2022 Eyes of History: Still Contest: Picture Story: Feature

A series of pictures that depicts a feature story line or single feature theme. 12 photos maximum per story. A picture story depicting the President of the United States, other U.S. politicians, or U.S. politics is NOT eligible in this category.

First Place

Salwan Georges, The Washington Post
Untitled: At Central Romana, Dominican Republic’s largest sugar producer, laborers worked 12-hour days and lived with their families in company housing without electricity and potable water. In 2016, the company sent armed guards and bulldozers to evict 60 families from makeshift houses built on the dusty edge of a sugar plantation in El Seibo, one of the poorest and most remote corners of the Dominican Republic. Human rights advocates and representatives of the United Nations have criticized the operation. Human rights advocates had for many years publicly protested the mistreatment of sugar workers at Central Romana.

Second Place

Carol Guzy, Independent Photojournalist
DANCING IN THE RUBBLE, DEATH & LIFE IN HAITI: A family navigates the rubble in their finest clothes as they hold a village funeral for Marie Herese Atineus who died when part of her home collapsed during a massive earthquake as Haitians cope with the aftermath in Maniche, Haiti on Saturday August 21, 2021.

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on August 14 killing at least 2,250 people and injuring 12,000. Countless families were displaced, leaving the Island nation in the grip of yet another humanitarian crisis.

Daughters threw themselves to the ground wailing. Grandchildren were passed over the gravesite in a poignant tradition and a son’s sorrowful cries of ‘Mama, Mama’ echoed through the air after the casket was lowered into the earth of their backyard. During the wake, vibrant villagers danced until dawn on the ruins of the home where she perished. They sang, drank, partied.

For most Haitians it’s not about dying in the quake but rather living in the rubble of shattered lives and altered destinies where the legendary Haitian resilience survives. They mourn, pray then move on with the task of living.

On good days, life is desperately hard in Haiti. A land of juxtapositions – a breathtaking beauty of spirit and a brutal reality of the streets. Tragedy befalls the country repeatedly. Political anarchy, gang violence, natural disasters. Yet still, life goes on in the wounded landscape.

‘If there is life, there is hope’ said Chrislom Adonnia, Survivor

Third Place

Astrid Riecken, Freelance for The Washington Post
Billy Kaye: It's been a tough year for Billy. 2021, just like 2020, have been tough years for Jazz drummer Billy Kaye. He lost many more friends, some to Covid-19. Before the pandemic, the beloved 89-year-old musician performed regularly three to four times a week. In 2021 he only had one gig. Most of the Jazz venues where Billy performed have closed permanently or reopened under a new management with a much smaller live Jazz program. Performing means everything for Billy. It creates community, a sense of purpose and great joy, especially for the older Jazz players. Growing isolation because of social distancing takes a devastating toll.

Without being able to perform because of the pandemic, Billy has become depressed and lonely.

Billy's friend, Julia Banholzer, is in a better situation than Billy since she is younger and uses technology and social media to find a few of the performance opportunities that still exist. Since the beginning of the pandemic she has been regularly playing at Bryant and Central Park in NYC.

I first met Billy in 2017 during the weekly Monday Night Jam at the Jazz Foundation of America (JFA), a nonprofit that assists struggling Jazz musicians. He looked like he had just come out of a movie set from 1950, wearing a fedora, beautiful suit and shirt.

Billy toured the world and shared the stage with such jazz greats as Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, George Benson, and Dinah Washington. He was befriended with Billie Holliday who once cooked for him after he fell sick.
Drumming is a rigorous endeavor, but Billy, who competed in track and field in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, still regularly performed before the pandemic in New York, where he has lived for more than 70 years.
I worry about Billy's and the future of all the other aging Jazz musicians. Performing means the world to them.

Award of Excellence

Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press
Cicada: Trillions of cicadas emerge from 15 states in the U.S. East. Scientists say Brood X is one of the biggest for these bugs which come out only once every 17 years.

Award of Excellence

Samuel Corum, Freelance for Getty Images
Dispatch from Hill 135: Virginia National Guard soldiers march across the east from of the U.S. Capitol on their way to their guard posts in Washington, D.C., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.

Award of Excellence

Salwan Georges, The Washington Post
Untitled: In a year of conflict and covid, ordinary life in Gaza continues amid the rubble. The Gaza Strip is packed dense with life, and with trauma. Children play games beside bombed-out buildings. Wedding parties parade along the sewage-polluted shore. Amid sky-high poverty and unemployment, people find ways to reuse, recycle and reuse again. Families gather for funerals and evenings despite fuel and electricity shortages. People have learned to live with the coronavirus, while the overshadowing prospect of another conflict between Hamas and Israel never fully recedes. Some 2 million Palestinians live in the small, crowded coastal enclave, under an Israeli and Egyptian-led blockade in place since 2007, when the extremist group Hamas seized power.