Women Photograph is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2019 grants: the Women Photograph + Nikon grants of $5,000 have been awarded to Iman Al-Dabbagh, Shaima Al Tamimi, Sophia Nahli Allison, Marie Hald, and Annie Tritt. The Women Photograph + Getty Images grant of $10,000 has been awarded to Koral Carballo. We received nearly 1,300 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, Olivia Adechi, Marcia Allert, Nariman El-Mofty, Nicole Frugé, Karla Gachet, Nick Kirkpatrick, Zun Lee, Marie Monteleone, Jennifer Samuel, and Daniella Zalcman.
Saudi Arabia | www.photosbyiman.com | @photosbyiman
This project addresses freedom of expression, taboos, censorship, and the evolution of the photographer’s hometown of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia through the lives of the creative community. In an era where their craft and creative expression has been deemed ‘3eib,’ or taboo, they find themselves erased from the wider Saudi narrative. The project also chronicles the photographer’s daughter’s creative interests, as a way to witness the gradual change in society’s mentality and acceptance, while discovering the new ‘3eibs’ of the coming generation.
Qatar + Yemen | www.shaimaaltamimi.com | @i.am.shaima
As If We Never Came is a long-term visual project inspired by the photographer’s Yemeni-East African heritage and personal struggle to understand the complexity of who they are today as Yemenis in generational diaspora. In the face of the near absence of a recorded narrative about their history, this is a retracing of her own family's journey as a step towards honoring the journey of all Yemeni diaspora communities, encouraging others own their shared identity identity, and take back the voice lost as bystanders in transit.
USA | www.sophianahliallison.com | @yagurlsophia
Dreaming Gave Us Wings recontextualizes the myth of flying Africans as a factual historical occurrence. Using the artist’s body as a site of memory, she reimagines levitation through self portraits. Inspired by the importance of Afro-diasporic flight within folklore and oral history, these images house a deep remembrance of survival and freedom. The story of Flying Africans has been passed down from generation to generation since slavery. While this myth has evolved over the years, it continues to be the source of literal and figurative imagination depicting freedom, new futures, and returning to Africa. Flight became a secret language for runaway slaves and continues to depict black mobility towards liberation, speculative time traveling, and conjuring ancestral memories. As Toni Morrison said, “...the one thing you say about a myth is that there's some truth in there no matter how bizarre they may seem.”
Denmark | www.mariehald.dk | @mariehaldphoto
This three-part project explores body image, eating disorders and body activism. ‘The Girls from Malawa’ focuses on eating disorders and mental health through a group of women being treated for anorexia in a housing facility in Poland. ‘A New Me’ looks at weight loss camps in the US. And ‘Perfect Girls’ focuses on Fat Activism in Scandinavia, and a new generation of women on a journey to break free from traditional beauty standards. Together, this body of work will shed light on all the different elements of the body and how western society pressures women into looking a certain way.
Transcending Self is a portrait project on transgender and non-binary youth, which seeks to honor an often misunderstood community and create a sense of validation for the youth in a world which largely rejects them. In 2018, there were 369 reported murders of transgender people worldwide. That same year, 51 percent of transgender male adolescents reported at least one suicide attempt, with non-binary and trans females close behind. The suicide rate for all young people is 14 percent. When transgender children are treated with acceptance, love, and respect, suicide attempt rates drop to close to that of their peers. Familiarity with transgender people is the top predictor of support and impossible without visibility. Outsiders frequently frame transgender stories in a way that reduces them to physicality, emphasizing a perceived difference. These portraits and interviews emphasize each individual as a whole person, with unique passions and interests that extend beyond their gender identity.
We are also happy to congratulate these five photographers, who were named as finalists for the grant:
Rhiannon Adam | Ireland + UK | www.rhiannonadam.com | @rhiannon_adam
Terra Fondriest | USA | www.terrafondriest.com | @terrafondriest
Tolani Alli | USA + Nigeria | www.tolanialli.com | @tolanialli
Neeta Satam | India + USA | www.neetasatam.com | @neeta.s
Btihal Remli | Morocco | www.btihalremli.com | @btihal_remli
Mexico | www.koralcarballo.com | @koralcarballo
The Mystery of Disguise is a photographic project that examines Afrodescendence in Mexico. While there is relatively widespread discourse about Mexican identity being rooted in Indigenous and Spanish ancestry, little is said about the Africans who arrived in Mexico by way of slave ships — their history has been largely erased. The object of this work is to recognize the daily life, traditions, and people of Afro-Mexico — through a mixture of documentary photography, collaborative portraits, family photos, and visual interventions. Koral will also run photography workshops that will encourage participants to reflect on what it means to be Afro-Mexican today.
“Work based on personal experiences is always the strongest and most captivating. Being able to share vulnerability and truth is inspiring. This is what all the grantees have in common this year.”
— Nariman El-Mofty
”These incredible projects by the grantees reveal too often unrepresented stories and broader aspects of human experience. They show a commitment to the communities and people they document as well as compassionate exploration of visual storytelling. I was struck by the maturity and rigor of these works.”
— Nicole Frugé
“Judging the last part of the contest was challenging because there were a lot of great stories. I think we succeeded in choosing grantees who had powerful images and a strong message. I would encourage the shortlisted photographers to also continue with their projects.”
— Karla Gachet