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Emerging Photographer Fund

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Few times a year I am collaborating with Kunterbunt, a travel agency for mentally and/or physically disabled people.
Situated in southern Germany it offers around 60 trips a year of various kind and destinations while strongly focusing on a respectful and easy approach towards the individual. Based on this philosophy the disabled people are allowed to find themselves in the very rare occasion where usual structures, borders and roles defining their everyday life no longer exist. Whether they are able do it consciously or not, for a while they can experience a freedom and room for self-expression that every person is deeply longing for.
Being on the road and documenting their time is a unique opportunity to gain insight into a world unknown to most of us. It is easy to fill a book with the countless experiences of every trip but what remains so special for me is the real honesty I had been confronted with. So refreshingly different from ‘our’ life the disabled don’t or better mostly don’t wear masks, they simply are themselves. Their inner child can be very inspiring and reminding us of our own one.

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Christianity is on the edge of extinction in its birthplace, the Middle East.
Escaping sectarian violence, kidnappings, religious fatwas, economic hardship and severe persecution, the oldest Christian communities in the world are leaving the region.
Nowadays there are more Iraqi, Turkish and Palestinian Christians living in the Diaspora in Europe, the US or South America than in their native countries, while the current events in Egypt and Syria indicate a similar fate for its Christian population.

With the current speed of this Christian Exodus continuing, out of 12 million Christians in the middle East only 6 million will be left in the year 2020. It’s a real probability that within one generation Christianity, as a live religion and culture, will have vanished from the Middle East. I want to document this vanishing people and culture and record a historic process with severe political, economic and cultural consequences for the Middle East.

Christians have always been part of the intellectual and economic elite of Middle Eastern societies and their migration leads to a brain-drain, sided with the withdrew of financial assets and, equally important, cultural and intellectual force. This lack of resources will only accelerate the problems Middle East as a whole is facing and fuel the vicious circle of poverty, ill-education and extremist violence in the Region.

Working on the project since early 2011, I have repeatedly been to Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Israel, Gaza and Palestine. During this time I established a network of different NGOs, local churches and individuals that have helped me setting up contacts and logistics needed for this project.
To complete the project, thus to further depict the complexity of the phenomenon and to deepen its understanding, I will need to visit the Christian communities in the remaining countries of the Levant: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria.

 

Bio

Andy Spyra, born 1984 in Germany, is a freelance photographer currently based in Germany. He worked one year as a staff photographer for the local newspaper in his hometown before he became a freelance photographer. He’s working on assignments and personal longtermprojects in the Balkans and more recently in the middle East.

His Projects include a documentation of the ongoing conflict in Kashmir as well a four year long visual engagement with the aftermath of the genocide in Bosnia. Since 2011 he’s been working on a longtermproject about the christian exodus from the Middle East.

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burn magazine

Emerging Photographer Fund – 2013 Recipient

 

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EPF 2013 Runner-up

Maciej Pisuk

Under the Skin. Photographs from Brzeska Street

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The inhabitants of Warsaw consider Brzeska Street, the very core of North Praga, the most neglected and dangerous district in the city (in my opinion the greatest local problem is stigmatization of the people living in the area). I would like to present you portraits of the street’s residents, my neighbors, acquaintances, friends, people among whom I lived for so many years. The pictures taken in this place constitute the vast majority of my photographic work so far.
I only photograph people who I stay in close touch with. The pictures are a result of the long process where the release of the shutter is essentially an element of little meaning.

The protagonists of my photographs possess something unusual: they have faces. I could risk and state that today almost nobody shows their face and there are only a few people who still have them. The face disappears under layers of masks, which are adjusted to the roles that we are forced to play. We change our masks as easily as we change our identities. In public, we only present the image that we shape according to our needs. Our contacts stop being direct. Sometimes we communicate with each other but we are not able to encounter. I like thinking of my pictures as testimonies of the encounters and I count on them to convey a particle of the experience I took part in.

Bio

A graduate of the screenwriting course at the State Academy of Film, TV and Theatre in Lodz. Works as a screenwriter. The winner of prizes and awards on Polish and international photography competitions, among others: 2nd Prize at BZ WBK Press Foto 2006 (category: society), 1st Prize at ‘Warsaw Autumn of Photography’ 2007, 1st prize in the category of Photojournalism Non-Pro-People/Personality at PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris 2008 Photo Competition, 2nd prize at BZ WBK Press Foto 2010 (category: portrait), Stockholm Photography Week 2012 – The prize for the best portfolio.
For a few years he has been working on a photographical documentary project concerning the inhabitants of the area of Praga in Warsaw.

 

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Maciej Pisuk

 

 

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Emerging Photographer Fund – 2013 Recipient

 

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Oksana Yushko

Balaklava: The Lost History

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This project is a part of my exploration of people’s mind who were born in the USSR.

Changing people’s mind is the most difficult thing. The Soviet Union hasn’t existed for 20 years but the shadow of it lies everywhere. Things have changed but people’s minds and attitudes have not.

I made my way to Balaklava, a small town by the sea in the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine. During the Soviet era, it was a city that didn’t exist to the outside world. The town closed to the public for more than 30 years due to the submarine base that was situated there.

Almost the entire population of Balaklava worked at the base and even their family members could not visit the town without a good reason or proper identification. It was a closed society, an ambitious, privileged caste, a major league, a private club with limited membership. Officers were well paid, enjoyed special apartments and were given other privileges. It used to be like this.

After the collapse of the USSR in 1992, the Soviet army was automatically transferred to Russia’s control. It was only in 1997 that the ships and equipment of the Black Sea Fleet were officially divided between the two countries Russia and Ukraine. The process of fleet division remains painful since many aspects of the two navies co-existence are under-regulated, causing recurring conflicts.

The system collapse turned the once privileged Soviet officers into unwanted people.
Crossing the streets of Balaklava, I saw traces of this not only in the town but also on people’s faces. They still live in the past. Their attitude to the present situation is complicated, but most of them don’t want to look forward to the future.

Bio

Oksana Yushko is a freelance photographer based in Moscow. She started working as a professional journalist in 2006 and currently focuses on personal projects in Russia, Chechnya, Ukraine and other post-Soviet countries. Yushko was a selected participant of the 2011 Noor-Nikon Masterclass in Documentary Photography in Bucharest, Romania, and a finalist of the 2010 Conscientious Portfolio Competition. She was also finalist of the 2013 Chiang Mai Documentary Arts Festival, the Grand Prize Winner of Lens Culture International Exposure Awards 2011, a finalist of the Aftermath Project 2010 and a 2011 finalist of the Manuel-Riveira Oritz Foundation. Yushko’s work has been exhibited in galleries in Russia, Finland, UK, USA, and France and her work has been published by media across the world.

 

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Oksana Yushko

 

 

 

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burn magazine

Emerging Photographer Fund – 2013 Recipient

 

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EPF 2013 Runner-up

Iveta Vaivode

Somewhere on Disappearing Path

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I’ve always been fascinated with family albums. I grew up looking at my parent’s family albums, imagining their lives before me. Trying to reconstruct the memories that I didn’t have, but at the same time living them over and over again in my imagination. Somehow I always felt that the people I saw in these amateur photographs were different from those I saw close to me every day. I felt that photographs, although connected with a certain historical past, worked better as triggers of my own imagination, rather than giving me a specific knowledge of anything else. The ambivalence of the medium of photography, its possibilities and its limitations suggest we should mistrust photography as a record of our lives and histories. Yet there are numerous photographic works that deal with the concept of memory, in which artists become poets rather than historians.

For the last year, I have documented people from a remote village called Pilcene in the Eastern side part of Latvia. My work addresses the idea of looking back as a framing device and a narrative mode. Searching for the last traces of my family in this village, I chase after the people who used to know my grandmother. Through their stories I see the life that has vanished, although most of people still live the way their ancestors used to. In a way, this place has become their lifestyle; one which I feel, is going to disappear soon.

By photographing the life and people of my grandmother’s childhood village I try to recreate the place I never had chance to know. Yet people I met now work as a mirror with a memory helping to reveal the past of my own family.

Bio

I grew up in Riga, Latvia. Having started my photographic career as a fashion photographer, for the past four years I have turned my sight towards more personal projects. In 2008, I received a BA in photography from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth (England). My photographs have been exhibited in Latvia, Lithuania, U.K., France, China and Belgium. I’m also a recipient of the following awards: AOP Student Photographer of the Year (2007); Nikon Discovery Awards (2008) and c/o Berlin Talents (2013).

 

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Iveta Vaivode

 

 

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Emerging Photographer Fund – 2013 Recipient

 

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EPF 2013 WINNER

 Diana Markosian

My Father, The Stranger

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I knocked on the door of a stranger.

I’ve traveled halfway around the world to meet him.

My father.

I was seven years old when I last saw him.

As the Soviet Union collapsed, so did my family.

I remember my father and I dancing together in our tiny apartment in Moscow and him giving me my first doll.

I also remember him leaving.

Sometimes he would be gone for months at a time and then unexpectedly be back.

Until, one day, it was our turn to leave.

My mother woke me up and told me to pack my belongings. She said we were going on a trip. The next day, we arrived at our new home, California.

We hardly ever spoke of my father. I had no pictures of him, and over time, forgot what he looked like.

I often wondered what it would have been like to have a father.

I still do.

This is my attempt to piece together a picture of a familiar stranger.

 

Bio

Diana Markosian is a documentary photographer and writer.

Her reporting has taken her from Russia’s North Caucasus mountains, to the ancient Silk Road in Tajikistan and overland to the remote Wakhan Corridor in northeastern Afghanistan.

Diana’s images have appeared in The New York Times, The Sunday Times, Marie Claire, Foreign Policy, Foto8, Time.com, World Policy Journal, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, amongst others.

Her work has been recognized by a diverse range of organizations including UNICEF, AnthropoGraphia, Ian Parry Scholarship, Marie Claire Int’l, National Press Photography Association, Columbia University and Getty Images. In 2011, Diana’s image of the terrorist mother was awarded photo of the year by Reuters.

She holds a masters from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

 

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Diana Markosian

 

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Emerging Photographer Fund – 2012 Runner up

 

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EPF 2012 Finalist

 

Giovanni Cocco

Monia

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This work is an ongoing project; it started five years ago, in silence. The photographs came first, before any other project, and before the story, which they belong to. They are the result of an experience and the desire to tell it.

Monia is my sister. She is disabled since birth, where she has probably suffered a traumatic brain injury. She lives with our parents in a small town in Abruzzo. My mother takes care of her every day, every hour, always, giving her security and serenity. My family lives in habits, simple gestures and long moments without words or actions. A world away from everything else, solitary, confined, but not empty, where time is made up of moments, a present that does not need to project into the future.

Photographing Monia is an act of knowledge and research. It is a way to understand her, wondering what she thinks and what she wants. From life, from me. Soon it won’t just be the approach through photography, which will bring me to her, to remember the gestures and glances with which she seems to touch and see the world. One day she will be part of my life, she will have to deal with me, every day, with the way I see her and love her. Telling her story and her life is the first step for one to enter the life of the other, with both the joy and the difficulty of the encounter.

With the assistance of the Emerging Photographer Fund I would have more time to spend with her. Time to tell better this story. In the end there will be a book and an exhibition.

 

Bio

Giovanni Cocco was born in Sulmona, Italy, in 1973. After years of photographing his native region, Abruzzo, from an anthropological perspective, the Italian photographer turned his lens to social and environmental reportage, alternating between dripping color and dreamlike tableaux in black and white. For over 5 years he has been working on a long term social project documenting the life of his sister and family. Now his work focuses on migrants in Europe. His work has been published in leading international news magazines. In 2010, he takes part of the VII Mentor Program.

 

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Emerging Photographer Fund – 2012 Runner up

 

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ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT

EPF 2012 Finalist

 

Simona Ghizzoni

Afterdark. Consequences of War on Women in the Gaza Strip.

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I reached the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the first time in 2010, on assignement with a friend journalist, to document the condition of palestinian women in the Gaza Strip. At that time, we had the access to the Gaza Strip denied by the Israeli Government. To me it was a big surprise, so I decided to spend a couple of months in Jerusalem and the West Bank in order to see and understand more of the social and political situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories. That was the beginning of my long-term project about the consequences of war on women’s lives, Afterdark.
A few months later I got the permission to enter the Gaza Strip, where I stayed as a whole around three months, documenting the aftermath of Cast Lead Operation (ended in 2009) and the life of women in the extremely complex contest of the Strip.
Women in Gaza suffer of a double pressure: the isolation from the outside world imposed by Israeli blockade, with all the economical, physical and psychological consequences, and, on the other hand, the worsening of  women’s human rights conditions under Hamas government, heading towards an effective gender separation.
Through the stories of the women I met, I am trying to understand what actually happens when a military operation is declared a success, how is the return to normality of life, and which normality can be actually restored, in order to avoid to forget the real human toll of any war.
The funding of this project would help me return to the Gaza Strip on a regular basis for the next year, since I’m planning to follow up with the stories of five of the women I met on my first trip, all of them suffering both physically and psychologically from the traumas they experienced during the war. It would also allow me to start the production of a short documentary about their everyday lives in Gaza, related to the development of the social and political situation in the Strip.

 

Bio

Simona Ghizzoni was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy, in 1977.
She studied with Giorgia Fiorio in  Reflexions Masterclass and attended the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass.
In 2006  she tied for first prize at the FNAC photo contest, with the work “Scars”, an essay on Sarajevo ten years after the end of the war.
From 2006 to 2010 she worked on the project “Odd Days”, about Eating Disoders.
Awarded with  the 3rd  prize single portrait at World Press Photo 2008 and PHotoEspaña Ojodepez Award for Human Values in 2009.
Since 2010 she began a long term project about the consequences of war on women’s lives, working on  Iraqi refugees in Jordan, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and in Western Sahara, thanks to The Aftermath Project.
With the project “Afterdark”, about the condition of female victims of Cast Lead operation in the Gaza Strip, she was awarded with the 3rd  prize Contemporary Isssues at World Press Photo 2012.

 

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Emerging Photographer Fund – 2012 Recipient

 

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EPF 2012 Finalist

 

Matt Lutton

“Only Unity”: Serbia In The Aftermath of Yugoslavia

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“Only Unity” has emerged from five years of living and working in the Balkans; it is my personal response to the confounding atmosphere of the region. My project presents a psychological portrait of Serbs from across the Balkans as they confront a radically changed landscape within physically contracting borders. Serbia is emerging from the hangover of the 1990s, where atrocities were carried out in their name just across newborn borders, and constructive reflection about the consequences of those years is long over due.

I am photographing details of society that both reflect and undermine the popular Serbian creation myths. Many issues are rooted in the complicated phrase “Only Unity Saves the Serbs” which was popular in the narrative of mass political manipulation during the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the wars that took place in its vacuum. Serbia is still recovering from the post-traumatic stress of those years, leading to a national confusion about their identity and a productive path forward.

There are many elements that contribute to a hostile and sometimes desperate atmosphere in Serbia today. But there too are moments that show healing and a glimpse at a different future than many have seen for themselves in the last decade. The growing pains of this nascent democracy must continue to be carefully documented and explored, as the battles of the 1990s have yet to be finally played out. I’ve experienced alarming apathy and lack of compassion from many youth across the Balkans, and I hope to confront them directly with a different picture of the countries and history they will inherit. I hope my pictures will help bridge local borders, real and imagined.

 

Bio

Matt Lutton (b. 1984) is an American photographer who has been living in Belgrade, Serbia, since 2009. He was raised in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies and Comparative History of Ideas. He is the co-founder of the online photojournalism website Dvafoto, which began in 2005. His project “Homeless in Seattle” was awarded a grant by the Alexia Foundation for World Peace in 2007 and was exhibited at the Seattle City Hall in July 2008. The Anthropographia Award for Human Rights and Photography selected his project “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” about the destruction and relocation of the Roma community living in Belgrade, Serbia, for their 2010 traveling exhibition. His current project about the Serbian emergence from the Milosevic decade and its role in post-war Balkans is titled “Only Unity” and was nominated for the POYi Emerging Vision Incentive in 2010.

 

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John Delaney "Kazakh Golden Eagle Nomads"

We are now officially announcing the Emerging Photographer Fund award for 2012.

We will now award $15,000. as three different grants.  We are trying to spread the love a bit.

Burn will give $10,000. to one photographer,  and two smaller grants of $2500. each . Three awards instead of one.

Each intended to get a photographer going, and with efforts on our part to create more funding to finish an essay  depending on what the photographer produces.

The whole point of these grants is to support emerging photographers in our craft. All types of photographers. This is not a photojournalism grant, nor an art photographers grant, but could be garnered by either or both. We just want to support committed authored photography of any ilk. Please click here  and see who has secured this grant in the past and who our jurors have been.

The deadline for entry will be May 15, 2012. No extensions for any reason.

In 2011 we will have published here on Burn at least 50 of those who enter and feature in advance of the announcement of the recipient at least 20 finalists.

Our Burn finalists can be published in print via Burn 01 and Burn 02  and of course we have already Burn 03 as a limited edition magazine/book in our head.

Apply here.

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