10 The Ed Cunningham Award 2014

Matthieu Aikins, left, and Sebastiano Tomada

Matthieu Aikins, left, and Sebastiano Tomada

AWARD YEAR: 2014

AWARD NAME: The Ed Cunningham Award

AWARD RECIPIENT: Matthieu Aikins and Sebastiano Tomada

AWARD RECIPIENT AFFILIATION: Medium / Matter

AWARD HONORED WORK:

In the best tradition of wartime storytelling, Aikins’s vivid characters offer a truly fresh window into the Syrian conflict. The wisecracking, passionate young men, a volunteer rescue team in Aleppo, remain with us long after reading. In an inspirational and even funny story, Aikins captures the friends’ longings and doubts with astute empathy. Despite intense risks to himself, Aikins keeps himself out of his understated prose, which is enriched by the quiet photographs of Tomada. A reminder that the essence of war lies in these intimate moments, far from the halls of diplomatic power. Aikins is a freelance journalist and Schell Fellow at the Nation Institute.