We are pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Emergency Fund, a program that supports independent photographers to produce in-depth and creative stories on underreported issues.
This year's grants are made in collaboration with the Prince Claus Fund expanding the support for photographers working on critical issues in their home regions, specifically within Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
Grantees were selected by an independent editorial committee from a pool of 140 photographers nominated by 26 international editors, curators, and educators. “I anticipate this group of visual artists will produce transcendent and extraordinary photography in 2016 and well beyond. They are a remarkable group of talented, diverse, and devoted people,” said editorial committee member James Wellford.
Magnum Foundation fosters creativity, innovation, and diversity in documentary photography. The Prince Claus Fund channels support in spaces where cultural expression and creative production are limited or restricted. This convergence of values is expanding the capacity of the Emergency Fund to amplify independent perspectives often overlooked in mainstream media.
Our 2016 grantees include 18 photographers working in 15 different countries. A hallmark of the Emergency Fund program is its support for socially engaged photographers working within their own communities. “The ability to increase our financial support for photographers who are reporting on issues in their own countries creates new, vital, and alternative sources of shared information. There are few opportunities that offer photographers the potential for impact and recognition in the way that the Emergency Fund does,” remarked editorial committee member Alexa Dilworth.
This year’s grantees join an accomplished group of 60 previous grantees, bringing the number of photographers supported by the EF over the past seven years to 78. The collaboration with the Prince Claus Fund has made this the largest group of EF grantees supported in a single year, enabling a significant increase in both the number of projects being produced and in the geographic representation of the photographers. A total of $138,000 will be dispersed across this year’s supported projects, the most grant funds dispersed in a single year to date.
The range of issues and approaches this year’s grantees are covering is extraordinary, including projects by Injinaash Bor, exploring teen culture and generational shifts within Mongolian society; by Thomas Dworzak, a seasoned photographer who in addition to photographing the refugee crisis, will create a resource guide to distribute amongst refugees; and by Endia Beal, looking at the commonalities of experience shared by African American women in the workplace.
For specific information regarding the grant, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Ritual of Exile: Blood Speaks, Nepal
A Ritual of Exile documents the rituals and practices that subjugate women throughout South Asia under the guise of religion. This project details the practice of Chhaupadi in remote western Nepal, where menstruating women are exiled to makeshift huts because of the belief that their blood is impure and rendering them "untouchables." A polluting agent to be feared and shunned, their touch is believed to bring calamity and sickness to men, even to animals.
Am I What You’re Looking For?, United States
This photographic series focuses on young African American women transitioning from the academic world to the corporate setting, capturing their struggles and uncertainties on how to best present themselves in the professional workplace.
This series is inspired by the portraits of Harlem Renaissance photographer James Van Der Zee, Lee Friedlander's photographic series "At Work,” and the youthful investigation of Rineke Dijkstra's "Beach Portraits." This project will use photography and video to provide a vehicle for young women of color to give their testimonies on issues that are normally untold.
Mongolian Modern Teenagers, Mongolia
Teenagers in the city and teenagers in far-western rural nomadic land: how different are they? What makes them different? What are they interested in? What influences them? They are the second generation since democratic changes took place in Mongolia. This means that city teenagers were born into a consumer-driven society, while in rural areas there is still a nomadic way of life with minimum necessities.
Our Invisible War, Venezuela
It happens everyday, as sure as the sun rises over one of the biggest favelas in Caracas: death is one of the few enduring truths. The country seems at war with itself. It’s often not clear who is who. Who do you trust? Who is the enemy? What exactly is happening? All the time you’re looking over your shoulder. Waiting for the next blow, but from where? The atmosphere and the impact of violence seem inescapable. People have begun to see it as normal.
The Price of Isolation, Burma
The project will closely examine the important turning points in Aung San Suu Kyi’s transition from inspiration to leader. The upcoming months and years are when the last remains of the old world order will make a last stand, the powerful try to seek accommodations with the new world order, and the people’s loyalty and demands for quick change are tested. The project will take the form of still images, moving images, and soundscape.
Sisi Barra (Smoke Work), Ivory Coast
Sisi Barra means “work of smoke” in the Bambara language. This project tells us a story of economic exploitation of marginalized women in San Pedro, Côte d'Ivoire who are making wood charcoal to survive. It highlights a multitude of social issues: low educational levels, gender violence, and health problems from smoke absorption. Replacing professional aspirations, this line of work gets passed down from mothers to their daughters.
The United Soya Republic, Argentina
This is a long-term project focusing on the changes in the landscape and the socio-economic issue agribusinesses are bringing to the Southern Cone. Intensive large-estate agriculture has steadily overtaken most of the food production in the world, transforming harvest methods, food consumption trends, and the lifestyles of both urban and rural populations. My work will focus on the situation in Argentina, and how local communities are being affected by this production model.
The Guide for Refugees, Europe
As initiator and part of a Magnum photographers group project to create a visual "guidebook" for refugees arriving in Europe, Dworzak is planning to photograph the current situation on the refugee trail and in the countries where they end up, and compile resources and information relevant for them once they have arrived.
Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie, United States
Since 2003, I have photographed the impact of depopulation on rural communities across the Midwest and Great Plains. Nationally, rural communities have lost more than 12 million people since 2000. The most recent census puts its share of the nation’s population at just 16% – the lowest in recorded history and down from 72% a century ago. My photographs do not shy away from the economic struggles many people face in rural communities due to out-migration. More importantly though, this project recognizes and celebrates those individuals working to maintain their culture and identity in these forgotten communities.
Paradise Lost, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Paradise Lost is a long and tedious journey through my war-ravaged homeland. It's been twenty years since the war ended. But peace can't simply be the absence of violence. Bosnia is locked in a self-perpetuating cycle of ethno-politics, ruled by ethnic elites and rapidly devastated in suspicious privatization of public companies.
The state is so weakened by nepotism and systemic corruption that it may as well qualify as failed state. Yet common people manage to maintain their lives even with the very fabric of society being torn apart and while missing Bosnians are still being exhumed from mass graves.
In 2015 one in four asylum seekers in Europe was a child, some unaccompanied by parents, sent by them into exile because they saw no future for them at home. They come younger and younger, and child-specific centers are almost full. This project aims to tell their story.
Just Like Us, Ghana
The general Ghanaian population has very little knowledge about the LGBT community. This absence makes them easily susceptible to believing myths and misinformation which often fuels fear and sometimes culminates into violence. Just Like Us aims to start an empathetic visual representation of the LGBT community, challenging the myths and putting LGBT people back into the society as everyday people by putting their humanity at the front of it all.
Broken Roots, Mexico
Guerrero is one of the Mexican States that have been most affected by organized crime. It is the most violent state in the country. The crisis of the rule of law is increasingly alarming and forced disappearances are only one of the symptoms proving it. In 2013, three of my brothers-in-law died. After these events, I began documenting my family, and the families of other missing people, in order to capture in photographs the psychological and emotional breakdown caused by the loss of family members. I am thus trying to depict the situation that many families in this region face.
The Other Colombia, Colombia
In 2012, the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government started peace talks. The country is now close to the end of a 51-year internal conflict. In the aftermath of the war, a key issue will be the future of these fighters, 30% of which are women. Another issue will be the implementation of the agreement in the “other Colombia,” a Colombia far away from the cities, where war is omnipresent and which is home to most of the combatants.
The Endless Wait, Kashmir
This project focuses on the painful and resilient struggle of women whose sons and husbands have gone missing in the last twenty-six years of conflict in Kashmir. Nearly 8,000 people are missing, most of whom disappeared after they were picked up by Indian forces. With no trace of their whereabouts, the mothers and wives spend each day wondering if they will ever again see their loved ones. Some of these women have spent decades visiting jails, torture centers, and police stations in the hope of tracing their wherabouts.
Chasing Winter, United States
Chasing Winter is a project that explores how climate change is challenging communities across Alaska and transforming the relationship between people, animals, and the land. This work will focus on one of the most urgent elements of the global climate change crisis: erosion and the communities where climate change is not only changing their way of life, but threatening their entire physical existence. There are currently twelve Alaskan communities that need to move to higher ground, and among them are a handful of villages that must be completely relocated as soon as possible.
Change of Course, Nepal
A village on the border between Nepal and India is contested land. Claimed by Nepal, it is hemmed in on three sides by India and on the other by a river. Border disputes and the erosion threatening to wipe the village off the map are the backdrop of this story about isolation and resistance.
In Search of the European Dream, Greece
Migration to Europe has increased over the past years, mainly because of political and social turmoil in the Middle East. During the recent years, Greece has been the main entry point to Europe for thousands of refugees and migrants. Kos and Lesbos are the Greek islands that have received the biggest wave of people arriving, with a majority of them experiencing their first encounter with the sea. According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 3,770 people have lost their lives in an attempt to reach the European Union.