the first photojournalist to intimately document the AIDS crisis in Europe. It was the first time an AIDS sufferer permitted his face to be shown in Europe. Wendy Sue Lamm followed her instincts, and with bravery, worked even as her colleague was shot. Jodi Cobb made eloquent images of the secretive society of the Geisha. Susan Watts’ first opioid story, photographed twenty years ago resonates to this day. …


Indispensable pointers from women photojournalists who’ve seen and done it all

COMBINED they represent over 300 years of knowledge; women who in their own right have made their mark in photojournalism. With stoicism and pride, they have traveled deep and wide, to all corners of the world. These women have photographed the human condition, while working on diverse and complex stories in the harshest of conditions.

From the start of their careers they felt that no part of the planet was beyond their reach and there was no assignment they couldn’t handle regardless of the danger, close calls, or how near they found themselves to death.

Photojournalism requires incredible mental and physical strength to navigate fast-moving situations. One needs to be almost warrior-like on all fronts! Those with relentless commitment and smarts stand out and have made an indelible mark on their profession. …

About

Yunghi Kim

Photojournalist • Yunghi Grant • YunghiKim.Com • TW: @Yunghi • FB: YunghiKim.Photojournalist • Instagram: Yunghi.Kim • Project: TrailblazersOfLight.com

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