NPR logo Remembering Michel Du Cille: Photos Of Sorrow And Triumph In Liberia

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Remembering Michel Du Cille: Photos Of Sorrow And Triumph In Liberia

Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Michel du Cille died Thursday while on assignment in Liberia for The Washington Post. The newspaper says du Cille collapsed while walking on foot from a village in Liberia's Bong County. He was taken to a hospital but died of an apparent heart attack.

Du Cille, 58, was renowned for capturing intimate scenes of sorrow and triumph. The Washington Post has an obituary of the Jamaican-born photojournalist.

We'll remember him here with four photographs he took in Liberia, covering the Ebola outbreak. Back in October, du Cille wrote for the Post that this assignment was tough because throughout his career, he had always aimed for compassion and dignity.

"Respect is often the last and only thing that the world can offer a deceased or dying person," he wrote. "Yet the camera itself seems to be a betrayal of the dignity I so hope to offer. Sometimes, the harshness of a gruesome scene simply cannot be sanitized. How does one give dignity to the image of a woman who has died and is lying on the ground, unattended, uncovered and alone as people walk by or gaze from a distance? But I believe that the world must see the horrible and dehumanizing effects of Ebola. The story must be told; so one moves around with tender care, gingerly, without extreme intrusion."

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(An aside: Remember, du Cille was uninvited to speak at Syracuse University during the Ebola scare in the U.S.)

Here is some of his work:

The glow from a crematorium fire lights up the night sky where bodies of people who died from Ebola are cremated in Monrovia, Liberia. Michel du Cille/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

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Michel du Cille/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Two people lie dead on the floor inside the critical ward of the Redemption Hospital, which has become a transfer and holding center for Ebola patients, located in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Monrovia. Michel du Cille/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

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Michel du Cille/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Alexander Morris lies flat on his back after he fainted due to the extreme heat inside a protective suit, while the Lofa County Health Department team buries his sister, on Nov. 7 in Voinjama, Liberia. Michel du Cille/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

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Michel du Cille/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Ebola survivor Klubo Mulbah (center), a physician assistant who was infected by a patient, celebrates among friends and family on Sept. 24 in Monrovia, Liberia. She was among 15 Liberian patients who recovered from Ebola and were released from the ELWA 2 ebola treatment center. Michel du Cille/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

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Michel du Cille/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Ebola survivor Klubo Mulbah (center), a physician assistant who was infected by a patient, celebrates among friends and family on Sept. 24 in Monrovia, Liberia. She was among 15 Liberian patients who recovered from Ebola and were released from the ELWA 2 ebola treatment center.

Michel du Cille/The Washington Post/Getty Images