Yannis Behrakis(58), one of Reuters’ most adorned and respected photographers, has died after a long battle with cancer. He covered many of the most chaotic events around the world, including conflicts in Afghanistan and Chechnya, a huge earthquake in Kashmir and the Egyptian uprising of 2011. He led a team to a Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for coverage of the refugee crisis. Dina Kyriakidou Contini Reuters US general news editor said: “his pictures are iconic – some works of art in their own right – but it was his empathy that made him a great photojournalist”.
Famous photo Journalist Behrakis was born in Athens in 1960. In January 1989 he was sent on his first foreign assignment for Reuters to Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya. For the next three decades, Behrakis was regularly on the road covering violence and upheaval across Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. One of his famous photographs includes an ethnic Albanian man lowering the body of a two-year-old boy who had been killed in the fighting into a tiny coffin. Behrakis took the picture from a high position and used a slow speed or zoom technique to create a dizzying sense of movement in 1998. “The picture was very strong and the body of the boy almost floating in the air,” he said of the image. “It almost looked like his spirit was leaving his body for the heavens.”In 2000, while covering the civil war in Sierra Leone, Behrakis, Reuter’s colleagues Kurt Schork and Mark Chisholm, and AP cameraman Miguel Gil Moreno, were ambushed by gunmen. Schork, one of Behrakis’ closest friends, was hit and died instantly, and Moreno was also killed. Behrakis and Chisholm survived the attack by crawling into the undergrowth beside the road and hiding in the jungle for hours.
In 2015, Behrakis and a team of photographers and cameramen worked in the relay for months to cover the thousands fleeing wars in Syria, Afghanistan and beyond. It was then that Behrakis took what many consider to be one of his best pictures of a Syrian refugee carrying and kissing his daughter as he walked down a road in the rain. The picture that represents the universal father and the unconditional love of a father to daughter.“This picture proves that there are superheroes after all,” he explained.