Home Front cover PHOTO ESSAYS About Letters Contact Products Shop LIFE FORCE
The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay “A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
Sept 2014 back issue
Tom Stoddart
Back to menu
Tom Stoddart began his photographic career with a provincial newspaper in his native North East of England. In 1978 he moved to London and, working freelance, started to regularly supply national newspapers and magazines. During the eighties he worked extensively for the Sunday Times newspaper. During 1982 he was in Beirut when the Israeli forces bombed Yasser Arafat’s besieged PLO base. Later, Tom was aboard the Greenpeace boat ‘Rainbow Warrior’ where he shot a widely published story about the environmentalists efforts to stop the Canadian cull of baby Seals in the Gulf of St Lawrence. In 1987, he was back in Beirut shooting a world exclusive on the horrific conditions inside the Palestinian camp of Borj el Barajneh, where Dr. Pauline Cutting was trapped. He also witnessed international events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Romanian Revolution and the massing of alliance troops in the Middle East for the Desert Storm conflict with Iraq. In July 1991, Tom travelled to Sarajevo to document the civil war that was engulfing Yugoslavia. The work from Sarajevo was published across the world. Returning a year later for The Sunday Times Magazine, Tom was seriously injured in heavy fighting around the Bosnian Parliament buildings. After a year of recovery, Tom threw himself back into photojournalism, producing a powerful feature on the aftermath of the Mississippi floods and, later that year, an award-wining photo-essay on the harsh regime for the training of Chinese Olympic Child Gymnasts. In December 1993 Stoddart returned to Sarajevo to report on the hardship of life in the city during a freezing winter under siege. This trip confirmed Tom’s fascination with a city that he was to return to on a dozen different occasions up until the Dayton Peace Accord in 1995. In 1997 Tony Blair gave Stoddart exclusive access for 3 months to document his election campaign as Labour swept to victory after 18 years of Conservative government.  Stoddart's in-depth work on the terrible HIV/AIDS pandemic blighting sub-Saharan Africa has been exhibited and published extensively and won the POY World Understanding Award in 2003. In the same year his documentation of British Royal Marines in combat during the invasion of Iraq was awarded the Larry Burrows Award for Exceptional Photography by the Eddie Adams Workshop. His retrospective outdoor exhibition, iWITNESS, was visited by 250,000 people and the accompanying book was honoured as the best photography book published in 2004 by the POY judging panel. During 2008 he was commissioned by COPA-COGECA in Brussels to document agriculture throughout all 27 countries of the European Union. The exhibition of images from the assignment is currently touring Europe's capital cities. Over the years Tom has worked closely with charities and NGO's such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, Oxfam, Christian Aid, Care International and Sightsavers. In 2012 his 'Perspectives'  retrospective outdoor exhibition was displayed at London's South Bank during the Olympic Games and attracted 225,000 visitors. Now established as one of the world’s most respected photojournalists,Stoddart is represented by, and works closely with Getty Images, to produce campaigning photographic projects on the serious world issues of our time.
SARAJEVO 1993: In the dangerous suburb of Dobrinja, Meliha Vareshanovic walks proudly and defiantly to work during the siege of Sarajevo.  Her message to the watching gunmen who surround her city is simple, "you will never defeat us." (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
SARAJEVO 1992: Sheltering from a heavy mortar bombardment, 67 year old Antonia Arapovic, hugs her neighbour's terrified child in the darkness of a underground cellar in Sarajevo.  (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
SARAJEVO 1992: Tears of anguish for a mother as she prepares to send her confused child out of Sarajevo on a bus promised safe passage by the Serb forces during the siege in 1992. (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
CHINA JULY 1993: In the 1950s Mao Zedong decided that sporting success was important to bring international glory and prestige to China. Since then 3,000 Schools of Sport have been set up throughout the country. Today the China Sports Bureau has an annual budget of around $250 million to find and train potential sporting champions.  Each year thousands of children, some as young as four, are enrolled in the schools and begin the harsh training regimes designed to turn them into Olympic winners. If they succeed in winning  Olympic gold they are rewarded with a $25,000 payment from the government. Picture shows a young gymnast practising her leaps at Wuhan School of Sport where dozens of children with sporting potential stay in dormitories away from their families. (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
IRAQ 2003: Along the Khawr Az Zubayr waterway in the marshes of southern Iraq, British Royal Marines from 539 Assault Squadron have been under fire during a night time patrol, and have just been told that one of their comrades has been killed. Tiredness and grief overcome them. 2003.  (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
ANJAR, INDIA-FEBRUARY 2001: With silent dignity an old woman waits for aid to arrive at her stricken village near Anjar, Gujarat, after the earthquake of 2001. (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
BHACHAU, INDIA FEBRUARY 2001: A child plays with pigeons among the ruins of Bhachau, India, one of the worst hit towns after the earthquake of 2001 struck the region of Gujarat. (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY NOVEMBER 1989: The first section of the Berlin Wall is pushed down by the hands of crowds of determined people on the morning of November 10th 1989. (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA SEPTEMBER 2001: New Yorkers stand motionless and silent onboard the first Staaten Island ferry to approach Manhatten after the World Trade Centre attack of 911, 2001. (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
ZAMBIA 2000: Emaciated and weak. Kelvin Kalasha (30) is helped to bathe at the Mother of Mercy Hospice in Zambia. 2000.  (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
CHOKWE, MOZAMBIQUE 2000: Holding tightly onto her children a mother looks for the safety of higher ground near Chokwe, Mozambique, during the floods which covered the country in 2000. (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
AJIEP, SUDAN JULY 1998: A well nourished Sudanese man steals maize from a starving child during a food distribution at Medecins Sans Frontieres feeding centre at Ajiep, southern Sudan, in 1998. (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
SUDAN 1998: A rare moment of joy between siblings at the Ajiep feeding centre in southern Sudan. 1998.  (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM JUNE 2007:  News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch photographed in his office at News International in Wapping, London, as he contemplates his bid to buy the Wall Street Journal.  (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
LONDON MAY 1997 The moment Tony Blair realises he has won the general election on election night, 1997. (©Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images)
Back to current issue