Photojournalist Ezra Acayan is in the running for the prestigious 2021 Pulitzer Prize, after landing in the finals of the award’s Feature Photography category.
Acayan‘s coverage of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 witnessed him being placed in the finals of the award.
He has been working alongside other photographers in Getty Images, which is one of the biggest suppliers of stock images and editorial photography in the world.
Acayan’s stellar achievements cover winning “majors” in photography, including the World Press Photo award (2021 Photo Contest 2nd Prize for Nature, Stories), the US National Press Photographers Association (3rd place in the Breaking News Story category), the Pictures of the Year International (Singles and Picture Story of the Science and Natural History category) and Pictures of the Year Asia (Photographer of the Year).
Acayan described his landing in the Pulitzer finals as “incredible news and one of the biggest honors of my life and my career” — besides being privileged to “tell stories from our little corner of the world in this global tragedy that changed all our lives.”
He also worked on documentary coverage of the suffering and abuse experienced by communities under the Philippine government’s war on drugs. These images, along with other “nightshift” photographers, were exhibited in Geneva for two straight years as part of the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Acayan is the current chairperson of the Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines — an organization of Filipino photographers working for the rights of visual journalists.
Meanwhile, very few Filipinos have won the Pulitzer — because it is an award for stories published in American publications – and the last Filipino journalist winner was Reuters’ Manuel Mogato in 2018 for his work on the Philippine drug war.
Romeo Gacad, a Filipino photographer working for Agence France-Presse, was twice a Pulitzer finalist in 1989 and 2002.