Tomas van Houtryve's Pulitzer Center Catchlight Fellowship

In 2017, the Pulitzer Center partnered with CatchLight Media on a $30,000 fellowship awarded to “creative leaders in the field of visual storytelling who have demonstrated excellence in the novel use of photography to depict and bring awareness to challenging social issues."  Van Houtryve was one of three photographers selected by Catchlight’s judging panel, which includes Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer. He is reporting on the U.S.-Mexico border using historical photographic techniques alongside cutting-edge surveillance technology. Learn more about the inaugural 2017 Catchlight Fellowship.

For the fellowship, van Houtryve explores the pre-1848 border between the United States and Mexico, using a wooden camera and photographic processing techniques from the mid-19th century to re-imagine a time when all of California and most of the far west was Mexican territory. The second phase of his project documents developments along the current U.S.-Mexico border using surveillance imaging technologies and further exploring the “weaponization" of photography.

Flying Over the Line

As debate rages over U.S.-Mexico border security, drone photography offers a new perspective on what life is like along the border.

Lines and Lineage

2017 CatchLight Fellow Tomas van Houtryve explores the history of the U.S.-Mexico border through period-accurate photography in this photo essay for Harper's.

This Week: The U.S.-Mexico Border: A View from Above

This week: Trump's plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico is still in question, a growing alliance between Russia and the Central African Republic threaten the U.S.'s influence in the region, and see the highlights of the Pulitzer Center's recent conference weekend.