World Press 2014: Signals from Djibouti

When John Stanmeyer called me from Djibouti to say he was photographing people on a beach holding their cell phones in the air, I was a little skeptical. In his first few days there, he’d only been able to find what he described as “frivolous vignettes,” and we were both hoping for something better. Something substantial. When he sent me a jpeg of the folks on the beach, we both knew he had found a special situation. John returned to that beach night after night, hobbling on a sprained leg to get the picture. He managed to distill our entire story into one beautiful, moonlit image: modern day migration meets the universal desire for connection.

John Stanmeyer, Photographer

The photograph “Signal”  was

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