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PICTURES ON THE RADIO compiles the work of David Gilkey, a celebrated conflict photographer who helped NPR bring vivid life to big and small stories with global impact. Known for chronicling pain and beauty in war and conflict, he was on assignment in Helmand, Afghanistan in 2016 when he and NPR's Afghan interpreter, Zabihullah Tamanna were killed by a Taliban ambush of their convoy. Considered one of the best photojournalists in the world, his death made headlines around the country and the globe.
The nine chapters in PICTURES ON THE RADIO include photographs from assignments in Afghanistan, Haiti, and Gaza covering war, natural disasters, and political strife, but also a surreal journey on the tran-Siberian railroad, a voyage down the Ganges, and coverage of American war-veterans showcasing Gilkey's range as a photojournalist whose work captured the strength and fragility of our humanity and our planet. An essay by NPR correspondents-includingJason Beaubien, Ari Shapiro, David Greene, Julie McCarthy, and Eric Westervelt-whoaccompanied David on assignment introduces each chapter of award-winning photographs and an afterword by Alyda Gilkey paints a portrait of the man behind the camera.
PICTURES ON THE RADIO continues David Gilkey's lifelong mission of connecting Americans to the frontlines far beyond their shores. The drama, beauty and dignity of his subjects continue to move the heart and the conscience.
About the Author
David Patrick Gilkeybegan his professional career in South Africa where he joined some of the world's most famous photojournalists covering violence in the townships. A half a dozen wars later (Somalia, Rwanda, Kosovo, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq), David hit his stride working for theDetroit Free Press. While there his coverage of the Michigan Marine unit through an entire deployment to Iraq won an Emmy Award. David joined NPR in 2007, continuing to cover conflict and international news. During his tenure at NPR, he received the George Polk Award for his coverage of the U.S. military, won the Robert F. Kennedy award for his coverage of Haiti, the Peabody Award and Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of Ebola, and was named Still Photographer of the Year by the White House News Photographers Association. Photo Editor: Chip Somodevillamet David Gilkey at theDetroit Free Pressand they covered the Iraq war together. He is now a senior staff photographer for Getty Images based in Washington, DC, covering US politics. Among the many awards Somodevilla and his work have won are the Michigan Press Photographer of the Year, Political Photo of the Year and Photographer of the Year from The White House News Photographers Association. He and his team at Getty were finalists for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize and he was named Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association in 2019. A graduate of the University of North Texas, he lives in Maryland with his wife, son and daughter. Photo Editor:Ariel Zambelichworked extensively with David Gilkey as the Supervising Editor of Photography for NPR Visuals. Currently she's the Senior Photo Editor atThe Interceptin New York, where shecollaborates with the newsroom to tell investigative stories through photojournalism, illustration, and design.Her photojournalism has appeared in theNew York Times, The Atlantic, New York Times Magazine, theWashington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Etiqueta Negra, M le magazine du Monde,andThe Fader.She was also a photo editor and photographer forWired, and co-director of a documentary photography gallery in San Francisco. Text Editor: Quil Lawrencemet David Gilkey in 2002. They both covered Iraq and Afghanistan for the next ten years. Quil served as NPR's Bureau Chief in Baghdad and Kabul and reported from throughout the Middle East. In 2012, Quil returned to the U.S. to cover veterans for NPR, a beat that he developed with David. Quil won a Robert F. Kennedy Award and a Gracie Award for his reporting on American war veterans. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave him their 2019 Award for Leadership in Journalism. He is the author ofInvisible Nation: How the Kurds' Quest for Statehood is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East. Quil lives in Brooklyn with his family. Designer: Bonnie Briantis a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she studied Photography and Imaging. Bonnie's versatility has allowed her to design award-winning books about everything fromDisco Night 9-11by Peter Van Agtmael about the War on Terror toThe Family Imprintby Nancy Borowick, intimate portraits of a family's trials with cancer. She has worked with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bronx Documentary Center, Aperture, Damiani, Rizzoli and powerHouse. Photo District News (PDN) Photo Annual Awards have honored at least one of her books every year since 2014.
"David's images captured a breadth of truths across the world and showed the humanity of those he photographed, even under the most difficult circumstances."
— President Barack Obama
"The highest praise I can give is that his work portrays a brutally honest account of life on the front-line. Not just by capturing the intensity of fighting and the horror of when it goes wrong but also the humour and mundanity."
— Dan Jarvis
"David knew how to make the familiar seem new, and the foreign recognizable. He snapped big, amorphous concepts like climate change, immigration, and war into sharp, personal focus. Each image in this book is like a dot in a pointillist panorama, reminding us of who we are and what we share in common with the people David saw through his camera lens."
— Ari Shapiro
"David's fiercely beautiful photographs capture a world where smiles can be rare and edged with pain; where dignity must be retrieved from the dust; where death has just left the room. Yet even his most disquieting pictures contain a certain tenderness, because David was tender. Also wildly funny, a teller of stories, a non-sufferer of fools, a tough guy with a big heart. He left behind a breathtaking trove of images that, far into the future, will prevent us-as David intended-from looking away."
— Renee Montagne
"We lost David in 2016. One of the world's finest photo-journalists, he became another victim of a conflict he had spent years documenting. Through this collection of unforgettable images, however, readers can get a glimpse into the unique mind of this committed, charismatic photographer. With a goofy laugh, a lip full of tobacco and an ornery refusal to stick to conventions, David beat his own path across this planet. He was determined to share the beauty, the horror and the sheer complexity of this world with the readers back home. His photography is the work of an astute observer absolutely dedicated to his profession."
— Ivan Watson, CNN Senior International Correspondent
"I was not prepared for this book. It’s really that simple; the book is that good. The richness of detail and the depth of exploration I admire in the radio broadcasts are here, too. Every image is a act of insight."
— W. Scott Olsen