Carlos Reyes-Manzo was born in Chile and has been a photojournalist since 1964. In 1974, during the Pinochet regime, he was imprisoned, then sent into exile in Panama. In 1979 he was kidnapped by the Chilean secret police and, during the flight back to Chile via London, asked for political asylum in Britain. He established the Andes Press Agency and continues to document the struggles, hopes and suffering of people throughout the world.
‘In May 2003,’ he says, ‘I arrived in Baghdad while the bombs were still falling. Thick clouds of black smoke rose above the city. The smell of burning and raw sewage hit me. I crossed Iraq observing and talking to people. The most painful thing was to find that children in hospitals were dying for lack of basic medicines.
‘In February 2004 I arrived in Basra. The city was covered by a mantle of brown sand. Children were playing in puddles of dirty water. Men and women were searching through mountains of rubbish. ‘Fatima, a social worker and mother of one son, told me: “I cannot go out alone. I would be attacked by vigilantes or kidnapped by gangs of criminals. The water from the pipes is undrinkable, even if you boil it. Electricity is available only for a few hours a day… We live in fear. We don’t know whether we will be alive tomorrow.”
‘In Basra General Hospital Dr Musab told me: “The general situation in Basra is worsening and in the summer it will be even worse. Now we are receiving four or five children a day with septicaemia caused by lack of sanitation and safe drinking water.”
‘The headline in a British tabloid announced “Basra is Booming”. But for whom?’
Call for entries Southern Exposure photo entries We encourage all photographers – particularly women – living and working in Africa, Asia or Latin America, whose work addresses the broad aims of the NI magazine, to submit potential images for this page. The requirements are as follows:
Format: preferably portrait. Colour: black and white or full colour Caption: a maximum of 150 words describing both the content of the image and how the photographer came to take it. Enquiries and submissions: preferably by email to (mailto:[email protected]?Subject=Southern%20Exposure%20entry.)[[email protected]] or by post to:
New Internationalist (Southern Exposure) 55 Rectory Road, Oxford OX4 1BW, UK Please note that we cannot guarantee to return entries – originals should never be sent.