San Francisco-based photographer Justin Maxon has won the 2012 Alexia Foundation professional grant. Maxon will use the $15,000 grant to complete a project exploring “the frightening reality of how many murders go unsolved every year in America.”

The Alexia Foundation supports photojournalism that explores issues of social justice and cultural awareness. It was founded by Peter and Aphrodite Tsairis, in memory of their daughter, Alexia, who was killed in the bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.

In addition to Maxon’s award, a Judges Special Recognition Award was granted to Rome-based photographer Kathryn Cook, whose project “Memory of Trees” explores “the aftermath of the ‘denied’ 1915 Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey” and life for Armenians in Turkey today.  Katie Orlinsky won the first place award in the student category: Funding to complete her project on Mexico’s drug war and a three-month internship at MediaStorm. Orlinsky is currently studying at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism as Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism Fellow.  Oxana Onipko won the second place student prize, funding for her project on violent conflicts in Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan. Onipko is a student at the Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia.

The judges for the 2012 grants were Kira Pollack, director of photography at Time; Whitney Johnson, director of photography at The New Yorker; and photographer Maggie Steber.

Information on the 2012 grants, including the Awards of Excellence winners, can be found at www.alexiafoundation.org.


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