Top Photographers Win $130,000 Worth of Grants

William Daniels—Panos
William Daniels—Panos
An alter boy prepares for a mass at a church where the priest offered sanctuary to a large group of Muslims who were the target of Anti-Balaka forces in Central African Republic.

Getty has awarded a total of $130,000 in grants to photographers and non-profit organizations, with five of the winners picking up $10,000 grants to help them expand their already-existing editorial work. The five editorial winners include William Daniels, who shot powerful images for Central African Republic for TIME and other publications this year and Giulio Di Sturco, whose inside look at Madagascar’s cocoa war featured on LightBox in May.

Photographer William Daniels won a grant for his often disturbing work from Central African Republic, where groups of vigilantes called anti-balaka — comprised of Christians, animists and former troops loyal to the toppled government — have battled with the country’s Muslims. The conflict, Daniels says, is vastly underrepresented in most media and he plans to use the grant to help him probe more deeply into “the background of what’s going on.” He hopes the grant will help him answer questions like “what makes a boy into an anti-balaka?” he adds. “Photography has a key role to play in places where people are suffering on a big scale,” Daniels says.

Giulio Di Sturco‘s look at the the Ganges river earned him his grant. The work, which is oddly beautiful and sometimes unnerving, looks at the evolution of the river along which about 8 percent of the world’s population live. The river faces “new environmental challenges,” Di Sturco tells TIME, with the Ganges basin the river being one of the most polluted in the world. The grant, he says, will allow him to “finish the last chapter of the project” and to put out both a book and an exhibition.

Krisanne Johnson‘s win came on the back of her frenetic, moving project, documenting the lives of what she calls the “post-apartheid generation” in South Africa. “They are grappling with many issues,” she says, “struggling with access to education, gang violence and HIV to name just a few.” In South Africa, more than half of the nation’s 18-25 year olds are unemployed.

Juan Arredondo‘s powerful work looking at the experience of current and former child combatants in Colombia caught judges eyes. Human Right Watch estimates that approximately 11,000 children have been used as combatants in the country, and about 3,500 former child combatants have been reunited with their families by the government. By the time they are thirteen, HRW adds, most child recruits have been trained in the use of automatic weapons, grenades, mortars and explosives. “This story needs visibility,” Arredondo says, “to bring forth a public discussion of a crisis long ignored in Colombia.”

Quiet, striking work documenting of the lives of Mennonite communities in Bolivia saw Jordi Busqué win a grant. Mennonites are Christians who follow a way of life that has not changed since the 16th century. Living in rural isolation, they are fiercely protective of their privacy.

Laura Boushnak wins a grant called the Getty Images and Lean In Editorial Grant, which focuses on those documenting important but under-told stories about women. Her project, I Read I Write, is a broad, continuing project about education and women in the Arab world.

Announced at Visa pour l’Image, a widely-attended yearly photojournalism festival held in Perpignan, France, the grants—first established in 2004—aim to help photographers undertake “projects of personal and journalistic significance.” This year’s judges included The New York Times International Picture Editor David Furst, National Geographic Magazine Director of Photography Sarah Leen and Francois Leroy, Director General of Visa pour l’Image, among others.

Getty also awarded a $10,000 portrait photography grant and three creative grants of $20,000, one of which went to Robin Hammond. The creative awards aim to help non profits work with photographers.

Richard Conway is reporter/producer for TIME LightBox

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