Maggie Shannon wins the “Peace Image of the Year” at the Global Peace Photo Award 2021. The American photographer won with an image from her reportage “Extreme pain, but also extreme joy” about home births in the USA during the pandemic.
The hospitals are flooded with covid patients. In the maternity wards spouses are not allowed. Many women want to give birth at home. Without mask, with the fathers. They are afraid of the hospitals. They are in panic. The midwifes receive emergency calls. In this situation Margaret Shannon decides to accompany four of these midwives. She is impressed with the calm and decisiveness of these women, with their experience. And she is elated by those moments when all the pain has been overcome and the private happiness simply drowns out all the knowledge of the global pandemic. Bodily contact in times of a contact ban! New life in times of the big death. Holding close. Embracing. Helping. A father kissing his new-born, almost as if lost in prayer. It is a picture of a deep peace in a time of thousands of unpeaceful events. And in addition like a small pointer to Black Lives Matter, in a country that in 2020 was still governed by a president specializing in unpeace, in tantrums, gloating, contempt and slander.