Pedro Rosa Mendes, Portugal
Writer and freelance journalist. Pedro Rosa Mendes was born in Cernache do Bonjardim in Portugal in 1968. After his jurisprudence studies in Coimbra, he worked as a journalist, mainly for the daily Público. He reported from conflicts in Zaire, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Western Sahara, Zimbabwe, Angola - he was Público correspondent in Luanda in 1997 -, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia. He was twice awarded the Feature of the Year Prize in Portugal and in 2000 he got the Lisbon Press Club's Bordalo, the most prestigious award for Portuguese journalists.
In 1999, Pedro Rosa Mendes published Baía dos Tigres (Publicações Dom Quixote), voted as the best Portuguese novel by the Portuguese Pen Club. The novel was so far translated in German, French, Italian and Spanish. The book describes the three and a half month journey which the author made in 1997 from Angola to Mozambique. Pedro Rosa Mendes traveled over 10,000 km of the continent between the two former Portuguese colonies. The civil wars after independence from the former colonial power left, particularly in Angola, areas where there were more mines than people. Not only the landscape but also the political relationships were a testimony to the ravages of war.
In November 2002, Pedro Rosa Mendes published Ilhas de Fogo, a reportage book with co-author French illustrator Alain Corbel, about civil society organizations in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissao, São Tomé e Príncipe and Cape-Verde. Pedro Rosa Mendes is also the author of the novel, Atlântico (2003), with co-author photographer João Francisco Vilhena.
Pedro Rosa Mendes works now as freelance journalist. He contributed with reportage and essays to different publications, including Lettre International (Berlin / "Bucht der Tiger", "Alptraum im Kannibalenland"), El Pais Semanal (Madrid), Terra Negra (Brussels) and Grand Street (New York).
He is currently a Fellow of the DAAD writers-in-residence program in Berlin and works on a reportage book about Western Africa.
Pedro Rosa Mendes lives with his family in Portugal.
"I think this documentary prose should really break fixed boundaries."Svetlana Alexievitch (jury member 2003, 2004 & 2005)