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Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2021 Winners Announced

Sustainability and global food security are topics addressed in a documentary work which has been awarded the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2021.

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Marcela Quintana is an undergraduate student doing her thesis on cedar research at the National Department of Plant Genetic Resources (DENAREF). Quito, Ecuador, 16 September 2020.

Marcela Quintana is an undergraduate student doing her thesis on cedar research at the National Department of Plant Genetic Resources (DENAREF). Quito, Ecuador, 16 September 2020.

 

Photographer Isadora Romero has been awarded the prestigious title of 'Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2021' overall winner, receiving a prize of £2000 for her project 'Muyu Lab', a documentary series about the conservation of agrobiodiversity in Ecuador from a scientific and ancestral perspective and the positive impact for the environment and future generations.

Isadora Romero is an Ecuadorian freelance visual storyteller based in Quito. Her work focuses on human identities, gender, and environmental issues and has been exhibited in Europe and the Americas. She has previously been recognised by Magnum for her social justice photography. She is the co-founder of Ruda Colectiva, a women’s and non-binary Latin American photography collective and she is the leader of the Women’s Photography Chapter in Quito.

The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award of £2000, facilitated by FotoDocument and generously supported by Nikon UK, is granted annually to a professional woman photographer towards the completion of a compelling and cohesive documentary photo essay, which addresses an important social, environmental, economic or cultural issue, whether local or global that has a focus on positive solutions.

Isadora Romero said: "I am very excited to receive this recognition, honouring a long history of courageous and pioneering women journalists and storytellers. It motivates me to continue to tell this story from the communities that fight against the loss of diversity and it allows me to give visibility to an issue that has been under-reported in the visual arts but that is urgent - not only because of what it means for our local communities but also for the future of humanity and the environment."

Submissions were reviewed by an international panel including Andrea Bruce - award-winning photojournalist, co-owner NOOR photo agency, Nikon ambassador; Donna De Cesare - award-winning photojournalist, associate professor University of Texas; Nina Emett - award-winning founding director FotoDocument, documentary photographer; Melanie Friend - documentary photographer; Neo Ntsoma award-winning photojournalist, founder Neo Ntsoma Productions; Marilyn Stafford and her daughter, honorary judge, Lina Clerke.

Palette of antothypes (ecophotography) made with the juice of the products that are harvested in the community of Camuendo Chico, Imbabura- Ecuador.

Palette of antothypes (ecophotography) made with the juice of the products that are harvested in the community of Camuendo Chico, Imbabura- Ecuador.

 

One Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2021 runner up will receive £500 and this has been awarded to Stefanie Silber for her photo essay ‘Loud Silence’, a collaborative work about families living with stillbirth. Silber’s work isn’t just about death - it is also about life, which is particularly perceptible at the edge of death. It is her intention that all families who participate in the work will benefit through supported grief work.

Stefanie Silber said: "I feel so much joy to be the runner up of the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2021. I can’t believe I have been selected out of the remarkable group of photographers and projects on the shortlist. I have great hope that this award will open doors to families, communities and funders to realise my dream of a touring exhibition."

The works considered for the prize must showcase positive solutions to any issues it raises in order to contribute to constructive photojournalism, in line with the wishes of Marilyn Stafford and the aims of FotoDocument. The Award is reserved solely for documentary photographers working on projects which are intended to make the world a better place and which may be unreported or under-reported.

Marilyn Stafford said: "It is with great pleasure that we announce the winners and honourable mentions for 2021. It never ceases to amaze me how these fantastic women pursue such important stories, especially with so many challenges to overcome in the current circumstances. Both the winner and runner up are focussing on issues that are globally important and yet they are under-reported so my heart-felt congratulations go to them both and to each of the honourable mentions. My sincere thanks also go to FotoDocument for facilitating this award and to Nikon for supporting it so generously."

Amy Walsh, PR & Social Media Manager, Nikon Northern Europe added: "Nikon feels incredibly privileged to support the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award for a third consecutive year. The submissions this year were world-class - we were truly blown away by the calibre of the work and the poignancy of the projects. Congratulations to Isadora Romero on a striking photo essay that draws attention to the positive ramifications of agrobiodiversity in Ecuador, and to our runner up and honourable mentions who are all drawing light on incredibly moving global issues and the solutions people the world over are implementing to create positive change."

 

Mama Josefina Lema leads a ritual of Kuya Raymi and Tarapuy Pacharaymi. Ancestral festival that celebrates Mother Earth at the beginning of the fertility season. This is a very important celebration in the agricultural calendar because it marks the beginning of sowing and is also a tribute to femininity. In the community of Camuendo Chico in Imbabura-Ecuador. Josefina is a seed guardian and a medicine woman. She uses the variety of seeds to prepare treatments for her patients.

Mama Josefina Lema leads a ritual of Kuya Raymi and Tarapuy Pacharaymi. Ancestral festival that celebrates Mother Earth at the beginning of the fertility season. This is a very important celebration in the agricultural calendar because it marks the beginning of sowing and is also a tribute to femininity. In the community of Camuendo Chico in Imbabura-Ecuador. Josefina is a seed guardian and a medicine woman. She uses a variety of seeds to prepare treatments for her patients. "Seeds are health, the more colours and varieties, the more diseases we can cure"

 

Nina Emett, founding Director of FotoDocument said: "It takes huge amounts of courage, tenacity, passion, compassion and talent to realise a long-form documentary photography project. This award recognises the women who go to extraordinary lengths to create their final work in order to tell such important and under-reported stories with a focus on positive impact. It has been a great pleasure to review the entries again this year and to be able to honour these remarkable women. We are very grateful to be able to facilitate this award in honour of Marilyn Stafford and for the support of Nikon who believe in the vision."

The final work by both winner and runner up will feature on the FotoDocument website in the coming weeks and will be published via social media @fotodocument and @nikoneurope and a series of works by those with honourable mentions will also be published on these digital platforms.

Women from any stage of their careers can apply for the Award, whether emerging, mid-career or established. They must have completed at least one full documentary photo essay to demonstrate track record. Entries are always free and this year we received submissions from across the globe, including Armenia, Columbia, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

From the shortlist Honorable Mentions have been awarded to:

  • Danielle Villasana for her project 'Abre Camino' on the issues facing transmigrants in Central America and their search for safety in Mexico and the US
  • Silvia Landi for her project 'Globesity' on how the global obesity crisis impacts the poorest communities of the world and steps to overcome it
  • Rehab Eldalil for her project 'The Longing of the Stranger whose Path has been Broken' about the Bedouin community in Egypt and their search for belonging and connection to the land
  • Viviana Peretti for her extensive project 'Under the Veil' paying tribute to the 'disappeared' of Colombia
  • Hannah Jarzabek 'No Applause for Domestic Workers' on the working conditions and lives of domestic workers in Spain

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