The Pulitzer prize winning photographer, Anja Niedringhaus (1965-2014), started her career as a freelance photographer for a local newspaper in her hometown in Hoexter, Germany at the age of 16. After finishing high school, she went on to study German literature, philosophy, and journalism in Goettingen, Germany.
While in university, Niedringhaus continued to freelance as a photographer for various newspapers and magazines. Among the events she covered was the Fall of the Berlin Wall which led to a staff position as photographer for the European Press Photo Agency, EPA in Frankfurt, in 1990. She worked at EPA as chief photographer until 2001 focusing much of her time covering the brutal conflict in the former Yugoslavia. She was based for several years in Sarajevo and in Moscow.
In 2002 she joined the Associated Press, AP, as a staff photographer based in Geneva, Switzerland, which remained her base. In the ensuing years Niedringhaus has covered most of the world’s conflict regions in Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In addition to photographing conflicts and political crisis around the world, Niedringhaus also covered the world’s premier sporting events, including nine Olympic Games.
The internationally acclaimed photographer died on April 4th, 2014, when
an Afghan policeman opened fire on her car in Banda Khel, eastern Afghanistan.
Niedringhaus (48) and colleagues had been traveling in a convoy of election workers, protected by the Afghan National Army and Afghan police.
In 2005 Niedringhaus and a team of AP photographers won the Pulitzer Prize in the breaking news category for their coverage of the war in Iraq. The same year Niedringhaus received the Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation.
From 2006 to 2007, Niedringhaus was awarded a Nieman Fellowship in journalism at Harvard University.
Over the past 20 years Niedringhaus’ work has garnered numerous prizes. They include Pictures of the Year International, BOP Best of Photojournalism, Clarion Awards, The Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, Award Winner of the ‘Goldene Feder’ Hamburg and winner of the ‘Abisag Tuellmann’ award for reportage photography in 2011.
Niedringhaus’ work has been exhibited in a number of prestigeous art houses and museums including the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt, the C/O Gallery in Berlin, the Art Collection of the German stock exchange in Frankfurt, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas as well as in museums and galleries in the United States, London, Austria, Switzerland and Canada.
Anja Niedringhaus published two books: In 2001 ‘Fotografien’ (Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt) and in 2011 ‘At War’ (Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern).