UK architect Alison Killing has won the Pulitzer Prize (together with Buzzfeed News reporter Megha Rajagopalan and programmer Christo Buschek) for a series of stories revealing a number of secret internment camps in China’s Xinjiang province built to detain up to 1 million Muslim detainees made up of Uyghur and other minority groups.
Described by the Pulitzer board as “clear and compelling,” the stories drew on publicly available satellite imagery and architectural expertise, as well as interviews with former prisoners, to identify the extent of the infrastructure built by the Chinese government.
The investigation identified 268 structures built between 2017 and 2020 bearing the hallmarks of fortified detention compounds, making up “a sprawling system to detain and incarcerate hundreds of thousands of Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities, in what is already the largest-scale detention of ethnic and religious minorities since World War II.”
Born in the UK city of Newcastle, Killing earned degrees from King’s College, Cambridge and Oxford. She founded her own practice in 2010 and is the first architect to win the Pulitzer in any category since 1996.
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