March 23rd, 2016

Magnum Foundation Announces 2016 Emergency Fund Grants

Just Like Us, Ghana. Emergency Fund grant photo. Photo © Eric Gyamfi.

Henry visits Jay, Ghana. Photo © Eric Gyamfi.

Eighteen photographers from around the world have been awarded the 2016 Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, a grant that helps independent photographers produce in-depth and creative stories on underreported issues.

Grantees were selected by an independent editorial committee from a pool of 140 photographers nominated by 26 international editors, curators, and educators.

The grantees are:

Poulomi Basu, Endia Beal, Injinaash Bor, Alejandro Cegarra, Chien-Chi Chang, Joana Choumali, Jordi Ruiz Cirera, Nadege Mazars, Thomas Dworzak, Danny Wilcox Frazier, Ziyah Gafic, Brigitte Grignet, Eric Gyamfi, Yael Martinez, Showkat Nanda, Katie Orlinsky, Prisiit Sthapit and Angelos Tzortzinis.

A total of $138,000 will be dispersed among the grantees, the highest amount given in a single year in the Emergency Fund grant’s seven-year history. This year, the grants are made in collaboration with the Prince Claus Fund, which “channels support where cultural expression and creative production are limited or restricted,” according to the Prince Claus Fund.  The collaboration has allowed the Emergency Fund to support more projects.

The issues this year’s grantees are covering include teen culture and generational shifts within Mongolian society; the refugee crisis in Europe; the LGBT community in Ghana (above); and experiences shared by African-American women in the workplace, among other topics.

“I anticipate this group of visual artists will produce transcendent and extraordinary photography in 2016 and well beyond,” said photo editor James Wellford, editorial committee member, in a statement about the grant.

To see last year’s list of Emergency Fund Grant winners and descriptions of their projects, click here.

Related:

Two-Minute Interview: Katie Orlinsky on Subtle Emotion vs Shocking Violence

PDN Video Pick: Office Scene (“Today, I’m going to let them touch me”) by Endia Beal

Alejandro Cegarra: PDN’s 30 2015

Katie Orlinsky: PDN’s 30 2013

Ziyah Gafic: A Forensic Documentary of Genocide (For PDN subscribers; login required)

February 12th, 2016

Fund Your Work: Four Documentary Photography Prizes Looking for Applications

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University has extended the deadline for its $3,000 Documentary Essay Prize to February 23, 2016. The prize honors a documentary photography project that is ongoing or that has been completed in the past two years. The three-year old award alternates year to year in honoring writing and photography. The previous winner for photography was Latvian photographer Iveta Vaivode, for her series “Somewhere on a Disappearing Path,” which reimagined the photographer’s family album. There is a $35 entry fee.

CDS is also accepting applications for the $10,000 Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize. Named in recognition of the collaboration between Lange, a photographer, and Taylor, a writer, the prize recognizes the work of documentary artists pursuing projects that feature an interplay of words and pictures. Recent winners include Michel Huneault, Jon Lowenstein, Jen Kinney, Sarah Dohrman and Tiana Markova-Gold, and Teru Kuwayama and Christian Parenti. Any artist, or team of artists, pursuing a project that combines words and images can apply for the prize. There are no nationality restrictions. The entry fee is $65, and applications are being accepted through May 9, 2016.

Photographers living and working in the Arab region can apply for one of 12, $5,000 grants being awarded by The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture in partnership with the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development and the Magnum Foundation. Photographers awarded the AFAC’s Arab Documentary Photo Program grants are expected to complete projects within eight months, and they are required to attend two workshops. There is no fee to enter, and applications are due by April 1, 2016.

The UK-based Royal Photographic Society, in partnership with The Guardian, is currently seeking entries for the £2000 ($2900) Joan Wakelin Bursary, which supports a “photographic essay on an overseas social documentary issue.” The bursary, named for Wakelin, a deceased Honorary Fellow of the society, is open to photographers of any nationality and there are no application fees. Shortlisted photographers, however, are required to interview at The Guardian’s offices in London in July. Applications are due May 20, 2016.

Related: Advice on Funding Your Photo Project
How to Win Grants That Support Your Photo Projects
Advice From a Fundraising Expert About Soliciting Donations and Applying For Grants
$10K Lange-Taylor Prize Goes to Michel Huneault for Project About Oil Train Disaster

August 26th, 2015

Zun Lee’s Polaroid Archive Preserves African-American Self-Representation

© Zun Lee

The @faderesistance Instagram feed.

Photographer Zun Lee is dedicated to countering stereotypical, often negative views of the African-American family. While he was working on Father Figure, his book about African-American fathers, he stumbled on some old Polaroids that appeared to have fallen from a family photo album. He was intrigued to see how the Polaroids —”the Instagrams of their day,” he calls them — reflected “the way black people saw themselves in private spaces and in ways not intended to be seen, or judged, by others.” By searching yard sales and e-Bay, Lee has amassed 3,000 of these now “orphaned” mementoes and recently began posting them on a Tumbler and an Instagram feed named “Fade Resistance.”  After winning a Magnum Foundation Fellowship last week, Lee now plans to develop his Fade Resistance collection into an interactive digital archive that will allow the public and collaborators from other disciplines to add their own stories, videos and images. His long-term goal, he says, is “to encourage new ways of understanding black identity and representation in today’s world.”

courtesy of @faderesistance/Zun Lee Photo

A Polaroid as it appears on the @faderesistance feed.

The title of the project, Fade Resistance, echoes a phrase critic bell hooks used in an essay about vernacular African-American photography, in which she wrote that these snapshots are “sites of resistance” against pervasive stereotypical and racist depictions of African Americans. That the images were shot on Polaroid film appeals to Lee for a few reasons. First, he says, the instant cameras gave image makers the power to make their own narratives, without relying on a photographer or a lab. Also, the objects are one-of-a-kind, therefore more precious and fleeting, making preservation more urgent. In his proposal for the Magnum Foundation Fellowship, Lee wrote, “What had to happen to these families that they were no longer able to hold on to these valuable documents?” Lee scans the images as well as the notes written on the bottom or back of some images, which provide some clues to the subjects, and invite speculation: We can only wonder what happened to the man who wrote, “To Evelyn with love, hope and respect. Norris Turner. Good things come to those who wait. I’ve been waiting long enough (smile).”

On the @faderesistance Instagram feed, people frequently comment on the locations visible in the background of the images, as well as the hairstyles and clothing seen in the photos, which date from the 1970s to the early 2000s. Expanding the archive and its reach can help widen the search for more information about the stories behind each photo.

The Fellowship will allow Lee to work with the Brown Institute at Columbia University and collaborate with programmers on the development of the archive. In the future, he says, “multi-disciplinary collaboration would not only happen in the digital realm. I’m envisioning not just traditional print shows, but multimedia installations of this work in the future.”

The project may take years. Lee tells PDN, “I have a feeling this archive will be the gift that keeps on giving.” Until the interactive archive is complete, we can view —and enjoy—the photos of graduations, parties, beach outings and proud parents on Lee’s Tumblr and Instagram feed, and perhaps be reminded of our own special moments circa 1989.

Related articles

Magnum Foundation Grants 2 Fellowships to Support Collaborative Documentary Projects

The Father Figure

PDN’s 30 2014: Zun Lee

January 22nd, 2015

Magnum Foundation Announces Emergency Fund Grants, Fellowships

Gaza, Palestine. 2014. Schoolchildren head to class at the Sobhi Abu Karsh School in the Shujai'iya neighborhood. Operation Protective Edge lasted from 8 July 2014 – 26 August 2014, killing 2,189 Palestinians of which 1,486 are believed to be civilians. 66 Israeli soldiers and 6 civilians were killed. It's estimated that 4,564 rockets were fired at Israel by Palestinian militants. (Peter van Agtmael / Magnum Photos)

Gaza, Palestine. 2014. Schoolchildren head to class at the Sobhi Abu Karsh School in the Shujai’iya neighborhood. Operation Protective Edge lasted from 8 July 2014 – 26 August 2014, killing 2,189 Palestinians of which 1,486 are believed to be civilians. 66 Israeli soldiers and 6 civilians were killed. It’s estimated that 4,564 rockets were fired at Israel by Palestinian militants. (Peter van Agtmael / Magnum Photos)

Today the Magnum Foundation announced the recipients of its 2015 Emergency Fund grants, which support the production of in-depth documentary photography projects “that can no longer be funded through the media alone.”

The 11 grantees were selected from more than 100 nominees from around the world. Their projects include investigations of Pakistan’s legal system; the trafficking of Nigerian women to Italy; Turkish television studios; income inequality in the United States; and failed foreign aid projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The grantees are:

Asim Rafiqui, Curran Hatleberg, Elena Perlino, Emine Gozde Sevim, Guy Martin, Massimo Berruti, Matt Black, Nii Obodai Provencal, Pete Muller, Peter DiCampo and Peter van Agtmael.

An international committee of 15 photo editors, curators and educators nominated photographers for Emergency Fund grants. In addition to monetary support that will allow the photographers to travel to complete their projects, the Magnum Foundation also offers mentorship and distribution support to grantees.

The Magnum Foundation also announced the Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography, which supports projects focused on issues critical to China. Yuyang Liu and Souvid Datta are this year’s fellows.

Finally, the foundation announced seven recipients of the Human Rights Fellowship, which offers young photographers from the global south scholarships to train at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in New York. This year’s Human Rights Fellows are Muyi Xiao (China), Nour Kelze (Syria), Anastasia Vlasova (Ukraine), Xyza Bacani (Hong Kong), Basel Alyazouri (Palestine), Sipho Mpongo (South Africa), and Chery Dieu Nalio (Haiti). The Human Rights Fellows were chosen from 576 applicants.

Related: Matt Black and Ed Kashi Bring California’s Dried-Out Central Valley to The New Yorker
Magnum Foundation Awards 2014 Emergency Fund Grants
Photo Tastemaker: Magnum Foundation Program Director Emma Raynes

February 28th, 2014

Facebook’s Teru Kuwayama on How To Use Social Media for Documentary Storytelling

Long before he went to work for Facebook as the social media giant’s liaison to the photo community, photographer Teru Kuwuyama saw social media as a tool for photographers “to eliminate the gatekeepers and the editors, and to be our own operators,” he told a standing-room-only crowd at the Aperture Gallery in New York on Tuesday.  Old media models formed in “an analogue era” no longer exist, but he said many photographers who have been “adaptable” to social platforms are using them to reach and engage audiences.

Kuwayama spoke along with Lev Manovich of the Software Studies Initiative at “Documentary, Expanded: Interventions in Social Media,” a panel moderated by photographer Susan Meiselas, executive director and board member of the Magnum Foundation, which organized the talk as part of its Photography, Expanded program. Photography, Expanded held its first conference, in collaboration with the Open Society Foundations Documentary Photography Project, in April 2013, Meiselas said, to encourage photographers to expand their storytelling beyond the still image at a time when “we all felt the ground shifting beneath our feet” due to a shortage of assignments and production budgets from traditional media. Kuwayama shared work by photographers who are using Instagram to connect with audiences — though not, in most cases, to make money with their images.

He began by showing his own social-media-based project, Basetrack. After having worked in Afghanistan as an embedded photojournalist, Kuwayama won a James S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford, where he came up with a plan to gather a small group of embedded photographers who would post images and information about a Marine battalion in Afghanistan for their families back home. Launched in 2010, Basetrack was “basically a tricked out blog,” he said, with a map and a countdown clock to the end of the Marines’ deployment, but equally important was the Basetrack Facebook page, which “became a rallying point for the community.” Basetrack was never intended to reach more than about 1,000 viewers. “Who cares about this 20-year-old Marine who was 8 when this war started? It was clear it was his mom, his sister,” Kuwayama explained.
(more…)

December 17th, 2013

How About a Holiday Gift That Supports Photography?

It’s not only the season of giving. It’s your last chance to make a tax-deductible donation to a non-profit that you can list on your 2013 tax form. That’s why many of the non-profits that support new photographic work and photographic education are currently seeking support from folks who love photography. Here is a list of some we’ve heard from this holiday season. (Feel free to suggest other deserving non-profits in the comments section.)

If you’re looking for an alternative gift this season, consider a gift that says: We love photography, so let’s support it, too.

The Alexia Foundation
The Alexia Foundation has been making grants to support documentary projects on social change for over 20 years. In 2012, they created the Women’s Initiative Grant, supporting documentary photographic work on issues facing women. The first Women’s Initiative Grant winner, Tim Matsui, has just released a film of his work about the sex trafficking of minors, and the Alexia Foundation hopes to generate support for future grants.
https://www.alexiafoundation.org/donate

Aperture Foundation
Aperture Foundation, publishers of Aperture magazine and many photo books (like the new Emmet Gowin retrospective we raved about), has anchored their winter appeal this year to the news that they’re expanding Aperture’s visual-literacy program for children and teens. Learn more about their new educational program on their Winter Appeal page: http://www.aperture.org/blog/winter-appeal/

Blue Sky Gallery
In addition to hosting 21 solo exhibitions last year, the Portland, Oregon, non-profit also regularly holds artists’ talks that are free and open to the public. If you’re a resident of Oregon, you can match your contribution with a contribution to the Oregon Cultural Trust for a tax credit.
www.blueskygallery.org/who-we-are/about-bluesky/

Light Work
Light Work, the Syracuse, New York, non-profit that supports exhibitions, an artist-in-residency program, workshops and the publication Contact Sheet, is offering Light Work tote bags to anyone who donates $100 (while supplies last). Feeling more beneficent? Light Work offers portfolios for donors giving $1200 and more. www.lightwork.org/shop/donation/

Magnum Foundation
The non-profit Magnum Foundation supports in-depth, documentary photography projects through its Emergency Fund Grant, the Inge Morath Prize to a female photographer under the age of 30, its Human Rights Fellowships at New York University, and its partnerships with human rights and humanitarian aid organizations.  magnumfoundation.org/donate.html

The Aftermath Project
Through its annual grants, The Aftermath Project funds photo projects committed to telling the other side of the story of conflict: “What it takes for individuals to learn to live again, to rebuild destroyed lives and homes” and cope with war’s aftermath. Their  current Kickstarter campaign, to publish the latest volume of their catalogue of grant winners, “War is Only Half the Story,”  has about 48 hours left on the campaign. A pledge to the campaign allows you to pick a reward from a range of prints and gifts. Or, you can simply write The Aftermath Project a check.

February 1st, 2012

Magnum Foundation Announces 2012 Emergency Fund Grantees

© Justin Maxon/Prospekt

The Magnum Foundation has announced the 2012 class of Emergency Fund grantees. The Emergency Fund supports photographers who are working on long-term documentary projects that address “critical global issues that have not received the attention they deserve, or budding crises that are still over the horizon,” according to the EF Web site.

This year’s grantees are:

Evgenia Arbugaeva, for her project “Tiksi, the Far North”; Rena Effendi, for “Capturing Coptic Life: Egypt’s Sectarian Struggle”; Eric Gottesman, for “Baalu Girma”; Sebastián Liste, for “The Brazilian Far West”; Benjamin Lowy, for “iLibya: Libya’s Growing Pains”; Justin Maxon,  for “Murder That Goes Unsolved and Unheard”; Donald Weber, for “War is Good*”; and Paolo Woods, for “Poor Rich.”

The Magnum Foundation, established by the cooperative photo agency to promote and finance independent documentary photography, began its Emergency Fund grants in 2010. Past grantees include Jonas Bendiksen, Tomas van Houtryve, Emily Schiffer, Larry Towell, Bruce Gilden and Krisanne Johnson.

Grantee candidates are nominated by an international committee and evaluated by a selection committee. This year the Emergency Fund received 93 nominations, and 76 photographers from 28 countries submitted proposals.

The Magnum Foundation also announced the its 2012 scholarships for the NYU/MF Photography and Human Rights program, a 5-week summer intensive at New York University that teaches photographers skills for creating documentary projects on human rights. This year’s scholarships went to: Poulomi Basu of India; Arthur Bondar, of Ukraine, Liu Jie of China; and Pooyan Tabatabaei of Iran.