Women Photograph is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2017 grants: the Women Photograph + Pulitzer Center grant of $5,000 will go to Alex Kay Potter for her work documenting ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The three Women Photograph + ONA grants of $2,500 will go to Luján Agusti, Gabriella Demczuk, and Néha Hirve. We received more than 500 applications from photographers around the world — thank you to everyone who sent in proposals! Congratulations to the four women selected — you can read more about their projects and connect with their work below.
A huge thank you to judges Mallory Benedict, Ariel Zambelich, and Nathalie Applewhite, and to ONA and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for their support.
USA | www.alexkaypotter.com | @alexkpotter
Alex will return to the Middle East to document families whose lives have been thrown into chaos by ongoing war. Yet in spite of political and economic instability that are threatening to destroy what remains of the region's infrastructure, communities are banding together to help each other through the crises as they come. Alex's work will follow individuals in their struggle to make life work amidst war, contrasting that with images of the very systems that are failing: healthcare, education, tourism, and more.
We are also happy to congratulate these 11 photographers, who were named as finalists for the grant:
Alyssa Schukar // Andrea Gjestvang // Anush Babajanyan // France Keyser // Iman Aldabbagh // Kiana Hayeri // Leonora Baumann // Leslie Searles // Magda Rakita // Nadege Mazars // Raphaela Rosella
Néha Hirve's project, Full Shade / Half Sun, explores an experimental community living in the tropical dry forest of Tamil Nadu, India. Although their core purpose is reforesting the desertified land, they are also an experiment in collective, back-to-nature living. Her work investigates philosophical and existential questions about the ways in which we find meaning in our relationship to the land.
Luján's ongoing project Payasos Danzantes aims to explore Mexican syncretism — the merging of traditional pre-Hispanic culture with that of evangelizing colonial forces — through the community of dancing holy clowns and the elements they create to build their identity.
Gabriella will begin a new project to look at immigration enforcement techniques and the culture of security along Texas border communities, and how it contrasts with the life and policing of sanctuary cities. It will also look at how communities are preparing to oppose Texas Senate Bill 4 through both legal action and changes in perceptions of immigrants, as well as how organizations like Faith in Texas are trying to bridge the economic and racial divide.