The inaugural CatchLight Fellowships were awarded to Sarah Blesener, Brian Frank and Tomas van Houtryve, the organization announced today. Fellowship winners receive $30,000 to use to create a body of work. In addition, winners are paired with media partners that will work with them to publish their project.
CatchLight is a nonprofit photography organization that strives to marshal resources to help amplify the work of photographers who are doing innovative work. According to a CatchLight statement, the fellowships recognize “demonstrated excellence in the novel use of photography to bring awareness to challenging social issues.”
Blesener will work with Reveal, a publication of The Center for Investigative Reporting, on a project investigating nationalism among American youth. Frank will work with The Marshall Project, a nonprofit journalism organization covering the U.S. criminal justice system, on a story about organizations offering alternatives to incarceration. And Tomas van Houtryve will work with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting on a story about the U.S. border with Mexico and the use of photography as surveillance and as a weapon.
The CatchLight Fellows were chosen from a pool of more than 300 applicants. Jurors for the inaugural fellowship cycle were Lacy Austin, Director of Community Programs, International Center of Photography; Photographer and VII Photo Agency member Ed Kashi; photojournalist and writer Shahidul Alam; London College of Communication Director Paul Lowe; Lekgetho Makola, of the The Market Photo Workshops in South Africa; National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Jamie Wellford; and photo editor Amy Yenkin. Carroll Bogert of The Marshall Project; Robert Rosenthal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting, and Jon Sawyer of The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting represented the media partners in the judging.
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