OSLO, Norway - Filipina photojournalist Hannah Reyes Morales is beyond excited going to the public opening of her exhibition to highlight this year's Nobel Peace prize winners.
"Siyempre masaya, masaya na nakapunta. Last year, 'di ako nakakapunta sa kahit anong opening. So yung napuntahan ko, ito pa. Sobrang saya kasi super welcoming ang mga tao dito. Tapos sobrang open nila to listen to our stories. So it's been really cool," said Morales.
(I'm so happy to be here. I wasn't able to attend any opening last year. I'm so happy because people here are so welcoming. They are open and eager to listen to our stories.)
But she admitted being this year's official photographer of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize exhibition is a daunting task, a responsibility too heavy to bear.
“Di siya light na responsibility, 'di ba? Una, konting time lang ibinigay sa akin. Tapos parang ang laki ng sitwasyon. Disinformation and press freedom, important siyang topic, pero ang laki niyang responsibility," she said.
(It's not a light responsibility. First of all, I was only given a short period of time. But the situation is big. Disinformation and press freedom are important topics, so it's a huge responsibility.)
Director of Exhibitions Nina Frang Høyum of the Nobel Peace Center is all praises for Morales' work, saying they found her work online and knew that they had to get her to do the exhibit.
“We are looking for a brilliant photographer and we found Hannah Reyes Morales. Her talent for storytelling is magnificent. We are just happy and honored that she is available," said Høyum.
Høyum said they deliberately hired photographers that had an insider's look- an insider's eye on the winners.
“For this particular assignment, we want to work with photographers who have experienced what it's like to work in situation where freedom of expression is under threat,” Høyum said.
Mother and son Angeli Brujord and Kendrick Aguilar went to see Morales' exhibition. They heard her account on Ressa's work against fake news in social media.
Kendrick came to Norway two years ago and said he is bothered by fake news in social media and how it is spreading disinformation among teenagers in the Philippines.
“Nakakaawa po kasi active ako sa Facebook at nakikita ko mga ka-age ko na teenagers, na-brainwash na," he said.
(I am active on Facebook and I see teenagers my age being brainwashed.)
His mother, Brujord said that she is disheartened by the spread of disinformation and has decided that she will do her part to stem it starting with her family.
“Ang magagawa ko about fake news, siguro, marami rin akong friends na if ever nag-share sila ng fake news, kailangan ko pong i-inform, tulad po ng pamilya ko. Siyempre, madali po silang maniwala. Ini-inform ko sila na 'di 'to totoo ang binabasa nila sa Facebook,” she said.
(What I can do about fake news is to inform my family and friends who share fake news, that it's not true. I will inform them that what they read on Facebook is not true.)
The Nobel Prize exhibit that also displays the works of Russian photographer Nanna Heitman opened to the public on Dec. 12 and will run for a year.