Women Photograph is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2018 grants: the Women Photograph + Nikon grants of $5,000 have been awarded to Tasneem Alsultan, Anna Boyiazis, Jess T. Dugan, Ana Maria Arevalo Gosen, and Etinosa Yvonne Osayimwen. The Women Photograph + Getty Images grant of $10,000 has been awarded to Nadia Shira Cohen. We received nearly 1,500 applications from women and non-binary photographers around the world — thank you to everyone who sent in proposals! Congratulations to the photographers selected — you can read more about their projects and connect with their work below.
Thank you to this year's grant sponsors, Nikon and Getty Images, and to our judges, Mallory Benedict, Sandy Ciric, Shaminder Dulai, Brent Lewis, Tara Pixley, Verónica Sanchis, Sandra Stevenson, Bernadette Tuazon, Nicole Werbeck, and Ariel Zambelich.
Saudi Arabia | www.tasneemalsultan.com | @tasneemalsultan
Saudi Arabia has long been known as one of the world’s most conservative countries, a place where religious police have been known to routinely enforce strict social codes and public political debate forums are censored. This project aims to reveal the underlying social and economic complexities of Saudi Arabia's Shiaa minority, a group that remains largely invisible to the world. The focus will be on stories of activists, community leaders, intellectuals and professionals who have found themselves under a societal spotlight.
USA | www.annaboyiazis.com | @annaboyiazis
Finding Freedom in the Water documents women and girls learning to swim for the first time in Zanzibar. Daily life in the archipelago centers around the sea, yet the majority of girls who inhabit the islands never acquire even the most fundamental swimming skills. Conservative Islamic culture and absence of modest swimwear have compelled community leaders to discourage girls from swimming — until now. Full-length swimsuits and lessons are providing women and girls the opportunity to finally learn aquatic safety and experience being in the ocean without compromising their cultural and religious beliefs.
USA | www.jessdugan.com | @jesstdugan
Every Breath We Drew (2011-present) explores the power of identity, desire, and connection through portraits of the artist and others. Working within the framework of queer experience, these portraits examine the intersection between private, individual identity and the search for connection with others. Rather than attempting to describe a specific identity or group – the gender identity and sexual orientation of the individuals varies greatly – Every Breath We Drew asks larger questions about how identity is formed, desire is expressed, and intimate connection is sought.
Venezuela | www.amagosphoto.com | @anitasinfiltro
The current economic misery in Venezuela, mixed with violence and crime deeply rooted in society, is accentuated inside so-called preventive detention centers. Thousands of women waiting for trial are separated from their families and children for potentially many years. This work is about them and how the consequences of the malfunctioning justice system in Venezuela affects and traumatizes these women and their families even after their release.
It’s All in My Head is an ongoing project that explores the coping mechanisms of survivors of terrorism and violent conflict by using layered portraits of the survivors and the things that they do to help them move forward. In the last two decades, Nigeria has witnessed an increase in terrorism and conflict. Survivors have witnessed violence enacted against themselves, their loved ones, and in some cases all that they own. This project aims to advocate for increased access to psychosocial support for survivors of terrorism and violent conflict in Nigeria which in turn will improve the mental health of the survivors.
We are also happy to congratulate these five photographers, who were named as finalists for the grant:
Nanna Heitmann | Germany | www.nannaheitman.com | @nannaheitmann
Hannah Yoon | Canada | www.hannahyoon.com | @hanloveyoon
Silke Kirchhoff | Germany | www.silkekirchhoff.de
Sandra Hoyn | Germany | www.sandrahoyn.de | @sandrahoyn
Emily Berl | USA | www.emilyberlphoto.com | @emilyberl
Italy | www.nadiashiracohen.com | @nadiashiracohen
Yo No Di a Luz looks at the complete prohibition on abortion in El Salvador, and the many ways in which the criminal abortion ban affects the country's women. The project specifically focuses on the consequences of enforcing such restrictive laws, in particular the suicides in pregnant teens, women, and girls forced to birth children of rape.
"Anna's work was nothing short of beautiful and the purest way of storytelling. There are levels of making powerful images. A level for composition, a level for content and a level for light/color. These photos hit all three of those levels and opened up a conversation around a topic that resonates with so many across the globe. Thank you for this work."
"Etinosa's series is an imaginative as well as moving perspective to portray the survivors of violent conflicts that have marked Nigeria’s history over the last two decades. Osayimwen’s approach of layered photographs and her obvious commitment in support of her country fellows, provide her with a distinct voice of her own."
"Ana Maria's use of color and capture of intimate moments convey this wrenching story in lovely detail that highlights the importance of the subject matter while underscoring the humanity of her subjects. A very significant addition to the visual story of the human condition."
"Tasneem ... has an incredible eye towards catching those fleeting moments that make images come to life. Overall, her work is beautifully and artistically done and her approach is spot on, providing varying scenes
that make you understand the challenges of being a Shi’a. She has a good eye as she skillfully provides depth and composition to every photo. More importantly, her editing is very impressive. Every frame has a visual purpose that exhibits the shame and insecurity these women live through."
"Jess’s portraits explore the issues of identity, gender, sexuality and community. The intimate portraits make you feel as if you can see into the person's soul. I couldn’t stop looking into their eyes. One of the reasons this project stood out to me was the self-portrait aspect. I look forward to seeing the conversation around the issues of gender and sexuality."