Columbia Journalism School


Diana Markosian '10 wins photography award

December 09, 2010

Diana Markosian, M.S. '10, a Russia-based photojournalist and writer, has won an award for her multimedia project "Selfless" from the National Press Photographers Association.

Markosian placed second in the NPPA's October contest. She is also a recipient of Columbia Journalism School’s annual photography prize and was a duPont Fellow.

"Selfless" is a multimedia piece about a young girl, Lena, a Special Olympics athlete, and her mother, Sophia, who was diagnosed with breast cancer the day after Lena was born.

"When I met Lena and Sophia in March," Markosian said, "I felt an instant connection with them. There was always lots and lots of positive energy in the family — this was important for me.

"I still remember Sophia saying, 'Yeah, I had cancer. I still don't have a breast. I can show you.' She did just that. She took off her bra, and showed me the scar."

Last spring, Markosian studied photography with adjunct Prof. Melanie Burford whom she credits with turning her onto photojournalism.

"I had never touched an SLR before graduate school; now I can't imagine my life without it," said Markosian, who is now working in Moscow as a freelance photojournalist.

She recently traveled to Russia's volatile Republic of Dagestan in the North Caucasus, where she documented conflict through the eyes of women whose husbands and sons had been abducted or killed.

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