Finbarr O’Reilly is an author and photographer who has spent the past 15 years living and working mostly in Africa and the Middle East. He began his journalism career as a writer in Canada and was based in West and Central Africa for Reuters between 2001 and 2012, covering conflict and social issues across the continent. He turned to photography in 2005 and in 2006 was awarded the World Press Photo of the Year.
Finbarr has since won numerous top industry awards for his multimedia work and photography, which has been exhibited internationally. In 2019, he was the Nobel Peace Prize for exhibition photographer. He has published long-term projects on Congo and Afghanistan and is among those profiled in Under Fire: Journalists in Combat, a documentary film about the psychological costs of covering war. The film won a 2013 Peabody Award and was shortlisted for a 2012 Academy Award. He was the Reuters senior photographer for Israel and the Palestinian Territories in 2014 and covered the July-August war from Gaza.
Finbarr O'Reilly is a photographer based in London whose work was recently recognized by the prestigious Carmignac Photojournalism Award. O'Reilly had spent many years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and had intended to cover the potential the region has. Usually, this award grants 50,000 euros to laureates to cover travel costs related to a project in the field, but with borders closed due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, O’Reilly found himself stuck in London, unable to pursue his project in Congo. Along with the Carmignac board, he came up with an ingenious, and unprecedented, method to continue work in the Congo by sharing the award with eight local journalists in a project known as "Congo in Conversation."
2015 World Fellow Finbarr O'Reilly discusses his career as a journalist, the psychological toll of covering war, and his new book, "Shooting Ghosts: a US marine, a combat photographer, and their journey back from war."