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    In 2012 and 2013, Islamist militants took over the northern Malian cities of Gao and Timbuktu. Imposing their own despotic version of religious Islamic law, the jihadists threatened to decimate the relics of Mali’s ancient past and suppress the lively spirit of its joyous communities. Women bore the brunt of this crackdown: they were forced to cover their brightly lit clothes with dark hijabs and face-covering burkas, and they were banned from work, school, or regular access to medical care. Many found ingenious ways to fight back: through small acts of defiance, and determined ingenuity, the women of Timbuktu stood up to the Islamists’ demands, and kept the unique spirit of their country alive.

    See more from Mali’s Resilient Women, by Katie Orlinsky

    Photo by Marco Gualazzini Photo by Marco Gualazzini Photo by Marco Gualazzini

    'In Rubaya, it’s the Nyatura who call the shots. The Nyatura are a Congolese Hutu group who are now allies of the Congolese government armed forces.  Without their permission, no one enters or leaves. A group of soldiers stops us as soon as we arrive in the town. Two white men do not go unnoticed in Rubaya. We are escorted to the Eden hotel, where Colonel Marcel Habarugira invites us to take a seat. The colonel begins to speak: “In wartime, brothers help one another. And since you wouldn’t be able to get out of here alive without our help, I’m asking you how you can help us, what you can offer us in exchange for your life, which we’re saving”.'

    Photographer Marco Gualazzini won the Getty Images Editorial Grant in 2013 for his proposal M23 – Kivu: A Region Under Siege. Since then, the situation in Democratic Republic of the Congo has changed dramatically, including the disarming of the M23 rebels. Here, he relates some of his experiences from working on the project last October.

    Twenty years after the beginning of multiracial democracy in South Africa, the Born Frees—the first generation of the so-called rainbow nation—have come of age. While they have inherited a free country from parents who have fought long and hard against apartheid, theirs is a story of growing up in a democracy that is complex and young. They grapple with enormous issues—access to education, gang violence, corruption, HIV/AIDS, and income inequality, to name a few. More than half of the nation’s 18-25 year olds are unemployed. 

    Photographer Krisanne Johnson has been awarded a 2014 Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography for her project ‘South Africa’s Post-Apartheid Youth.’ Read more about Krisanne and the project here.

    More than a year of unprecedented violence has plunged Central African Republic (CAR) into perhaps the most unstable and bloodiest era of its history. Armed groups called anti-balaka, comprised of Christians and animists who were initially organized to fight local crime, are seeking revenge mostly against the Muslim minority for a cycle of looting, torture and killing that began after the mainly Muslim rebel coalition Séléka seized power in March 2013. Anti-balaka refuses to lay down their arms. Instead, they hunt and kill Muslims who remain in areas under their control or those who attempt to flee.

    Photographer William Daniels has been awarded a 2014 Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography for his project ‘CAR in Chaos.’ Read more about William and the project here.

    'I was with my colleague friend Manon Querouil doing a story on oil companies who are destroying the Niger Delta and rebels who are attacking pipe-lines and kidnapping people. The rebels, known as the Movement of Emancipation of the Niger Delta, and Ateke, their chief, were living hidden in the mangrove….After a few days Ateke fancies Manon and wants to sleep with her. I had to play the big sister role, saying that she can not, she would have to be married. Warlord says fine, he will marry Manon – what’s another wife or two. We said to him that we needed beautiful dresses, a ring and to all our parents. Ateke gave us some money and send a man with us so we can buy our girl things. Of course as soon as we arrived into the city we flew back to France. Ateke is probably still waiting for his evaporated wife.'

    -Reportage by Getty Images photographer Veronique de Viguerie recalls the story behind one her most iconic photos -  Escaping a Marriage Proposal from a Warlord

    Jonathan Torgovnik was awarded a Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography in 2007 for his project “Intended Consequences.” Torgovnik followed 50 women who were raped during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and who bore children as a result. The project was built through a series of narratives constructed from environmental portraits, audio interviews and textual reflections. “Intended Consequences” led to the creation of Foundation Rwanda, which provides assistance to the mothers and children.

    2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography program, which has now awarded almost $1 million in funding to photojournalists. As we prepare to announce this year’s winners on September 4 at Visa Pour l’Image, we are taking a look back at some of the winners from the past 10 years. See more on In Focus.

    'Although antiretroviral drugs were available in the States and throughout Europe they were nonexistent in Africa at that time. The cost of medicine and the surrounding treatment were price prohibitive in countries where the majority of people live off $2 a day.

    While documenting this crisis I chose to focus on the stories of individuals. The scope of the pandemic was too widespread. My images exist as a record of people I met who lost their lives to AIDS, as a reminder that countless others seek access to life saving drugs and that children orphaned by the disease need our help.’

    -Kristen Ashburn, winner of the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography 2006 for her project Bloodline.

    2014 marks the ten year anniversary of the Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography program, which has now awarded almost $1 million in funding to photojournalists. As we prepare to announce this year’s winners on September 4 at Visa Pour l’Image, we are taking a look back at some of the winners from the past 10 years. See more on In Focus.

    In June 2012, Shannon Jensen was on the northern border of South Sudan as 30,000 people were fleeing the conflict in Blue Nile state. As a way of showing the plight of the refugees in a new way, she decided to focus on a telling detail - their shoes. Says Jensen: “The incredible array of worn-down, ill-fitting, and jerry-rigged shoes formed a silent testimony of the arduous nature of the trek, the persistence and ingenuity of their owners, and the diversity of these individuals thrown together by tragic circumstance”

    Jensen, a Reportage Featured Contributor, was awarded the 2014 Inge Morath Award in order to continue the project with subject interviews. See more images from ‘A Long Walk.’

    Marie, who is HIV positive, with her daughter Mary, in Gasata, Rwanda. During Rwanda’s civil war and genocide in 1994, many women were raped and bore children as a result.

    Intended Consequences, a series of portraits by Jonathan Torgovnik of Rwandan rape survivors and their children, is currently on display at Paris’s Albert Kahn Museum

    In recent years, poachers in Africa have decimated the mature bull elephant population. A particularly poignant loss came this week when it was reported that Satao, a beloved elephant of Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park, had been killed by poachers. Satao was a recognizable fixture of the park, and one of the few remaining ‘tuskers’ - elephants with a set of tusks weighing approximately 100 pounds or more. The depletion of the tuskers has created a negative effect on the elephant gene pool, as weaker DNA is being passed on to new generations.

    See more images from God’s Ivory, by Brent Stirton

    Image: Some of the last of the great elephant tuskers, in Tsavo National Park, Kenya. Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images

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