Announcing the 2018 Magnum Foundation Fund Grantees

Mff18 Juanita Escobar Press 3

Liz at the Orinoco River’s tepui rocks, looking towards Venezuela.

Juanita Escobar. Puerto Carreño, Vichada Department, Colombia, 2017. (Full description below)

30 May 2018- Together with Magnum Foundation, we are pleased to announce the 2018 grantees of the Magnum Foundation Fund, a programme that supports photographers to expand creativity and diversity in the field. This collaboration with Magnum Foundation provides grants and project development support to both emerging and experienced practitioners, with an emphasis on photographers working within their communities.

Since 2010, the Magnum Foundation Fund has supported 88 artists, over half of whom are from outside the US and Western Europe. Each year, a changing, independent committee of over 20 international editors, curators, and educators nominates artists who are invited to submit proposals for consideration.  This process ensures that we receive proposals from a geographically diverse applicant pool, including  people whose authorship is underrepresented within the field of documentary photography.

This year, we received 151 proposals from 29 different countries, which were considered by a jury comprised of Prerana Reddy, Director of Programs at A Blade of Grass, Joshua Chuang, Curator of Photography at the New York Public Library, and Kira Pollack, Deputy Editor at Vanity Fair.  

Prerana reflected: "As someone who has focused my career on the social impact of the arts and creating equitable  access and representation for minority communities, I was proud to be part of a thoughtful  process that took into account not only aesthetic excellence but also such factors as the ability to support emerging talents in career-changing ways, the potential to provide greater visibility of  social actors that have been erased from the historic record, as well as comprehensive plans to  make work accessible to a broad public. The Magnum Foundation Fund truly propels the field of  social documentary photography into the 21st century, with not only a keen eye but a sense of  ethical rigor and a willingness to take a chance on new forms of storytelling."

The eight projects chosen for support are:  

  • Eclipse by Sagar Chhetri, contending with issues of identity within Nepal’s Madhesi community
  • Orinoco Women’s Journal by Juanita Escobar, focusing on women who live along the Orinoco  River, marking the Colombia–Venezuela border
  • Santa Barbara by Diana Markosian, exploring immigration through the eyes of her family and  examining the role of a 1980s soap opera in constructing her American Dream
  • The Philly Bop by Tiona Nekkia McClodden, exploring a Philadelphia-based social dance  through an autoethnographic lens
  • Feminist Memory Project by the Nepal Picture Library, building an extensive visual archive of  women’s movements and women in pivotal moments of Nepali history
  • Exodus by Sarker Protick, focusing on abandoned feudal estates and decaying landscapes in  Bangladesh following the 1947 partition of Bengal
  • Nyaope by Lindokhule Sobekwa, stories from within a community of drug users in the townships surrounding Johannesburg, South Africa
  • On Andean Ground: The Yawar Fiesta by Martin Weber, looking at culture clashes in Latin  America through an annual Andean ritual of resistance

Representing a range of styles and approaches, the selected projects demonstrate a commitment to social issues and a curiosity for exploring new models of storytelling. The 2018 Magnum Foundation Fund grantees are currently working on their proposed projects, and will submit completed work in the fall of this year.  

Photo: Juanita Escobar. Liz at the Orinoco River’s tepui rocks, looking towards Venezuela. Liz was born in Choco, at the Colombian Pacific coast, at an early age she moved with her mother and sisters to Puerto Ayacucho, Venezuela. A year ago, she had to leave to come back to Colombia with her two sons, leaving her mother and sisters. More than the sense of missing her family, she worries whether her mother and sisters have enough to eat on the other side of the river. On this day, Liz was with her two sons at the river. During the dry season, people go to the beaches; in the winter, the rocks are covered by the water. Puerto Carreño, Vichada Department, Colombia, 2017.

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Sagar Chhetri, Eclipse, Birgunj, Parsa, Nepal, 2016. Bambaiya wanted me to buy his fish.

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Juanita Escobar, Orinoco Women’s Journal, Colombia. View of the Orinoco river from Flag Hill at Puerto Carreño, the departmental capital of Vichada in Colombia. On the other side of the river is Amazonas State, Venezuela.

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Diana Markosian, Santa Barbara, California, US. Arrival: It was 1996. We had spent years watching the soap opera, Santa Barbara, and suddenly we were there.

Mff18 Tiona Nekkia Mcclodden Press 3

Tiona Nekkia McClodden. Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic, Movement I - The Visions Presskit, Film Still #8, 2013. Matte Digital C-Prints, 8 x 10. My series Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic has given me room to place my physical self within my work both literally and figuratively. This is a series derived from my experience watching film trailers at a time in my childhood where I was not allowed to watch a great number of films due to parental censorship. During this period of time I came to see the film trailers that played before the films I had access to as the film "itself.” Be Alarmed as a series will be comprised of four parts and is comprised of minimalist trailers, scenes, narrative objects, and film stills that give insight to the overall narrative arc of the "film.”

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Nepal Picture Library, Feminist Memory Project, Nepal. Each member of the graduating class of 1966 from Thakur Ram Campus, Birgunj, received a copy of this photo. Of the nine new graduates, one refused to have it framed and hung on the wall of her house. Vidya Pradhan, the only female graduate of her class, simply walked back with the photo tucked away in her bag. "Most of my friends said they would frame it and preserve it.” But Vidya wanted to put the photo somewhere she would not be reminded of her struggle to become a graduate. “My father was not totally against education, but preferred us to stay close to home,” she says.

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Sarker Protick, Exodus, Ulpur, Gopalganj, Bangladesh, 2016. Tomb of the queen.

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Lindokhule Sobekwa, Nyaope, Katlehong, South Africa, 2014. Tshepo wears a t-shirt that says “angel,” it belongs to his girlfriend.

Mff18 Martin Weber Press 2

Martin Weber, Tilcara, Jujuy, Argentina, 1999. In the northwestern provinces of Argentina, carnival starts when someone finds and exhumes the “Pujllay,” a figure of the carnival devil. The person who finds it will represent the Devil in the celebrations, and is expected to wear a costume decorated with mirrors and sequins. His face will be covered by the mask his mother is sewing, so no one will recognize him when he plays his devilish tricks.