Iraq conflict photos, reportages dominate Bayeux awards

Iraqi photographer Ali Arkady receives the Photo Prize award during the closing ceremony of the 2017 Bayeux-Calvados Awards for war correspondents in Bayeux, northwestern France, on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 08 October 2017
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Iraq conflict photos, reportages dominate Bayeux awards

BAYEUX, France: A grim series of photographs titled “Kissing Death” by Iraq’s Ali Arkady on the bloody conflict in his country won the prestigious Bayeux-Calvados photo awards for war correspondents on Saturday.
The brutal pictures tracked Iraqi special forces in battles in Tikrit, Fallujah and Mosul and included horrendous images of torture and violence. They were published by the VII photo agency.
“They are the most sinister, upsetting pictures I have seen in my entire life,” veteran war correspondent Jeremy Bowen, the head of the jury, told AFP.
“The pictures were really, really strong, they were evil,” he said.
“You could see evil... I could feel it in my stomach, the dark side of the world,” said Bowen, a BBC journalist whose career spans three decades.
However, photographer Arkady’s reporting had triggered a debate among the 50 journalists on the prize jury.
The 34-year-old had followed a division of Iraqi soldiers to denouce their acts of torture but he admitted to having participated twice in these “war crimes” out of fear of reprisals.
“In the end the service he did by taking those pictures is more powerful than the fact he made some mistakes,” Bowen said.
Arkady confirmed to AFP that he did participate in two acts of torture, of which he has said in other interviews he was “not proud.”
When accepting his award at Bayeux the photographer said he wanted “the Iraqi government to realize that these soldiers committed war crimes. I want to stop that, but unfortunately, it continues.”
For reportage, the French journalist Samuel Forey won a prize for tracking five days in the battle for Mosul, Iraq’s second city, which was recaptured from the Daesh terrorists in July.
His accounts were published in France’s Le Figaro newspaper.
Radio journalist Gwendoline Debono from Europe 1 was honored for her work on the entry of Iraqi troops into Mosul.
In television, a 26-year-old woman called Waad Al-Kateab commissioned by Britain’s Channel 4 to make a film about life inside the Syrian city of Aleppo, won a prize for her work on the last hospital held by rebels.
Olivier Sarbil also won a TV prize for his film about the battle for Mosul, which was aired by Channel 4.
About 330 works had been entered for the prizes, of which some 50 were short-listed. The prize money ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 euros.


Bollywood stars Padukone, Singh wed in Italy

Updated 15 November 2018
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Bollywood stars Padukone, Singh wed in Italy

  • The celebrity couple got married in a private ceremony at Lake Como on Wednesday
  • The pair have yet to comment or release pictures from the event which was closed to the media

MUMBAI: Bollywood superstars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh have tied the knot in Italy, Indian media reported Thursday.
The celebrity couple got married in a private ceremony at Lake Como on Wednesday, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
The pair have yet to comment or release pictures from the event which was closed to the media.
Padukone is arguably Indian cinema’s biggest female star currently, and she has also broken into Hollywood, starring in “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” opposite Vin Diesel.
Padukone, 32, and Singh 33, announced in a joint statement last month that their wedding would take place on November 14 and 15.
The couple reportedly started dating in 2013 but have kept details of their relationship largely out of the public eye.
Hindi film director Karan Johar, a friend of the couple, tweeted his congratulations.
“Such a stunning gorgeous and beautiful couple!!!! Nazar utar lo! (Keep the evil eye away) !! Badhai ho (Congratulations) !!! Love you both!!! Here’s to a lifetime of love and joy!” he wrote on Wednesday.
The newlyweds have shared the silver screen together, including a controversial Bollywood epic earlier this year that sparked violent protests in northern India.
Padukone played a legendary Hindu queen and Singh a medieval Muslim ruler in the flick, which angered hard-liners, some of whom burned down film sets and made threats toward the two stars.
Indian superstar Priyanka Chopra and American singer Nick Jonas are due to get married in India early next month.