By Lizzie Kipp / Staff writer
It’s not every day that a Pulitzer Prize winner comes to Hutchinson, but the city had the honor to receive one this week.
Photojournalist Lynsey Addario was the featured speaker at the Dillon Lecture Series on Tuesday at the Sports Arena, in the final lecture of 2022.
Addario covers major conflicts around the world and is a consistent contributor to The New York Times, National Geographic, and TIME Magazine. She has captured all sorts of humanitarian conflicts like the Iraq War, the Syrian refugee crisis, and the war in Ukraine. And if that doesn’t sound scary enough, she was also one of the four New York Times journalists kidnapped in 2011 in Libya.
The key part of her lecture was her work in Afghanistan. That’s actually what earned Addario multiple awards, one of them being a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. Her photos focused on life and oppression in Afghanistan under the Taliban.
The photos from there are nothing short of powerful. They captured the lives of these people and showed the world what they had to endure.
Addario said that as a woman, she had better access to women in Afghanistan. Because of this, the living conditions of Afghani women were a big part of her work. She said that the women with no husbands were often beggars, and the married ones had little to no freedom. They couldn’t get a job outside their home, attend school, or leave their house without a chaperone.
But, there were instances in which these laws were broken. Addario told the story of when she attended an Afghani wedding. There was music, dancing, and women who were not veiled, all of which are illegal under the Taliban. Addario said the event taught her to “pause and look for those secret moments” in which the Taliban was not in control. She included photos from it in her published work.
Through her photographs, Addario not only showed the world the struggles of living in Afghanistan – she also showed life after the fall of the Taliban. She showed pictures and videos of women driving, dancing, and enjoying themselves.
American society often hears about world conflicts on the news and eventually stops talking about them. But to see them happen is a whole different experience. Each of Addario’s photos tells a story about a human being, whether that’s the story of sick babies in Somalia or a Ukrainian schoolteacher tearfully volunteering to fight in the war. The humanity she captures with her camera causes us to see these world issues in a whole new light.