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Honorary degree citation - Barbara Davidson

By: David Secko, November 2019

Mr. President, it is my honour to present to you Ms. Barbara Davidson, celebrated photojournalist.

A Montreal native, Ms. Davidson knew by age 15 that she wanted to be a photographer – before ever shooting a roll of film.

Durant son baccalauréat en beaux-arts à Concordia, ses professeurs lui ont appris à aborder le reportage sous un angle moins classique et plus conceptuel.  S’inspirant de cette approche, elle a développé un art de la photographie distinctement narratif et humain, qu’elle a exercé avec brio aux quatre coins du monde.

Whether she’s covering an armed conflict or a natural disaster, victims of gang violence or sex trafficking, her great compassion for her portrait subjects leaves a strong impression.

It has certainly impressed awards juries. Ms. Davidson has won three Pulitzer Prizes and twice been named Newspaper Photographer of the Year by Pictures of the Year International.

The medium and use of photography have undergone an incredible revolution during the course of Ms. Davidson’s career, but she insists that what goes into creating powerful images hasn’t changed since her student days. As she says, “it’s all about good storytelling and having the passion to see those stories through.”

Mr. President, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Ms. Barbara Davidson, so that you may confer upon her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

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