18th Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers: Petra Gerwers


“The Napalm Girl” – 50 years later.

Nick Utthe picture of combustion Kim Phucone of the most important icons of photojournalism, was taken on June 8, 1972. 50 years later, the photographer Petra Gerwers creates a bridge between the past and the present with its double portrait of both. The photo, which won the 18th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards for Women Photographers, is part of Petra Gerwers’ long-term project time travelers.

On June 8, 1972, Associated Press Nick Ut, then 20, was driving on Highway 1 north of Saigon. Shortly after noon, he saw a South Vietnamese Skyraider drop four napalm bombs. The villagers dispersed and he heard a young girl shouting, “Non qua! No what! – Too hot! Too hot!” He grabbed his camera and photographed the girl – nine-year-old Phan Thi Kim Phuc – who had taken off her hot clothes and was walking naked down the street.

“The Napalm Girl”, the caption by which the photo quickly became known, appeared in newspapers around the world, including the New York Times on June 9, 1972. It almost immediately became an iconic image, symbolizing the failure of the Vietnam War. Nick Ut was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in 1973. Today, the photo depicts the horror of war as a whole and is closely linked to images of civilian casualties in Ukraine.

Photographer Petra Gerwers portrayed the two, photographer Nick Ut and “Napalm Girl” Kim Phuc, and the photography that will forever bond them, as part of her photo project time travelers. Petra Gerwers seeks to engage with the lives of her protagonists and the way they reflect it. And not only symbolically: in her portraits, the photographer captures the places and things that set trends for her “time travelers” in the past for their present, in the form of reflections.

The images from the long-term photographic project were shown for the first time this spring as part of a solo exhibition in the art rooms of the Michael Horbach Foundation in Cologne. The photo, which was awarded at the 18th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards for Women Photographers, will be shown with others from the series from October 13-30, 2022 at the FotoNostrum Gallery in Barcelona.



Comments are closed.