This Award has been established by the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University, and its Exposure program, to promote the creation of documentary work with a social purpose. Named in honor of Alexandra Boulat, a co-founder of VII Photo Agency, it has been created to acknowledge the inspiration and mentorship she provided to Exposure and its students.
Alexandra Boulat (1962-2007) was an award-winning French photographer, known for her compelling images of people affected and displaced by war.
In 2001, she co-founded VII, which dedicates itself to documenting conflict and environmental, social and political issues. In addition to covering the wars in Yugoslavia and Iraq, Alexandra reported on the fall of the Taliban. Occasionally, she ranged far afield from war: Her coverage of a Yves Saint Laurent fashion show won accolades. Ms. Boulat published two books, “Paris” and “Éclats de Guerre,” both in 2002. Her work appeared in many publications, including National Geographic, Time, Newsweek and Paris-Match.
For most of the last two years of her life, she lived in the West Bank city of Ramallah. American Photo magazine in 2005 said that her photographs of Arab women “reveal cultures more diverse than many Americans imagine.”
From a tribute to Alexandra by CNN producer Robert Wiener:
"A year before he died, at a café near his flat, Cartier-Bresson and I had a long conversation about the state of the world. Like all my talks with Henri, we rambled on for hours, the subject matter as diverse as his photographs and sketches. On that particular day, Henri was ruminating about optimism and pessimism. ‘In general, Robert,’ he explained, ‘I am a pessimist about the world. We continue to kill each other over land, riches, the color of people's skin, religion, and other ills in society. But I am optimistic about individuals.’
Alexandra was proof that Henri was right. She was a humanist, an internationalist, a champion of the sanctity of human rights and respect for those values."
Award-winning photographer and friend Maggie Steber wrote:
"She would observe things in a quiet, smoldering way. You could tell she was thinking but you could not tell what. I loved that she was not afraid of criticism or judgment. She put her work out there with a vengeance. I loved her ideas and her translation of matters of the heart and mind. And I loved that she was not afraid to comment on controversial ideas that others would not go near...When she left, the world shifted for everyone who knew her: there was life before and life after Alexandra. Things changed, not in a good way. A beloved comrade had fallen, her feet no longer treading the earth to translate its history for us."
Please see this Time Magazine tribute to Alexandra: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1669313,00.html