Category Archive: awards
This was a very interesting year for me, definitely the busiest since I moved to Belgrade, Serbia in February 2009, filled with lots of travel and some interesting assignments. Notably I had the chance to visit Africa for the first time, on assignment in South Sudan, and received the Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund Grant for my ongoing project “Only Unity”.
I started the year in England, then was in Sarajevo for a story about the 20th anniversary of the start of the war there. My mother came to visit me in Belgrade in April, but our trip was interrupted by Presidential elections in Serbia, which I covered for the Wall Street Journal. That assignment led to one of the strangest days of my career, when I photographed both Serbian President Boris Tadic and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani hours apart in the same TV studio (see the WSJ article about Giuliani in Belgrade).
Soon after I was documenting the destruction of the Belville Roma settlement. My friend Darko Stanimirović and I handed out disposable cameras to residents of the camp so that they could document the eviction themselves. We published a multimedia piece at Newsmotion.org with these community pictures alongside Stanimirović’s audio recordings, a text by Alan Chin and some of my pictures as “The Sound of Barking Dogs: The Eviction of the Roma from Belville”.
In September I was in South Sudan reporting a story about the future of the Jonglei Canal and the issues of water rights for the youngest country on the planet. The project was commissioned by Austrian magazine 2012, an interesting one-year-only magazine published by Red Bull Media House. I have included a few images from the project here, but for now the only other pictures online are the tearsheets from ’2012′ which you can see on the clips section of mattlutton.com.
I also spent a total of four months in the United States, and was able to finally visit the area of the former Republic of Serbian Krajina in Croatia to document the remnants of Serbian life there. I was invited to be on the jury of the Organ Vida international photography festival in Zagreb, and was a speaker and juror at the “Foton” Makarska Photo Days Festival.
The biggest news of the year for me though was the Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund Grant, which I received in June for my project “Only Unity”: Serbia In The Aftermath of Yugoslavia.
The response to the project has been very exciting, and I’m eager to finish the work this year. If you would like to know more, have a look at one of the interviews I did last year following the announcement: “Award-Winning Project Documents a Fractured Serbia” with Pete Brook at Wired’s Raw File blog, “Picture Story: Holding up a Mirror to Serbian Nationalism” in PDN Magazine (subscribers only unfortunately, see what it looked like in print here), and my chat with fellow EPF-finalist and friend Ian Willms on “BOREAL Spotlight: Matt Lutton, “Only Unity””.
Thanks again everyone for continuing to follow Dvafoto and supporting all of the photographers we feature here. I wish you all a fun and successful 2013!
In recent months the Alexia Foundation has been very busy with new social media presence and a gorgeous new website that shows off all of the terrific projects and photographers they have supported over the last 21 years. The Foundation was founded in 1991 and has awarded $700,000 in grants to fund over 128 projects by both professionals and students.
This year’s winners include Justin Maxon’s When the Spirit Moves, Kathryn Cook’s Memory of Trees and Katie Orlinsky’s Innocence Assassinated: Living in Mexico’s Drug War. Past winners include Matt Eich (2008), Balazs Gardi (2006), Marcus Bleasdale (2005), Francesco Zizola (2004), Ami Vitale (2000) and Melissa Lyttle (1999).
The Foundation has also just announced a new $25,000 grant called the Women’s Initiative “to provide resources for a photojournalist to produce a project that illuminates any form of abuse of women in the United States but with global significance.” The deadline is August 15, 2012.
“The Alexia Foundation’s main purpose is to encourage and help photojournalists create stories that drive change. While our traditional grant guidelines put no limits on the subject matter for grant proposals, a few proposals about women’s rights in the last few years have been so powerful that they have compelled the Foundation to create a grant specifically on the issue of women’s abuse. Because this issue is so shocking and deplorable – but continues partly because it is so often unseen or ignored – the Foundation will provide a $25,000 grant so a project can be produced that will illuminate the horrors of what is happening, often invisibly in our own communities.”
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.
Despite a couple of weeks of delays beyond the control of Matt and Scott, we are pleased to announce the winner of the dvafoto / Think Tank Photo contest. There were 52 entries on Twitter and on Facebook from supporters of dvafoto who suggested “The Most Powerful Image” they knew. Scott Brauer held the drawing from his very own hat (msb: Well, a vase actually…) and the randomly selected winner is Tamara Zidar, from Belgrade, Serbia. The image she chose for the contest is by Argentinian photographer Alejandro Kirchuk. When asked about why she chose this picture Zidar wrote,
“When I look at this photo, every time I feel slight pain in my stomach. I think about love, commitment, sacrifice and strange stories of our lives.
It hurts to see her watching through him and don’t recognising her friend, her love, partner. But yet his look says “Eat now, my love, you will be just fine.” as if he doesn’t know she is not coming back.”
Scott and Matt are currently editing the rest of the submissions in to a blog post that will compare what our audience considered “the most powerful” pictures they have seen to an earlier article Scott wrote about Reddit users’ choices.
If you haven’t won but still are interested in Think Tank Photo equipment, remember you can order online at this link or through the advertisement on the right-side of the site. With this code, you will get a special gift with your purchase. If you order through our site part of your purchase will also go to support the costs of maintaining dvafoto. Thanks again for your support, and congratulations to Tamara!
Must read: “The heart is the real light-sensitive medium” – Wim Wenders’ moving tribute to James NachtweyFeb 16, 2012 by M. Scott Brauer No Comments »
“The heart is the real light-sensitive medium here,
not the film nor the digital sensor,
it is the heart that sees an image and wants to capture it.
The eye lets the light in,
which is why we also call it a ‘lens’,
but it doesn’t ‘depict the image’,
it doesn’t ‘depict’ anything.” -Wim Wenders, A Tribute to James Nachtwey
James Nachtwey was recently awarded the 3rd annual Dresden International Peace Prize (previously awarded to Mikhail Gorbachev and Daniel Barenboim). At the ceremony for the award, director Wim Wenders delivered a moving tribute to Nachtwey and his work. The speech is well worth a read.
“It was after an attack against demonstrators on Al-Zubairy Street. I went to the field hospital and did not see my son among the dead or wounded protesters. I checked the place again and saw my son lying on the ground suffocated with tear gas, so I embraced him and [Aranda] must have taken the photo at that moment.” -Fatima Al-Qaws, speaking to Yemen Times
According to Yemen Times, someone has come forward saying she is the veiled woman in Samuel Aranda’s World Press Photo 2012-winning image. Fatima Al-Qaws says she was comforting her son as he recovered from a tear gas attack. The man in the picture, her son Zayed Al-Qawas, told the publication, “I did not expect this photo to win among thousands of pictures and it is a real support to the revolution. It demonstrates that Yemenis are not extremists.”
Reactions to the image continue online. There’s an active discussion at the Facebook Flak Photo Network (where I first saw this story linked) and Paul Melcher has written a piece called “Emotionless.”
“If we don’t get that then we’ll helplessly stare at all these images, to project what we already know onto them. Samuel Aranda’s photograph provides a good opportunity: It’s easy to see the veil, it’s easy to see the pose (the expression of human suffering and of compassion), it’s easy to see (or at least somewhat realize) the very specifically Western visual imagery. But it’s quite a bit harder to put all that together and to then find out what we are really looking at.” -Joerg Colberg, The Problem with Western Press Photo
The winners of World Press Photo 2012 were announced on Friday, and while no awards went to anything as controversial as an iPhone or Google Street View series, there have been varied reactions to Samuel Aranda‘s winning image of a woman in a niqab comforting an injured man in Yemen. I was struck by the image when I saw it published without a photo credit on the cover of the New York Times. The image is strong, but it allows much to be read into it. Over the weekend, everyone came out with an opinion on the image. Some were fawning, others were more measured or outright critical. Of particular note, be sure to read these: Michael Shaw’s Aranda’s World Press Photo of the Year: Pietàs and Burkas and Just Plain Obscurity, Oh My!, JM Colberg’s The Problem with Western Press Photo, Jim Johnson’s Uses of the Pietà ~ Criticisms of World Press Photo Award. Make sure to read WPP juror Nina Berman’s response to Jim Johnson in the comments (that link may or may not go directly to the comment. If not, scroll down to comment #9).
What do you think?
Taking a page from the Overheard in… series of blogs (New York, the Beach, the Newsroom), POYi Chatroom Heroes has been chronicling conversation in the chat window of the online streaming of 2012 Pictures of the Year International judging process. There’s snark, armchair judging, admiration, and anything else you’d expect to hear among the audience. Worth a laugh.
Thanks to Jonathon Worth for writing in to tell us about this short interview with World Press Photo 2012 juror Steve Pyke (embedded above). Pyke served as chair of judging for portraiture. The discussion offers an interesting perspective of the judging process from Pyke’s own perspective, especially focusing on the discussions between jury members during the process and the influence that each jury member’s own specialty and expertise plays in picking the winners. Particularly interesting, Pyke says (at about 5:45) that the winners in the Portrait category weren’t entered into the category originally. Jurors pulled images from other categories into the Portrait category and chose those as the winners.
There’s also an earlier short interview with Pyke that covers the chore of looking through 8,000 entries.
The awards will be announced tomorrow, Feb. 10.
Magnum has become the overseer of much of Tim Hetherington’s photography, and you can see some 480 of his pictures there now. And while this is a departure from Hetherington’s previous relationship with Panos Pictures, BJP reports that the new arrangement is in line with Hetherington’s and his family’s wishes.
Also of note, Magnum has been distributing an archive of Libyan secret service video and photographs that was recovered by Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch and given to Hetherington and Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak to determine the best way to preserve and distribute the materials. The work is credited “Collection Thomas Dworzak for Human Rights Watch” in the Magnum archive (here’s a few example images, though I imagine better scans will eventually be available), despite the involvement of Hetherington and Bouckaert in the find. David Campbell questioned this credit and the notion of licensing such images for money, and Magnum released a statement in response.
Lens has also recently compiled some of Hetherington’s work from Libya and links to recent remembrances of and interviews with him, including a reminder of Hetherington’s excellent book: Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold. World Press Photo has also begun an annual grant in Hetherington’s name. There is also a Tim Hetherington memorial fund designed to further the education of students at the Milton Margai School for the Blind in Sierra Leone. The Chris Hondros Fund has also been set up to continue the legacy of Hondros, who was killed alongside Hetherington in Libya six months ago. Please consider making a donation.