Samuel Aranda

Girona, Spain


Spanish, 1979

Samuel has spent the last 13 years documenting conflicts, migration and social issues across the globe. His work ranges from extensive coverage of the Arab Spring to an intimate portrait of Spain gripped by the economic crisis. Working frequently for the New York Times, his work has taken him to countries far and wide, from the Middle East to South America and Eastern Europe.

His coverage of the Spanish Crisis, which was published in The New York Times, showed the effects of the national situation on the lives of individuals and families, drawing attention to the severity of the impact of the economic collapse on Spain's working class.

In 2012, he was awarded the World Press Photo of the Year for an image of a mother cradling her son who is suffering from tear gas exposure during the uprising in Yemen. In the same year, his hometown of Santa Coloma de Gramanet near Barcelona awarded him the 'Premi Ciutat', an annual award which recognises artistic achievement and El Pais magazine named him one of the 100 'People of the Year'.

His photographs have been exhibited at institutions across Spain, in Chile, Brazil and at the Visa pour l'Image photography festival in Perpignan (France) as well as at the Cervantes Institutes in New York and Tunis. Samuel currently lives in Crespia, Catalonia and runs a studio-gallery in La Bisbal d’Emporda.

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Click here for a brief overview of Samuel Aranda's work.

On 1 October 2017, a referendum in Catalonia asked voters a simple question – Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?

Five years after the momentous events of the Arab Spring unfolded in Egypt which saw the autocratic regime of Hosni Mubarak brought to an end, Samuel Aranda travels across the country documenting the difficult changes the country is going through.

As countries across West Africa announce that they have finally managed to contain the worst Ebola outbreak ever which has claimed over 11,000 lives, the virus continues to linger in Guinea, the country where it first struck.

For centuries, the Fulani of West and Central Africa have taken their herds over vast distances every year in search of pastures and water.

Throughout 2015, hundreds of thousands of refugees have made their way to the borders of the EU, mainly on Greek islands close to Turkey, and onward through the Balkans to Northern Europe.

For the first time in Nigeria’s turbulent political history, an opposition politician has unseated an incumbent in an election deemed largely free and fair by international observers.

Sierra Leone is facing a major health emergency since the Ebola virus, initially detected in Guinea in December 2013, has crossed the border and is killing 100s across the country.

The first outbreak of ebola in West Africa is also the most deadly recorded so far.

Once again, a moderate has been elected to the presidency in Iran.

The Mary Maersk is the world’s biggest cargo ship, the size of four football fields with enough storage for 18,000 containers.

2013 saw an upsurge in the number of African immigrants trying to make their way into Europe over the border fences that ring Spain’s African exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

Almost 40 years after the death of Francisco Franco, Spain’s long-serving fascist dictator, families of people who disappeared and are assumed to have been murdered are still searching for clues about their relatives’ fates.

Spain’s ongoing economic crisis has driven thousands of individuals and families to the brink of destitution with food handouts becoming an essential lifeline for many.

While much of the rest of Spain is still reeling from the ongoing economic crisis that has been battering the economy since 2008 there is one town in the South hasn’t shown any signs of restraint.

With its own flag, currency, army, postal service and national parliament Transnistria has all the trappings of an independent state yet it is only informally recognised by Russia and maintains many of the outward appearances of a Soviet appendage~~Hemmed in by the wiggly course of the Dniester River in the West and a strange assortment of jagged and straight lines marking the border with Ukraine in the East, Transnistria or the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic as it is known by its official name, is one of the stranger and stubbornly enduring anomalies of post-Soviet tracing and retracing of national borders.