I couldn’t be more ecstatic and proud to congratulate Matt, the other half of dvafoto, on winning the Burn Magazine 2012 Emerging Photographer Fund award for his long-term project Only Unity: Serbia in the Aftermath of Yugoslavia. Announced in a video presentation at Look3 and online at Burn, Matt’s piece was chosen out of over 1,000 entries by an all-star jury: photojournalist Stephen Dupont, National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Sarah Leen, National Geographic Creative Director Bill Marr, photographer Rebecca Norris Webb, LaFabrica Madrid editor Arianna Rinaldo, and Magnum photographer Alex Webb. The video isn’t embeddable, so click here or on the modified screenshot above to watch the whole presentation.
I’ve had the pleasure of watching this essay grow from the beginning and helped with a few edits over the years. The early fits and starts (some of which you might have seen when this blog was nothing more than a cooperative photoblog) gave way to a century-spanning examination of Serbian identity. As the years went by, disconnected images found place in this narrative and Matt found his voice. It’s a powerful piece, and I know he’s got bigger plans for the work. In the meantime, we’ll have a discussion here on this blog about what went into this project and what it tells us. For now, we’ll have this public congratulations and a hearty “Huzzah!” for Matt. If you see him in Belgrade (or in the US this summer) be sure to give him a knowing nod and buy him a drink. And stay tuned for more.
Congratulations also to the other finalists and runners-up in the contest this year. The 10 essays shown in the video at Burn are stellar, and each deserving of their recognition here. The finalists were: Ian Willms, Gustavo Jononovich, Ayman Oghanna, Laia Abril, Danny Wilcox Frazier, Bieke Depoorter, and Anastasia Taylor-Lind. The two runners-up were: Simona Ghizzoni and Giovanni Cocco.