Shannon Jensen Wins the 2014 Inge Morath Award

A Long Walk (Refugee Shoe Project)
Shannon Jensen / Reportage by Getty Images
These are the shoes of children age 10 and younger.

Each year, the Inge Morath Foundation, founded in memory of the famous Austrian-born Magnum Photos member, honors a woman photographer under the age of 30 with the Inge Morath Award. The foundation presents the $5,000 award in support of the completion of a long-term documentary project.

American Shannon Jensen won this year for a series of images she produced documenting refugees who had fled the Blue Nile state in Sudan in May and June 2012. In total, more than 100,000 men, women and children have walked hundreds of miles across some of Earth’s harshest terrain to seek refuge in neighboring South Sudan.

When Jensen started documenting this humanitarian crisis, she found she was unable to sell the story to international media organizations, forcing her to adopt a different approach.

In A Long Walk, Jensen photographs the “worn-down, ill-fitting and jerry-rigged shoes” these refugees used to flee Khartoum’s campaign of violence.

“To be chosen for the Inge Morath Award by a jury as diverse and accomplished as the members of Magnum is something beyond my comprehension at the moment,” Jensen tells TIME in an email. “This is not a typical documentary project, so the affirmation is particularly appreciated.”

Three years ago, she adds, “a Magnum photographer advised me to trust myself, to stop worrying about taking ‘good’ pictures. He also suggested that I think beyond just assignment photography and consider the Inge Morath Award as inspiration, so it is very rewarding to now be selected for the award with a series of understated images that are very dear to me.”

Jensen plans to use the money from the award to return to South Sudan with a writer, and “produce what I hope will be an unusual book project,” she says.


Shannon Jensen is a US photographer represented by Reportage by Getty Images. She is based in the United Kingdom and South Korea.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent.


Related Topics: , , , , , , ,

Latest Posts

Stephen Shore at Andy Warhol's Factory

Stephen Shore: Defacto Photographer of Andy Warhol’s Factory

A rare look inside Andy Warhol's Factory, shot by an 18-year-old Stephen Shore, whose exposure to the legendary pop artist would inform his own career as a legendary photographer

Read More
Ar'Juan Mason, 17.SwagSwag is the way you present and carry yourself. I guess you can say my generation is more of the flashy type. Where I grew up and live now a lot of people around are all about shoes, it comes off almost mandatory to have the most recent shoes or something better.

Cause Beautiful: Hipstamatic Aims to Empower Young People

A group of volunteers inform residents about Ebola and a lockdown in the Brookfield neighborhood of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Sept. 19, 2014.

Photojournalism Links Daily Digest: Sept. 23, 2014

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 16,519 other followers