Author: Olivier Laurent

Alexia Foundation launches 2014 Women’s Initiative Grant

The Alexia Foundation Women’s Initiative Grant provides a $25,000 grant “for a project to be produced on a significant issue involving and affecting women,” says the organisers. “Unlike the first Women’s Initiative grant, which specifically focused on abuse of women in the United States, this call for entries is intended to permit the photographer to propose a serious documentary photographic or multimedia project encompassing any issue involving women anywhere in the world.” Some suggested themes include “femininity and the culture of abuse; women making a difference, leading, changing things for the better; gender inequality; the direct connection to women and education, and the impact on birth rates, health of children and the productivity of the women; gender discrimination, women in leadership, women in the military, mental health issues.” The themes, the foundation adds, “are by no means intended to influence proposals, but they may help photographers start thinking about this topic.” The deadline for entries is 30 June, with the winner announced in September. For more information, visit the Alexia Foundation website.


Getty Images calls for entries to its Grants scheme offering $130,000 worth of awards

Photographers have until 15 May to submit their work for a chance to win one of this year’s Getty Images Grants. Established in 2004 by Aidan Sullivan, vice president of photo assignments, the Grants programme has been expanded from documentary photography and photojournalism to include other work, such as portrait photography. This year, as it celebrates the programme’s 10-year anniversary, Getty Images will be offering six Editorial photography prizes, three Creative Grants for non-profit organisations and photographers, and one Portrait award – totalling $130,000 in cash prizes. In the Grants for Editorial Photography category, Getty Images will present five $10,000 prizes, which will be awarded to photojournalists pursuing personal projects of journalistic significance. An additional grant, offered in partnership with the Lean In foundation, will be “awarded to a photographer whose project is focused on an important but under-told story about women or girls achieving positive results in their communities or personal lives”. The winners will be selected by a panel of jurors that include David Furst, the international picture editor at The New York …


Robert Nickelsberg’s Afghanistan: A Distant War

Robert Nickelsberg’s Afghanistan: A Distant War isn’t a photobook, to say it is would be underselling it. Complete with maps, profiles of the main protagonists, and essays written by Jon Lee Anderson, Steve Coll, Ahmed Rashid and Tim McGirk among others, A Distant War is a sort of history book, putting into context 25 years of turbulent adversarial conflicts and 25 years of reporting. As Anderson writes in the book’s foreword, “Americans, like most people, tend to record history capriciously, holding certain events close for a time and when their perceived relevance has passed, discard them.” But Nickelsberg is different. For 25 years, on assignment for Time magazine and The New York Times, the photojournalist has gone back to Afghanistan, recording its troubled history from the end of the Cold War to the Taliban rise to power – which made “covering the war harder,” writes Nickeslberg – and the inevitable American quagmire following the 9/11 attacks. Now, as the US is preparing to bring home its last soldiers, the war rages on in Afghanistan. “The …


Journalists freed after six-month Syrian ordeal

After six months in captivity, photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova and El Mundo journalist Javier Espinosa have arrived back in Spain, the newspaper has announced. “El Mundo said [both men] made contact Saturday evening from Turkey, where they were in the care of the military,” the Associated Press reports. It remains unclear whether both men escaped from their captors, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Espinosa and Garcia Vilanova were working for El Mundo when they were abducted on 16 September 2013 at a checkpoint in the town of Tal Abyad in the eastern province of Raqqa. In a press conference held by El Mundo earlier today, both journalists declined to explain how they were released. Syria remains one of the most dangerous countries for journalists with more than 20 of them remaining in captivity – including French photographer Edouard Elias.


VII Photo adds five photographers to two-year mentor programme

First launched in 2008, the VII Mentor Program pairs emerging photographers with VII Photo’s members who, for a period of two years, will help them build and develop their skills and professional practice, as well as create relationships with editors, publishers and galleries, says the agency. While the VII Mentor Program used to be a one-on-one educational and professional opportunity for young photographers, VII Photo Agency is now looking to expand the scope of the programme. “We are in the planning stages of expanding the programme to add more mentees and also stage annual meetings and more,” says VII Photo member Ed Kashi. “Our idea is to establish a programme that allows us to create more camaraderie and deeper collaborations.” But the agency’s plans will be dependent on external funding. “Over the coming months, the agency will be seeking partnerships with other organisations to increase the opportunities it can offer to the mentored photographers,” the agency explains in a press statement. In the meantime, five young photographers will be joining the VII Mentor Program: Poulomi …


Daniel Gordon wins 2014 Foam Paul Huf Award

“Re-use is fundamental to my process,” says Daniel Gordon, a 33-year-old photographer. “I cull photographic images from the internet, print these images, and assemble them into three-dimensional tableaux using scissors and glue. I then photograph these arrangements with an 8×10-inch view camera. After the photograph is taken, the sculptures are dismantled and the different pieces are set aside for use in future works. With this manual cut-and-paste technique, I am building forms that expand upon the rich history of photography, collage and appropriation, while also nodding to the tradition of the painted portrait and still life.” [bjp_ad_slot] Gordon’s work, featured in BJP in February 2012, won the plaudits of this year’s Foam Paul Huf Award jury, which unanimously selected the US photographer. “Coming from a generation that is comfortable using pictures from the internet, Gordon finds a unique way of reconstructing found imagery into three-dimensional collages, which he then photographs,” says the jury, which included, among others, Christopher McCall of Pier 24 gallery in San Francisco, and Kathy Ryan of The New York Times Magazine. …


Les Rencontres d’Arles: The search for a new director

The city of Arles is entering a new photographic era – Maja Hoffmann’s Luma Foundation has started work on the promised Contemporary Art Centre, which will transform the city into one of France’s largest art centres. Yet, the project, worth €100m, will also force Les Rencontres d’Arles to scale back the size and number of exhibitions it hosts each year, a situation that led to François Hebel’s resignation as director [read our interview with Hebel here]. We speak with Daniel Barroy of the French Ministry of Culture, a major investor in Les Rencontres d’Arles. Olivier Laurent: How important are Les Rencontres d’Arles for the Ministry of Culture? Daniel Barroy: For us, it’s France’s main photographic event. It’s essential. Les Rencontres is the largest festival in France, not only in budgetary terms, but also in the number of visitors. In 2013, there were 100,000 paying visitors, which is very good. It’s also an important festival because of its length – it lasts the entire summer. Finally, it’s also important for the local economy. It’s at the …


Photoreporter festival reconsiders goals after financial struggles

Photoreporter is a festival like no other. Launched in Saint-Brieuc, France, in 2012, its concept was to call on local businesses to finance photojournalists’ projects around the world. Alexandre Solacolu, the festival’s creator, had the simple idea of transposing the idea of sponsorship, which has been widely adopted within the sport industry, to photography. From the start, the industry has been ecstatic, with photographers and magazines embracing the festival’s potential and optimism. “Photoreporter’s main goal is to become a laboratory, which can be used to find new economic models for the industry,” Solacolu told BJP in 2012. “I’d love to see other organisations, especially in the media industry, use our model to finance and develop new work.” For Didier Rapaud, the festival’s first curator, Photoreporter brought hope to an industry in dire need of it. “I’m not talking about a revolution, but there’s a ray of sunshine that didn’t necessarily exist before.” In its first two years, the festival had planned to raise €300,000 from local businesses to finance projects by photographers such as Guy Martin, …


Concerns mount over Getty Images’ free-for-all

On 05 March Getty Images launched an embed programme that will allow anyone to use 35 million of its images free for non-commercial purposes. The decision, taken to stop the widespread unauthorised use of images with attribution, has shaken the market, with independent photographers calling on Getty Images to rethink its strategy. [bjp_ad_slot] BJP has reached out to representative organisations around the world, with the American Society of Media Photographers expressing its unease . “The ASMP, as always, is concerned for the long-term ability of photographers to earn a sustainable living,” says executive director Eugene Mopsik. “We embrace the idea of using new technologies to give publishers at all levels access to great imagery. We look to companies like Getty to use these technologies to create new income streams for photographers. We don’t expect the entire pie, just a fair and reasonable piece. “Photographers create the visual heritage of our society including not only editorial images but also advertising, corporate, architecture, and sports – the significant moments of our lives. We need to ensure that photography remains a …


Bronx Documentary Center launches $30,000 appeal

The Bronx Documentary Center is looking to raise $30,000 to put on more shows. Launched by photojournalist Michael Kamber in 2011, the Bronx Documentary Center has become a staple of photojournalism in New York, hosting talks, exhibitions and even training courses in war reporting. It has brought together “local students, artists, activists and neighbors” with some of the world’s best photographers and filmmakers. “With your support we will be able to offer even more shows and programmes than we have ever been able to offer in a 12-month period,” says the Center, which is looking to raise $30,000 on Kickstarter. The money will finance exhibition design, printing, framing, marketing, as well as the organisation of  curricula and exhibition tours for school groups in the Bronx district. In the next 12 months, the Center is planning an exhibition of Benedict J Fernandez’s historic work on the American civil rights movement, a group show of emerging Mexican photographers, and an exhibition of Carlos Javier Ortiz’s project on gun violence. It will also organise 30 film screenings and discussions, and …


BJP Staff