Photojournalist Hannah Reyes Morales tapped for Nobel Peace Prize exhibition

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
Photojournalist Hannah Reyes Morales tapped for Nobel Peace Prize exhibition
This composite photo shows documentary photographer Hannah Reyes Morales and Nobel Peace Prize awardee Maria Ressa -
Composite photo from Nobel Peace Center (private photo) and AFP / Maria Tan

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino documentary photographer Hannah Reyes Morales, along Nanna Heitmann of Russia, have been tasked to helm the Nobel Peace Prize exhibition for this year's winners Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov.

Morales and Heitmann have been taking photos in Manila and Moscow in preparation for the exhibition, depicting the 2021 laureates' work for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.

Ressa and Muratov were honored "for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace."

The exhibition will begin on December 11, a day after Ressa and Muratov are receive their prizes in Oslo, where the Nobel Peace Center is located. The two Nobel laureates are expected to open the exhibition themselves. It will be open to the public beginning December 12.

It is yet unclear if Ressa, who is appealing a conviction for cyber libel and several other cases in the Philippines, will be allowed to go. She has sought permission from the courts to be allowed to attend the ceremonies but the Office of the Solicitor General has opposed this, claiming she is a flight risk

"We are very happy to have worked with two such talented, young documentary photographers, who are also from the Nobel Peace Prize laureates’ home countries," said Nobel Peace Center Director of Exhibitions Nina Frang Høyum. "They are therefore very experienced in working under trying conditions for freedom of the press and expression."

Morales created a documentary photo series for the exhibition that depicts how social media permeates everyday life in the Philippines.

She called it one of the most challenging things she has ever worked on, adding that it was also personal. "I’ve been able to take a closer look at the chaos that is rooted online, and in the dark, I was reminded constantly that on the other side of the screen are people.”

Morales also said that "watching the consistent assault on truth has been deeply disturbing."

Morales has documented the Duterte administration's "war on drugs," and has been published in National Geographic and the New York Times.

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