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World Press Photo Foundation’s 6×6 talents from North and Central America

A boy inside a home in the community of Corralero Oaxaca, on 22 February 2018. From the series Their blood in my blood © Yael Esteban Martínez Velázquez

The six selected talents from North and Central America are: Dylan Hausthor, USA; Ian Willms, Canada; Mariceu Erthal García, Mexico; Nydia Blas, USA; Tomas Ayuso, Honduras; and Yael Esteban Martínez Velázquez, Mexico

The World Press Photo Foundation has announced the six talents from North and Central America in its ongoing 6×6 Global Talent Program. Aimed at picking out under-recognised visual story-tellers from around the world, the 6×6 programme is now on its fifth region, out of the six identified around the world. This time, the talents picked out were: Dylan Hausthor, USA; Ian Willms, Canada; Mariceu Erthal García, Mexico; Nydia Blas, USA; Tomas Ayuso, Honduras; and Yael Esteban Martínez Velázquez, Mexico.

Each talent has been picked out for two stories: Hausthor, for example, submitting a project called Past The Pond, Setting Fires, about arson in small-town America; and Wood Grain Lick, a documentary and fictional look at life on the edges. Willms’ projects are As long as the sun shines, a story about oil sands extraction in northern Alberta, Canada, and its effect on the local community; and We shall see, about the death of his biker father. Mariceu Erthal García’s projects are Iriana, shot on a holiday in Cuba; and Letters to Gemma, about a young Mexican woman who disappeared seven years ago.

A scarecrow, erected to stop migratory birds from landing in open oil slicks, on a decommissioned tailings pond at the Syncrude oil sands site in 2014. From the series As long as the sun shines © Ian Willms

Nydia Blas’ project Whatever you like “is a concise exhibition exploring the ways in which Black girls learn to reclaim themselves for their own pleasure”; while The girls who spun gold was shot with a Girl Empowerment Group set up by the photographer in Ithaca, New York. Tomas Ayuso’s The Right to Grow Old: Los(t) Boys of CDMX follows a group of young Hondurans attempting to make a new life in Mexico City; The Right to Grow Old: The Prologue to Displacement from Honduras considers one young man as he’s forced to migrate from San Pedro Sula.

Yael Esteban Martínez Velázquez’s The house that bleeds shows the photographer’s own family as it comes to terms with the loss of three young men killed or disappeared in Guerrero, Mexico’s poorest and most violent state. Their blood in my blood looks at Afro-descendants in Mexico, a group that numbers around two million yet has historically been underrepresented.

She’s inside me, 2018. From the series Letters to Gemma © Mariceu Erthal García

The 6×6 talents are suggested by a global community jury of nominators; from these nominations, the six talents from North and Central America were picked out by: Juan Brenner, a photographer and independent art director from Guatemala; Ana Casas Broda, a photographer, editor and co-founder of Hydra + Fotografía in Spain/Mexico; Barbara Davidson, a Canadian photographer; and Loup Langton, and American freelance photographer and editor.

The 6×6 Global Talent Program’s first cycle will be completed in February 2019, and the photographers’ work included in the 11th Yangon Photo Festival from 18 February to 10 March 2019, and at Miami Photo Fest’s nightly multimedia presentations from 27 February to 03 March 2019. This follows the first exhibition of the 6×6 programme at LUMIX Festival for Young Photojournalism in Germany, and exhibitions in Kuching, Malaysia and Maputo, Mozambique, in 2018. The 6×6 Talents’ work are also published in World Press Photo Foundation’s Witness online magazine. 

World Press Photo is perhaps best-known for its annual competition; entries are now open for the 2019 awards via www.worldpressphoto.org

Barn, Vermont, 2018. From the series Past The Pond, Setting Fires © Dylan Hausthor

Dad, Vermont, 2018. From the series Past The Pond, Setting Fires © Dylan Hausthor

Ann, Vermont, 2015. From the series Wood Grain Lick © Dylan Hausthor

Elk in Jasper. A herd of elk feed a couple of hundred metres from the route of two Oil Sands pipelines, which run through Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Alberta, on 10th September 2017. The Canadian government and Kinder Morgan built a new high pressure Oil Sands pipeline through the park in 2008. From the series As long as the sun shines © Ian Willms

Water Intake. A water intake pipeline runs from the Athabasca River, near Fort McKay, Alberta on 28th April 2015. The Oil Sands industry consumes three barrels of fresh water for every one barrel of oil produced. From the series As long as the sun shines © Ian Willms

Dez in his room. Dez (7) plays in his bed in Fort McKay, Alberta in 2015. Dez was born with an underdeveloped heart and has received multiple open- heart surgeries. His family and healthcare professionals in Fort McKay believe that his condition was caused by industrial pollution from nearby Oil Sands developments. From the series As long as the sun shines © Ian Willms

Garden, 2017. From the series Iriana © Mariceu Erthal García

Gemma’s parents, 2017. From the series Letters to Gemma © Mariceu Erthal García

Greenhouse, 2018. From the series Letters to Gemma © Mariceu Erthal García

Let me tell you a secret, 2016. From the series Whatever you like © Nydia Blas

The beehive, 2018. From the series Whatever you like © Nydia Blas

Secrets, 2016. From the series The girls who spun gold © Nydia Blas

The boys, together in the small apartment building they share with blue-collar Mexican families, in July 2017. Originally, the boys’ plan had been to go to the U.S. and plead for asylum. But after surviving the harrowing migrant route through southern Mexico, and hearing of anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S., they chose to stay start their lives again in this blue apartment complex. They work doing what they can, and many have since earned asylum status. But it’s in Mexico that they found their new, chosen family they lean on in the bad times and the good. From the series The Right to Grow Old: Los(t) Boys of CDMX © Tomas Ayuso

With the clangor of the streets becoming too stifling, Moises and Jaime climb up to the overlook above the patchwork of neighborhoods outside San Pedro Sula, in August 2017. Each is ruled and often contested by different gangs, whereby the boys must navigate a volatile terrain marked by tense social dynamics, and ruled by structures that run parallel to state authority. From the series The Right to Grow Old: The Prologue to Displacement from Honduras © Tomas Ayuso

The violence continues outside San Pedro Sula, in August 2017. Police stand before a massacre site. The dull, red-hued lights of the city in the background bleed with the faded, department-supplied police uniforms. The fighting between criminal groups has lessened in the past year, though the oppression of gang control and the cruel logic of street violence remain sovereign in Honduras’ second city. From the series The Right to Grow Old: The Prologue to Displacement from Honduras © Tomas Ayuso

Dried roots of Cactus on a wall in the community of Tixtla Guerrero Mexico on 7th November 2015. Tixtla is where the normal Isidro Burgos of Ayotzinapa is settled. It had been more than a year and there were still no results of the 43 missing students. From the series The house that bleeds © Yael Esteban Martínez Velázquez

Traditional housing in Cuajinicuilapa, Guerrero on 6 June 2018. The heat and humidity are very high on the coast of Guerrero, that’s why most houses are open and use mosquito nets. From the series Their blood in my blood © Yael Esteban Martínez Velázquez

A woman at home in the community of Llano Grande Oaxaca, on 20 February 2018. From the series Their blood in my blood © Yael Esteban Martínez Velázquez