HOWARD CASTLEBERRY: Priest's Pulitzer Nominated Photograph

Father Buries Daughter in Soccer Field, Mogadishu, Somalia
Photograph © Howard Castleberry

Photojournalist Howard Castleberry (center) in a refugee camp,
Mogadishu, Somalia, September 1992 (Courtesy photo)

+ + +

Things like Somalia force you to answer big questions, they lead you to transformation. –The Rev. Howard Castleberry

The Rev. Howard Castleberry, now rector at Christ Episcopal Church in Temple, Texas, was a former staff photographer for the Houston Chronicle.
While on assignment in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1992, he shot a photograph of a man burying his daughter in the city soccer field turned makeshift graveyard. It was reported that 10,000 people a day were dying in Somalia with the ongoing civil war and subsequent famine that left the country in chaos. The city’s soccer field, along with the botanical gardens, had become a grave yard because the city had run out of burial space. This image earned Castleberry a Pulitzer Prize nomination, and won Picture of the Year and the Robert Kennedy Award for International Photojournalism.

Suffering has always been a part of humanity's condition, and always will be. How we react to this condition is the question. Perhaps my work in Somalia will call attention to the fact that we're all really wanting the same things - a warm bed, a full tummy - and that those with more might give from the heart to those with less. –The Rev. Howard Castleberry

This photograph was selected by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston from more than a million images considered over the past seven years of curating for the future history of war photography exhibition. The prints in the show go from 1848 to the present and are taken on six continents. "The History of War Photography," curated by Anne Wilkes Tucker, will open in November 2012.

I want to thank fellow Memorial H.S. Alumni, artist Mary McCleary, soon to be named "2011 Texas Artist of the Year" in November, for bringing Fr. Castleberry's work to my attention. You can read more about Rev. Castleberry here: epicenter.org


R Montalban said...

I can completely see why this picture was chosen, it speaks volumes.

kai51 said...

No me extraña que esta fotografía fuera seleccionada, ya que encierra un gran dramatismo,solo con mirar alrededor del hombre ya lo dice todo.
Un saludo

Lizblog said...

Translation for above "No wonder this photograph was selected because it has great drama, just looking around the man says it all. Un saludo"

Kristin H said...

"In a sea of blod" Very strong and sad!

Christian Hamilton Fowler said...

It's a very emotive photograph. The colours are beautiful but the suject of the image is far from that. It's interesting that the photographer chose to photograph the father from behind. The facial expression on this man would be heartbreaking for the viewer and may render a more powerful image. In saying that, it does leave a sense of privacy and more importantly, respect for the father in photographing from behind. Thank you for sharing