John Moore has received the world press photo of the year. With his pictures he tries to the human side of U.S. immigration policy.Interview of Florian Sturm
SZ: Mr Moore, the composition of your photos is exceptional. Why have you decided not to show the heads of the mother and of the police officers?
John Moore: I had only a few moments time. Since I wanted to photograph the Situation from the perspective of a child, knelt down I automatically.
Why did you<, this day, at the border between the USA and Mexico?/b>
I take pictures for more than ten years on the issue of immigration - both in the United States as well as in Mexico and Central America. For that, I am always with American border officials on the way. This recording was made after Trump launched his "Zero Tolerance"policy at the border.
you Can still remember the origin of this photo?
On the evening of the 12. June 2018 got one of the border officials on his radio the news that people are crossing the border to enter the United States. We went there and saw about a dozen persons, mainly women and children, from the darkness appeared. Barely on American soil, they were brought by the police to a dirt road. The officials checked the documents and took the immigrants, wallets, jewelry, backpacks, and even laces. This is normal procedure.
Getty photographer John Moore lives in New York. At the World Press Photo Awards, he was awarded four Times already, now for the first Time in the main category.(photo: Abby Kraftowitz)
And among them Sandra Sanchez and her daughter Yanela.
Exactly. Before the persons were brought into camp, there was a body search by the police. I was able to briefly speak with the mother, Sandra,. She held her daughter most of the time on the Arm, she had to settle for the search warrant, however briefly. Screaming Yanela began immediately. I heard immediately the fear in the voice of a girl. Fortunately, the mother and daughter were separated only briefly. Hardly, Sandra took it to the body search again on the Arm, she stopped crying.
The photo was criticized, among other things, from the White house as a "Fake News". The accusation: It suggest that the mother and child were separated - which is not true.
this is Exactly why it is so important for us, photojournalists, to keep the information of the images to be error-free. I always refer to the fact that the original caption is correct. But once the images have been circulating on the Internet, you can develop extremely quickly a life of its own. The can control not a photographer. In the case of expressive photos on controversial issues, there will always be different perspectives and interpretations of the same image.
your entire visual language is an emotional, humanistic approach and relies far less on the harsh, shocking photos that bring many of our colleagues from crisis regions. Has changed the way to tell these stories?
My ultimate goal has always been to show the human side of these stories. Most of the time you will be told by Numbers and statistics. But we should remember that each number that appears there, is a man.
At the World Press Photo Awards, both your photo and the Photo Story of the Year addressing immigration in the United States. Coincidence?
The immigration policy of the United States in recent years is unlikely to be contradictory and incoherent. One reason for this was that the authorities were aware of the extent and consequences of this separation the situation of parents and their children aware of it. Maybe these two awards help to focus even more on this topic. Even if it is of course very much to ask that U.S. policy will not change in fact, it remains our job as journalists, to make these grievances.