NEW YORK, NY – Photojournalists Ziyah Gafic from Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson of New York have each been named recipients of a $20,000 Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography, Getty announced last night in New York City.
The judges who picked this round of grant recipients were MaryAnne Golon, director of photography for Time magazine; Rebecca McClelland, deputy picture editor for the Sunday Times magazine in London; and Jean-Francois Leroy, director general of Visa Pour L'Image in Perpignan, France. Now in its third year, the grant program attracted a record 153 entries from photojournalists in 26 countries.
Anderson plans to focus on a project titled "The Bolivarian Revolution – Venezuela and Bolivia at a Crossroads." His grant proposal says that he will focus on the new socialist revolution in Latin America – a change fueled by oil, leftist nationalism, authoritarian populism and indigenous identity, yet ignored by Western media. But rather than highlighting the concrete manifestation of events, Anderson will strive to convey the humanity behind this loaded word, Revolution, and to brush an emotional portrait of a time and place, Getty Images said.
"Oil and politics make Latin America relevant today, but I am shocked to discover that there is no interest or financial support from the magazines to cover these subjects," Anderson wrote. "I argue that Latin America does matter, and that this is a particularly interesting time to invest in documenting life there. My hope is that this grant will make that possible."
Gafic’s proposal said he would use the grant to complete a series of photo essays titled "Troubled Islam: Short Stories From Troubled Societies." "My aim is to capture the quiet loneliness and determination of people trying to carry on with their lives," he wrote, "when the very fabric of their community, rituals and social life has been torn apart."
The series documents the aftermath of war and violence in the daily life of Muslim communities in Europe, Africa and Asia, in a post 9/11 context. The grant enables Gafic to complete his ninth and final essay on Lebanon, recording the impact of recent hostilities as people return and reconstruction begins in a place where Muslims and non-Muslims can still coexist, despite their damaged relations and continuous foreign interference.
Getty Images awards five grants of $20,000 per year to “fund, inspire and support the best global talent in photojournalism.” “The Getty grants support and celebrate photographers’ efforts to bring new work to the world's attention,” Getty’s Molly Lohman told News Photographer. “We want to make sure that photojournalists everywhere learn of this opportunity that enables them to focus on special projects that bring attention to important social and cultural issues.”
Each Getty grant consists of $20,000 as well as project execution support from Getty Images photo editors. While retaining copyright of their imagery, grant recipients also have the option to sign a one year exclusive rights deal with Getty Images, enabling their work to be marketed and available for license to customers worldwide on Getty’s Web site.
“Photojournalism brings to life the most pressing and engaging global issues, whether political, social or environmental,” Aidan Sullivan, a Getty Images vice president, said in the announcement of the winners. “In an increasingly difficult time to raise funding for this work, we at Getty Images are committed to helping these talented, dedicated photographers produce these important projects."
Born in 1970 in British Columbia, Canada, Anderson spent his early years in Texas before moving to New York City then Paris. His photography career started in the photo lab of The Dallas Morning News before he got his first job as a newspaper staff photographer at a small paper in Colorado in 1993. In 1995 he began freelancing and worked as a contract photographer for U.S. News & World Report magazine, and then he joined VII Agency in 2002. In 2000 the Overseas Press Club awarded Anderson with the Robert Capa Gold Medal, and in 2002 he won the Visa d'Or at Visa Pour l'Image in Perpignan. He became a Magnum Photos nominee in 2005.
Gafic was born in Sarajevo in 1980 and began his photography career in 2001 after graduating from Sarajevo University with a degree in world literature. His work focuses on societies in conflict and the transitions that take place after war. Since 1999 he's covered stories in Bosnia, Palestine, Israel, Kurdistan, Iraq, Ossetia, Rwanda, Chechnya, and Afghanistan. He won an Ian Parry Scholarship in 2001 for his work.
Last night Getty Images also announced that they've purchased The Michael Ochs Archives, a collection of music and entertainment photographs spanning the 1940s to the 1990s. The archive was founded in the mid-1970s by Michael Ochs, brother of folk singer Phil Ochs, and includes photographs by James Kriegsmann, Don Paulsen, and Earl Leaf. Getty says that 15,000 of the digitized Ochs images will be available on the Getty Images Web site starting in April and than 60,000 more images will be added on a rolling basis throughout 2007.