What a persistent vision looks like….

I saw a persistent vision yesterday.

The Missouri School of Journalism awarded its Honor Medal to Carol Guzy, longtime photojournalist at the Washington Post. Carol is the only journalist of any discipline to receive 4 Pulitzer Prizes. She was the first woman named Newspaper Photographer of the Year in the Pictures of the Year International competition, an award she has claimed three times.

As part of her visit to campus, Carol spoke to a combined group of classes in the afternoon, talking about her career and presenting a slide show of stories she has done. Her career has taken her to locations as varied eastern Europe as Communist governments collapsed, to Colombia following mudslides, to Haiti before and after earthquakes and to her own town. She’s documented social change, coping with disaster and caring between humans. One of Carol’s stories was about an elderly woman caring for her older sister. Another was about animals that had to be left behind as people were evacuated from New Orleans before and after Katrina.

Yet with all that range of content, from peaceful or violent revolution to innocent beings caught in a situation not of their own making, there is consistency. All the pictures capture emotion, dignity, spirit. One student said that to look at Carol’s photographs is to feel what the people in the pictures felt.

That, my friends, is a persistent vision.

There is an exhibit of Carol’s work in the gallery of the Angus and Betty McDougall Center for Photojournalism StudiesIt’s on the lower floor of Lee Hills Hall at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. If you find yourself in or near Columbia, Mo., in the next few weeks, check it out.

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