Tag Archives: IM Award

Emily Schiffer: Cheyenne River

Emily Schiffer (USA): Cheyenne River
Inge Morath Award Recipient, 2009

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In 2005, I founded a photography program for youths on Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. In this ongoing program, my students and I photograph together, share our images while they’re still in the viewfinder, and operate as both subjects and photographers. Our favorite locations are the fields and abandoned buildings on the fringes of town, forgotten places thick with the past that lend themselves to imaginary games and textured photographs. Amidst the dichotomy of a vast landscape confined by its remoteness, my images seek to explore the unique ability of children to experience love and joy alongside of pain. Over the course of four years, we have documented our relationships with one another and this land. Accordingly, though my images stand on their own, their validity and meaning are tied to the mutual context of their creation. Ultimately these images will be exhibited alongside the children’s work, which present the other parts of the whole. Continue reading Emily Schiffer: Cheyenne River

Jenn Ackerman: Trapped, Mental Illness in America’s Prisons

Jenn Ackerman (USA): Trapped, Mental Illness in America’s Prisons
Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2009

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“We (prisons) are the surrogate mental hospitals now,” says Larry Chandler, warden at the Kentucky State Reformatory.

Unfortunately, this situation is not unique to Kentucky. The continuous withdrawal of mental health funding has turned jails and prisons across the U.S. into the default mental health facilities. The system designed for security is now trapped with treating mental illness and the mentally ill are often trapped inside the system with nowhere else to go.

A 2006 report by the U.S. Department of Justice shows that the number of Americans with a mental illness incarcerated in the nation’s prisons and jails is disproportionately high. Almost 555,000 people with mental illness are incarcerated while fewer than 55,000 are being treated in designated mental health hospitals. Continue reading Jenn Ackerman: Trapped, Mental Illness in America’s Prisons

Kathryn Cook: Memory Denied, Turkey and the Armenian Genocide

Kathryn Cook (USA): Memory Denied, Turkey and the Armenian Genocide
Inge Morath Award Recipient, 2008

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In the early 1900s, as the Ottoman Empire was disintegrating, a fiercely nationalistic “Young Turks” movement took power. With the Empire’s fall, the multi-cultural attitude that had made it one of the world’s great cosmopolis became eclipsed by the fledgling government’s dream of a “pan-Turkic” country – a Turkish-speaking nation extending far beyond the Caspian Sea to the Siberian steppe.

As with all ideologies, them taking hold and taking root means the termination of what doesn’t fit into the new identity. On April 24, 1915 the Committee of Union and Progress issued a deportation order to have hundreds of Armenian intellectuals rounded up and removed. Once the order was complete, they were murdered. This act set in motion the extermination of Turkey’s Armenian population. Continue reading Kathryn Cook: Memory Denied, Turkey and the Armenian Genocide

Leonie Purchas: In the Shadow of Things

Leonie Purchas (UK): In the Shadow of Things
Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2008

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Since graduating from LCC, I have been photographing the inner workings of families from different parts of the world. Last year, I finally turned my camera on my own family.

Exploring a fascination with family dynamics, and hierarchical relationships, my work looks at how the individual emerges from the structure of the family, through the complex interplay of nature and nurture. Yet as the project developed, I began to feel that despite the intimate access I was gaining into people’s lives, I was guilty of denying the importance of my own presence in the creation of the photographs. Last year I decided to turn my camera on my own family and myself. The work to date represents the first chapter of this project. Continue reading Leonie Purchas: In the Shadow of Things

Olivia Arthur: The Middle Distance

Olivia Arthur (UK): The Middle Distance
Inge Morath Award Recipient, 2007

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Five countries lie across the border between Europe and Asia: Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia. The project focuses particularly on young women, looking at a stage in life when they have to make decisions between education, work and family. I feel that the opportunities and restrictions on young women at this stage is a huge indicator of the society they live in.

My interest in this subject began while I was working as a freelance photographer in India. Originally I hadn’t wanted to work on stories about women, but as I travelled the country on other assignments, I continually found myself coming into contact with women trodden down by the society around them. Continue reading Olivia Arthur: The Middle Distance

Alice Smeets: Growing Up in Haiti

Alice Smeets (Belgium): Growing Up in Haiti
Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2008

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In 1804 Haiti drew attention by becoming the first black republic to declare independence, while today it attracts attention for its struggles with poverty and corruption. Even though in the past Haiti’s individualism symbolized the ambitions of the world’s enslaved people, they made no effort to inspire or to help other slave rebellions because of the fear that the great powers could retaliate against them. For the sake of national survival, nonintervention became a Haitian tenet. As a result it is nowadays the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and has witnessed many corrupt leaders as well as substantial exploitation by foreign governments, especially by the United States and France. The country has always been considered as a place where anyone enriches himself of the backs of the poor, whilst major powers supported dictators to maintain their dominance in order to continue exploiting the country. It is the archetypal example of a system that sees the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

It is perhaps no surprise that Haiti has been ranked as the most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International in 2006. The nation has lost faith in their leaders. Continue reading Alice Smeets: Growing Up in Haiti

Rena Effendi: Pipe Dreams

Rena Effendi (Azerbaijan): Pipe Dreams, A Chronicle of Lives Along the Pipeline in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey
Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2007

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Pipe Dreams evolved from a long-term documentary project documenting my country’s post-Soviet turmoil in which I saw how corruption, poverty, and war were all related to and fed by oil and gas. Over the past two years the story has developed into a chronicle extending across three countries, through five active conflict zones, and links governments, oil corporations, and the citizens of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey in an experiment not only in engineering, but manipulation of human lives.

Refugees, unemployment, ethnic and religious friction, corruption, poverty – this is the reality which surrounds the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Stretching more than 1,700 kilometres, its complex route was determined by delicate maneuvering through a minefield of unresolved conflicts and competing geopolitical agendas. Continue reading Rena Effendi: Pipe Dreams

Newsha Tavakolian: Iran, Girl Power!

Newsha Tavakolian (Iran): Iran, Girl Power!
Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2007

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Photojournalist. A self-taught photographer, Newsha began working as professional photographer in Iranian press at age 16. She started with the women’s daily newspaper Zan, and she later worked with nine reformist dailies, all since banned. She began working internationally, covering Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, Yemen, Azerbaijan , India. Her works have been published in Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Der Speigel, Le Monde 2, and NRC Handelsblad and many others. Her photo essays include, The Day I Became a Woman, Mothers of Martyrs, War Pilgrims, Girl Power, and the Pakistani earthquake, as well as other work in Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia Yemen, Lebanon. She is particularly known for her attention to women’s issues. Represented by Polaris Images photo agency, New York. She was founding member of EVE (Evephotographers) with five other women photojournalists.

Jessica Dimmock: The Ninth Floor

Jessica Dimmock (USA): The Ninth Floor
Inge Morath Award Recipient, 2006

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The Ninth Floor documents a group of heroin users that were living in the apartment of a former millionaire turned heroin user, Joe Smith, 63, in the flatiron district of Manhattan. Joe, the lease holder of the apartment, had allowed one of his young tricks to take a spare bedroom in his 3 bedroom apartment several years ago.

By the time that I met them in the fall of 2004, nearly 15 people were living in the apartment at a time – Joe had given up his bedroom and stayed on a dirty sofa in the living room opting to take a teaspoon of methadone, a daily bag of dope, a beer or several cigarettes in exchange for rent. Electrical cords snaked through dark hallways to fill each room with the light of one lone bulb, bookshelves and tables had been stripped of all potentially valuable items to be sold on the street to get money to feed habits, the dead cat found in the bathroom took more than 2 weeks to remove, and the people moved through the halls, past each other, wearing their addictions like chipping armor while their personalities and character remained further and further unearthed and unfed. Continue reading Jessica Dimmock: The Ninth Floor

Dana Romanoff: Wife of the God

Dana Romanoff (USA): Wife of the God
Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2006

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“Wife of God” is about a controversial practice of African traditional religion, known as Trokosi, amongst the Ewe people in Ghana, Togo, and Benin. Ewe families suffering misfortunes bring females to shrines to reconcile with a god who is angry because of a crime committed by an ancestor. The females, often young virgins, live at the shrine and “marry” the deity to atone for the crime and appease the angry god. The women and girls are called fiashidi, which in the Ewe language means “wife of god.” Christian based organizations, internationally and in Ghana, say the fiashidi are slaves. Continue reading Dana Romanoff: Wife of the God