About Pete Muller
Pete Muller is an award-winning photojournalist and multimedia reporter based in Nairobi, Kenya. His work explores the challenges of nationalism and nation-states with a particular interest in marginalized communities. Through a combination of photography, text, and video recordings, he aims to illustrate broader issues through individual stories. He strives to create images and material that demand emotional and intellectual consideration to the lives and experiences of those depicted.
From 2009 through 2012, he was based in South Sudan working on a long-term project that examines the South’s complex transition to independence. This work explores the political, environmental, and cultural diversity in the Republic of South Sudan and how the new country is grappling with the challenges of nation-state formation in the 21st century. In addition to South Sudan, Muller has worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, northern Uganda, Afghanistan, the Palestinian Territories, Somalia, and South Africa.
Muller has contributed photography and reporting to outlets including The New York Times, Foreign Policy Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, TIME Magazine, the National Geographic Channel, Paris Match and others. He has partnered on advocacy campaigns with UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the Danish Demining Group, Amnesty International and other non-governmental organizations.
In 2011, he was named Wire Photographer of the Year by TIME Magazine for his work with the Associated Press in Eastern and Central Africa. In the same year, he was awarded the John Faber Award for Best Photographic Reporting for a Newspaper or News Wire by the Overseas Press Club of America and received Honorable Mention in the Chinese International Press Photo Contest. His work on mass rape and mobile tribunals was also featured in the 19th Annual Open Society Foundation Moving Walls Documentary Photography Project. He has been three times nominated for the Photo District News 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch.
awards + honors
TIME Magazine Wire Photographer of the Year 2011
Overseas Press Club of America: John Faber Award for Best Photographic Reporting for a News Wire or Newspaper 2011
Open Society Foundation Moving Walls 19 Documentary Photography Exhibit
Chinese International Press Photography Contest 2011: Honorable Mention in War and Disaster Stories
DC FotoWeek “Until the Grass is Gone: Images of Transition in Northern Uganda” with Peter van Agtmael (2009)
Open Society Foundation Moving Walls 19 Documentary Photography Exhibit (2011)
The Legacy of Rape, Geneva/Washington DC/Democratic Republic of Congo (2013)
Reverberations: Egypt in Crisis by Pete Muller
While Egypt’s awe-inspiring, popular revolution technically concluded in 2011, its reverberations continued in 2012. The social cohesion that once bound Egypt’s myriad political factions has deteriorated and the country has slipped into a series of rancorous political battles. In May and June, Egyptians headed to the polls to elect a new President–a highly divisive process that saw the rise of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. The country’s liberal and secular communities were devastated by Morsi’s win and, as he set about implementing a series of controversial policies, they took to the streets enmasse. Attitudes in the… read more.
War in Mali by Pete Muller
In January 2013, French President Francois Hollande launched a military intervention in Mali, a former French colony in West Africa. Over the last year, Malian forces lost considerable ground to radical Islamist rebels that control the country’s north. As the Al Qaeda connected rebels pushed farther south and closer the the capital of Bamako, the French felt that the situation had become critical. More than 6,000 French citizens still live in Mali, a factor that certainly influenced the decision to become militarily engaged. The French and Malian forces keep journalists on a short leash, allowing… read more.
Machine Gun Americana by Pete Muller
On the edge of Oklahoma’s Ozarks, where prairies ascend to rolling hills, an outgrowth of American tradition thunders in the air. Under a powerful summer sun, gun enthusiasts peer down the sights of devastating weapons at the annual Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show (OFASTS), one of the country’s largest fully automatic machine gun expos. In the valley below, explosive-laden cars, airplanes, and old appliances lie in wait; incendiary prizes for the sharp or lucky. Husbands and wives, often with children in tow, make a weekend of firing a vast array of fully automatic… read more.
Cattle Raiders of South Sudan by Pete Muller
I am deeply intrigued by the pastoralist tribes of southern Sudan. Their way of life seems quite unchanged since its inception on these plains thousands of years ago. The social, spiritual and informal political structures within the pastoralist societies here are based almost entirely on the possession and successful retention of cattle. The number and quality of one’s cows determines his social status, masculine worth and, perhaps most importantly, his ability to marry. Cows form the basis of the dowry system and are therefore a critical obstacle between young men and their ability to reproduce.… read more.
On July 9th, 2011, the swamps and plains of southern Sudan became the world’s 193rd country. For decades, across this vast and largely vacant landscape, unspeakable violence and devastation prevailed. More than two million people perished as southern rebels waged a 23-year rebellion against the northern government aimed at empowering the resource-rich but deeply marginalized south. In 2005, the war came to an ostensible end with an agreement that allowed for the prospect of southern independence in 2011, the same year in which the ceasefire expired. In January of 2011, southern Sudanese voted almost unanimously… read more.
Battling Impunity: Mass Rape Trials in Eastern Congo by Pete Muller
In the lush hills of eastern Congo, a brutal war rages against female inhabitants. As rival militias fight for control of territory and resources, women’s bodies often become components of the battlefield. Each year, thousands of women are raped in eastern Congo, with more than 8,300 reported cases in 2009 alone. Since the 1990’s, rape has been used as a weapon of war; a brutal and indelible tactic aimed at demoralizing male enemies by violating their wives, mothers and sisters. These crimes, committed with impunity, have destroyed tens of thousands of lives. In recent months,… read more.