Finalists were announced today in the 2020 Alexia Grant competition for student and professional visual journalists. This is the 30th year for the competition.
“Each project is a testament to the power of visual storytelling,” says Mike Davis, director of The Alexia at the Newhouse School, which administers the grants. “It is an honor to have had the opportunity to review such outstanding work.”
Winners and runners-up will be announced Nov. 17.
Finalists for the professional grant are:
Lys Arango, Spain, “Until the corn grows back”
Laura Boushnak, Bosnia Herzegovina, “Bosnia’s unfinished journey”
Anna Boyiazis, U.S., “Finding Freedom in the Water”
Amber Bracken, Canada, “Generations”
Scott Brennan, Mexico, “Indigenous Autonomy and Resistance in México”
Ben Cleeton, U.S., “The Town”
Chris Donovan, Canada, “The Cloud Factory”
Israel Fuguemann, Mexico, “Letters from a Distance”
Antonio Faccilongo, Italy, “Habibi”
Fabiola Ferrero, Venezuela, “I Can’t Hear the Birds”
Kiana Hayeri, Afghanistan, “The Fruits and The Gardens Are Inside The Heart”
Gabby Jones, U.S., “Roommates”
Isadora Kosofsky, U.S., “Permanent and Known”
Matjaž Krivic, Slovenia, “Coming Clean”
Jon Lowenstein, U.S., “The Advocate” (feature documentary film)
Catalina Martin-Chico, France, “On the edge of the jungle”
Fred Ramos, El Salvador, “The Dark Triangle”
Nicoló Filippo Rosso, Colombia, “Exodus”
Farshid Tighehsaz, Iran, “The new name of death”
Cornell Watson, U.S., “Behind the Mask”
Finalists for the student grant are:
Shirin Abedi, University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hannover, Germany, “Invisible Students”
Michele Abercrombie, Syracuse University, U.S., “we live(d) in our heads”
Sumi Anjuman, Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Bangladesh, “Somewhere Else Than Here”
Michael Blackshire, Ohio University, U.S., “Down in the Delta”
Hadley Chittum, George Washington University, U.S., “Sean and Lashonia”
Leonidas Enetanya, Photographic Center Northwest, U.S., “The Monét Archives”
Rebecca A. Fudala, International Center of Photography, U.S., “After Incarceration”
Zilan Imşik, Istanbul University, Turkey, “Where Is Home”
Louise Johns, University of Montana, U.S., “A New Kind of Tough: Ranch Culture Transforms in the American West”
Stephan Lucka, University of Applied Sciences Dortmund, Germany, “Something only we know”
Fayzul Mowla, VOHH Photography Institute, Bangladesh, “Climate Survival Island Kutubdia”
Fawaz Oyedeji, University of Lagos, Nigeria, “Yours In Arms”
Md. Masood Sarwer, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India, “Unintended Consequences”
Farhana Satu, Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Bangladesh, “Leukemia Fighters”
Subhrajit Sen, Counter Foto- A Centre for Visual Arts, Dhaka, India, “Death Valley”
Faiham Ebna Sharif, Uppsala University, Bangladesh, “Cha Chakra: Tea Tales of Bangladesh”
Maranie Staab, Syracuse University, U.S., “This is America: In defense of democracy, 2020”
Mouneb Taim, Self-Taught, Syria, “War Notes”
Fuxuan Xin, International Center of Photography, U.S., “Eight Out of Ten”
Ashima Yadava, International Center of Photography, U.S., “Front Yard”
“We are at a unique juncture of events globally, and this year’s finalist selections reflect a deep experiential connection with and understanding of these matters of great importance,” says Davis. “This group of finalists also includes a great range of story forms, an expansion of our profession’s visual vocabulary to be able to more broadly address and talk about the issues of today.
“Expanding the range of voices and forms of expression is essential to sustaining the profession, with the outcome of connecting with ever more diverse and abundant audiences, which is also at the heart of The Alexia’s mission.”
The professional grant competition drew 250 entries from 38 countries, while the student grant competition garnered 76 entries from 23 countries. The winner of the professional grant will receive $20,000 in funding. Student grant recipients receive a fellowship for tuition and fees to enroll in three courses during a semester at the Newhouse School. They also receive a $1,000 stipend and serve as the research assistant to The Alexia director, a paid position.
Prejudging was conducted by a panel of 10 industry leaders, including Zun Lee, Lauren Steel, Elizabeth Krist, Sandra Stevenson, Aidan Sullivan, Eileen Mignoni, James Dooley, Ed Kashi, Mike Davis and Yue Ren.
Judges were Noelle Flores Théard, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn and Joshua Rashaad McFadden.
The Alexia began as the Alexia Foundation, created with the mission to promote the power of photojournalism to give voice to social injustice, and to support photographers as agents for change. It was established in 1991 by Peter and Aphrodite Tsairis in memory of their daughter, who was a photography student at Newhouse when she was killed in the bombing of Pan Am 103 in 1988. Since its founding, the Alexia Grant program has awarded more than $1.7 million to 166 photographers.
The Alexia Foundation became part of the Newhouse School and was renamed The Alexia earlier this year.