We were shocked and saddened to learn of the death of our colleague and recent grantee Kim Wall, who disappeared Aug. 10 after boarding a miniature submarine in Copenhagen harbor with its builder, Peter Madsen.
Madsen, who first told police that he dropped Kim off at a remote location in the harbor, has since said that she died in an unexplained “accident,” and that he buried her at sea. Police have charged Marsden with manslaughter.
Kim, 30, was a gifted storyteller and fearless reporter whose work was admired by readers and respected by fellow journalists.
“Kim Wall was a dedicated journalist, and loved by our network of staff and global journalists who worked closely with her,” said Elisa Lees Muñoz, executive director of the International Women’s Media Foundation. “She was dogged in her pursuit of important and sometimes quirky stories. She was adored by those who knew her.”
Kim was born in Sweden but was home anywhere. She wrote frequently about identity, social justice and foreign policy. In her project for the Pulitzer Center, Kim wrote a stylish “Letter from Havana” about Cuba’s nascent online culture for the July issue of Harper’s.
Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, VICE Magazine, Foreign Policy, and TIME. She is a graduate of Columbia University and London School of Economics.
“Anyone who met her for even a short time knows that her exuberance is (I can't bring myself to write in the past tense) contagious,” wrote Valerie Hopkins, a Columbia classmate. “In the four years since we graduated, I have followed her work and marveled at how she was able to write stories from so many countries—from an in-depth look at voodoo in Haiti, to tourism in North Korea, to Idi Amin's legacy in Uganda.”
Our thoughts are with her family and many friends.
Read more tributes to Kim Wall.