A mentally disabled man in Kenya, living in a locked tin shack. ©Robin Hammond

A mentally disabled man in Kenya, living in a locked tin shack. ©Robin Hammond

Photographer Robin Hammond has been awarded the 2013 W. Eugene Smith Grant, a $30,000 prize, to help complete his ongoing project called “Condemned–Mental Health in African Countries in Crisis.” Hammond has spent two years working on the project, which documents the mental health crisis across Africa, and the abuse and neglect of victims of mental illness.

The $5,000 W. Eugene Smith Fellowship was awarded to Javier Arcenillas for his project, “Red Note,” an examination of violence in Latin America from the perspectives of criminals, victims, and their families.

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund awards its annual grant and fellowship to photographers who are pursuing long-term documentary projects in humanistic photography in the tradition of photojournalist W. Eugene Smith.

The awards were presented at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in New York this evening. Scott Anderson, who has covered conflicts for The New York Times, Outside and Esquire and and is the author of Lawrence in Arabia, gave the keynote presentation.

The Smith grant and fellowship recipients were selected by a jury, including Sarah Leen, Senior Editor, Photo Story Development at National Geographic; Ann Thomas, Curator of Photographs, National Gallery in Ottawa, Canada; and Rich Clarkson, head of Rich Clarkson and Associates, and a longtime Smith Board member.

The winners were selected from 184 entries from 42 countries.

“Robin Hammond’s Condemned is a powerful look at people balanced on the edge of life who are generally neglected, forgotten and often abused,” said juror Sarah Leen in a prepared statement. “His images, often shocking but always tender, highlight this tragedy and search for moments of hope. His work stood out among many worthy candidates.”

Finalists for this year’s grant included photographers Bharat Choudhary, Edmond Clark, Maxim Dondyuk, Sebastian Liste, Benjamin Lowy, Pierpaolo Mittica, Ebrahim Noroozi, Sim Chi Yin, and Christian Warner.

This year’s winner of The Howard Chapnick Grant, which supports photographic leadership and education, was FotoKonbit, a non-profit organization that provides photography workshops to Haitian youth and adults.  FotoKonbit will use the $5,000 grant to produce a ten-day workshop for a group of Haitian students in the fishing village of Labadie.

This year, the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund was sponsored by American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Anastasia Photo, Canon USA, The Harbers Family Foundation, and Open Society Foundations. Additional support was provided by International Center of Photography, MediaStorm, NYC FOTOWORKS, Photo District News, School of Visual Arts, and Synergy Communications.

The Howard Chapnick Grant was co-sponsored by by Rich Clarkson and Associates LLC, NYC FOTOWORKS, and The Harbers Family Foundation.

Photographers interested in applying for the 2014 grant and fellowship can find more information on the Web site of the W. Eugene Smith Foundation here:  www.smithfund.org/apply/smith

Related stories:
Peter van Agtmael Wins $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Fund Grant (for PDN subscribers)
Krisanne Johnson Wins 2011 W Eugene Smith Grant (for PDN subscribers)
Anatomy of a Successful Grant Proposal: Krisanne Johnson’s Coming of Age Story (for PDN subscribers)


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