Identity Through Crises highlights the many aspects that shape our individual and collective identities — exploring the evolution of identity through global crises and conflict, and celebrating the resilience of the human spirit.
In her project La Promesa, Irina Werning’s gripping visual storytelling explores the identity and challenges of Antonella Bordon, a young girl in Buenos Aires, Argentina, who vowed to cut her long hair only when she could resume in-person classes at school. School closures in Buenos Aires due to COVID-19 ended 4 months later than anywhere else in the world. Antonella said she was offering up her most precious treasure in exchange for her school life back. Her hair was her identity.
Zahra Mojahed, a photographer and refugee from Afghanistan, uses photography to tell the stories of other migrants, and is empowering other refugees displaced from Afghanistan with photography skills as she awaits her own asylum decision. “My dream is to be a photographer and filmmaker as an Afghan woman. And to show people — to show girls and women in Afghanistan — that women can do everything,” she said.
Finally, this exhibition is completed by a collection of images done in partnership with Indigenous Photograph. It focuses on Indigenous photographers documenting the climate crisis.
Zahra Mojahed is an Afghani photographer. Due to the Taliban’s persecution of the Hazara ethnic minority group, Mojahed and her family fled to Iran when she was 5 years old. There, they faced discrimination as well, and later sought asylum in Greece in 2019.
She was quickly drawn to photography through ReFOCUS Media Labs, a global network of media labs dedicated to equipping asylum seekers and refugees with modern media creation skills.
Mojahed’s work is featured in 1000 Dreams, an exhibit through which refugees tell the stories of other migrants. She tracked down, photographed, and interviewed 70 migrants for the project. The exhibit is supported by Witness Change, a non-profit founded by National Geographic Explorer and photographer Robin Hammond.
Her dream is to continue her education and one day be recognized as an influential female photographer and filmmaker. Through her work, she seeks to inspire and support vulnerable women of different cultural backgrounds.
Based in Buenos Aires, Irina Werning is a freelance multimedia photojournalist working on personal projects. She studied for a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in history. She worked as a sociologist in London, where she studied for a master’s in photojournalism at the University of Westminster. Werning won the Ian Parry Scholarship (The Sunday Times Magazine and Getty) in 2006, a BURN grant (Magnum Foundation) in 2012, and the first place Sony World Photography Award in portraiture in 2012.
She was also selected for the Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo 2007, and was chosen by TIME as one of “Nine Argentinian Photographers You Need To Follow” in 2015. Her book Back to the Future was chosen by TIME as one of the best photobooks of 2014. In 2020, she was awarded the Emergency Covid Grant (National Geographic.) Werning won a 2022 World Press Photo Award for her Pulitzer Center-supported project La Promesa.
The Pulitzer Center raises awareness of underreported global issues through direct support for quality journalism across all media platforms, and a unique program of education and public outreach. We support over 200 reporting projects a year in partnership with more than 150 news organizations, with an increasing focus on regional and local outlets to ensure we are reaching diverse audiences. We are raising awareness of the interconnected nature of the greatest challenges of our times and pointing to possible solutions. We serve global public-interest journalism by engaging wide audiences on deeply reported topics, and inspiring the next generation to value credible news and cross-cultural understanding.
Indigenous Photograph is a space to elevate the work of Indigenous visual journalists and bring balance to the way we tell stories about Indigenous people and spaces. Their mission is to support the media industry in hiring more Indigenous photographers to tell the stories of their communities, and to reflect on how we tell these stories.
Indigenous Photograph’s global database is available to photo editors, creative directors, and those who routinely hire photographers. The electronic database of their members includes detailed information regarding geographical areas of expertise, languages spoken, and contact information.
Identity Through Crises
Featuring: Various Artists
Location open 24 hours