Colorful Guizhou's PhotoChina Original International Festival

Magnum Foundation’s Photography and Human Rights program just celebrated its fifth summer of fellowships. In this hour of reflection, its clear that the connections, resources and networks seeded in 2010 are flourishing far beyond the six-week experience in New York.

This August, 2013 HR Fellow Lijie Zhang, now Editor in Chief of the China Press for People with Disabilities, drew from the work of HR fellows over the last five years to curate a multimedia piece to be exhibited at the 7th session of Colorful Guizhou’s PhotoChina Original International Photographic Exhibition in Guiyang, China. 


Alexis Lambrou introduces the HR Fellows

Sim Chi Yin (2010), Liu Jie (2012), Lijie Zhang (2013), Yuyang Liu (2014) and program coordinator Alexis Lambrou traveled to attend the festival, present their work, and speak to the fellowship’s impact on their vision and careers. "Its a very different kind of educational training opportunity from others…it puts photography second and social purpose first, which I think perhaps no other training opportunity does,“ said Sim Chi Yin.

They presented again in Bejing at Na Risong’s Inter Gallery, where people packed in eagerly to listen and engage. An engrossing dialogue about the issues young photographers face in China went well past the presentation, with dozens of attendees staying after to speak to the fellows about the application process and curriculum. 

Zhang Lijie explained the confidence she gained through the fellowship and meeting young photographers and activists from around the world, "you can understand that you’re not alone and your pictures are not only for a few people. There’s a new world. People care.”

The festival was an important opportunity to open doors to socially conscious photographers, but more poignantly, it was a way to bring the four China-based HR Fellows together, face to face, for the first time. 


The four China-based HR Fellows

Simone Salvo