Close up: Photographer Muhammed Muheisen

Close up: Photographer Muhammed Muheisen

Muhammed Muheisen, Chief photographer, Pakistan, won the $10,000 Oliver S. Gramling Journalism Award for his work capturing the loss and hope in Pakistan and conflict zones throughout the world. 



Working slowly, with patience and empathy, he gains access other photographers don’t, earning the trust of his subjects in some of the poorest areas on earth. His pictures show a compassion and humanity that are so compelling that they sometimes prompt readers from across the globe to ask how they can help his subjects.

He spent six months capturing a series of portraits of Afghan children living in refugee camps in Pakistan that stirred extraordinary reader response. In them, the judges said, “He caught the hope, desperation and tragedy of the faces of the oppressed.”

Born in Jerusalem, Muheisen earned a degree in journalism and political science at Birzeit University. He joined AP in 2001, and has since covered major events in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as stories in Saudi Arabia, China, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, France and South Africa.

Muheisen was twice part of AP photo teams that won a Pulitzer Prize, for covering the wars in Iraq and Syria. He has been honored with many other international awards, including being named Time magazine’s best wire photographer of 2013. His photos, Time said, “are indispensable for news outlets the world over.”



Muhammed Muheisen is The Associated Press' chief photographer for the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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Nat Castañeda is an interdisciplinary visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. A California native, Castañeda works primarily in video and collage, with an emphasis on tactile intimacy with her materials remaining an important aspect of all her projects. Common issues in Castañeda’s work are the conflating of iconography and pornography, the questioning of traditional gender binaries, and the role of technology within personal narratives. She received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts and has shown at venues such as El Museo del Barrio and Electronic Arts Intermix. In addition to her art practice, Castañeda currently works at The Associated Press where she leads a team that curates AP's online archive of historic and contemporary photojournalism. Castañeda’s photography has appeared in the New York Times,U.S. News & World Report and USA Today.