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

Michael Brown Sr. yells out as his son's casket is lowered into the ground at St. Peter's Cemetery in St. Louis

Pictures of the Week: Aug. 22 – Aug.29

From Michael Brown's funeral and a cease fire in Gaza, to swarms of locusts in Madagascar and the US Open Tennis Championships, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

Read More
Josh Raab for TIME

#LightboxFF: Experience a Night at the Museum

A group of people takes a picture of themselves from the Victoria Peak Lookout with the Hong Kong skyline as a backdrop on May 25, 2014, in Hong Kong.

How the Selfie Stick Is Killing the Selfie

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,743 other followers