justin maxon – heaven’s gain

Emerging Photographer Fund – 2014 Finalist

 

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EPF 2014 – finalist

Justin Maxon

Heaven’s Gain

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July 5th, 2013. ‘Hey Bro, well its 7 months today since you was taken away from us… I know you don’t want to see us down & heart broken. It is going to get harder b4 it get easy but we trying.’
Since the murder of her twin brother on December 5, 2012, Elena Jo McElwee, writes to him on the 5th day of every month. She fills the blank space on her bedroom walls with notes to her brother. She must maintain this connection with him. She must never forget.
In Chester, PA, families are seeking justice and yearning for ways to heal. With 300 unsolved murders in the last two decades, Chester is known as a place where you can get away with murder. The City is a microcosm of the structural and racial inequalities that pervade American society. Donald Newton, activist and lifetime resident, observed “Night now in Chester is night now in many places? night now in Philadelphia, in Camden and every other place you can think of…
Over the last 3 years, I’ve collected stories of families where justice was not served after the murder of a loved one. This project is a deep investigation into the emotional, physical and spiritual landscape that transpires from unresolved trauma. The photographic representation is a series of family portraits of people seeking justice, which are paired with an image from the murder scene captured around the time of day the crime was committed. Imperatively, to give the families’ a vehicle in their own depiction, I’ve collected ephemeral material (letters, love songs, drawings, diary entries and other objects), which is interwoven into the presentation.
My ultimate assumption of this work will be to forge pathways towards justice, healing and restitution by serving as an archeological index for investigating, [dis]assembling and [re]framing each murder as a living memory that simultaneously traverses and molds the landscape, psyche and soma of Chester.

 

Bio

Justin was born in a small town in the woods of northern California. His work reveals variables of truth in humanity’s conflicted existence.

He has received numerous awards for his photography, from competitions like World Press Photo, UNICEF Images of the Year, and American Photo. He won the Deeper Perspective Photographer of the Year at the 2008 Lucie Awards; the same year he was named one of PDN’s 30 Photographers to Watch. He was selected to participate in World Press Photo’s 2010 Joop Swart Masterclass. He received the 2011 Cliff Edom ‘New America Award’ from NPPA. He was also selected as one of Magenta’s 2012 Flash Forward Emerging Photographers. In addition, he has received grants from the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, FotoVisura, the Alexia Foundation for World Peace, and the Aaron Siskind Foundation. Most recently, he was selected by Blue Earth Alliance for their fiscal sponsorship.

 

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Justin Maxon

 

 

 

 

 

kiana hayeri – jense degar (the other sex)

Emerging Photographer Fund

Honorable Mention – under 30 EPF 2014 Talent

 

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Honorable Mention – under 30 EPF talent

Kiana Hayeri

“Jense Degar” (The Other Sex)

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Under Islamic laws, homosexuality is not recognized and is considered to be a sin. Contrary to what is often reported in the media about the Iranian government stand, the LGBT community in Iran live without harassment, threat or persecution. It is mainly the cultural taboos that forces them to remain closed and mainly underground.

Amir is 19 year old. He is a bold Iranian homosexual. He has been accepted and supported by his family and has survived in a society where his existence as a homosexual is denied. In April 2013, Amir, just a term away from finishing his degree in fashion design, leaves to seek asylum and becomes a refugee. In Turkey, he joins his ex-partner, where the couple share a two bedroom apartment with other members of their community in Denizli. Seeking a better future, over the next year, Amir’s close friends join him in Turkey. Few last through the hardship of the process and a few choose to return to Iran and live in comfort with their families and close friends.

Jense Degar is an ongoing documentation of those who identify with and explore ‘the other sex’ in Iran, a country where on principles and culture, their sexuality is not accepted by the majority, making it difficult to obtain a job or maintain a normal life. Jense Degar looks at the transformation, sexual exploration and the journey of these young men in both Iran and as refugees in the neighbouring country, Turkey.

 

Bio

Kiana was born in Iran in 1988. Moving to Canada while she was still a teenager, photography soon became her preferred way to bridge the communication gap faced in a new country with a new language and culture. Half way through her last year of university, Kiana put her life in a backpack and in search of her ‘home,’ started a nomad life. With a keen interest in documentary projects, she aims to use her camera to tell stories, with a social message. She is presently pursuing projects that illuminate her cultural background. Focusing on young women, Kiana continues to document challenges Iranian people face, both in Iran and abroad.

 

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birte kaufmann – the travellers – ireland`s biggest minority group

Emerging Photographer Fund – 2014 Runner Up

 

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Birte Kaufmann

The Travellers – Ireland`s Biggest Minority Group

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My ongoing photography project “The Travellers”, gives insight into the everyday life of Ireland’s largest minority group. This group has a nomadic origin, stemming from the tradition of migrant workers. As this tradition no longer exists, the travellers are looking for a new identity within the Western European society of the 21st century. Both the travellers’ traditions and their way of life are so different that they are met with little acceptance by the rest of the Irish society. The travellers live in a kind of parallel world with rules all of its own and traditional gender roles, a world to which outsiders have little access.
To this day, some traveller families live by the roadside illegally – mostly without electricity, running water or sanitation, even though the government has provided halting sites for the travellers where they can stay with their caravans.
In the summer of 2011, I travelled the first time to Ireland with a VW bus in order to photograph the travellers. I wanted to capture the travellers’ way of life and their values in pictures. In doing so, I did not want to romanticize them, but rather show their everyday life. A life where people still hunt rabbits and where horses play a vital role. But it is also a life that contains hardship and boredom from an early age.
Since my first encounter with the travellers, I have been in touch with one large family. Over time, I have gained their trust. Consequently, I was allowed to live with them so that I and my camera became part of their daily lives.

 

Bio

Birte Kaufmann is born 1981 in Germany. She lives and works as a freelance photographer in Berlin/ Germany.
She focuses on photojournalism and documentary photography related to social and society relevant issues.
From 2009 to 2012 she studied photography at Ostkreuzschule fur Fotografie und Gestaltung in Berlin/ Germany. Graduation October 2012.
From 2003 to 2006 she studied socialwork with the focus on media pedagogics at Fachhochschule Cologne/ Germany. Gratuation August 2006.
So far her work were shown in several solo and group shows and festivals in Germany and around the world.
She won several awards like the CNN Journalist Award 2014 in the category Photo or the PDN annual 2013 and recieved in 2012  the VG Bildkunst artist`s grant and in 2013 the Wuestenrot documentary photography sponsorship award.

 

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alessandro penso – Lost Generation : this is the story of young, unaccompanied migrants in greece

Emerging Photographer Fund – 2014 Winner

 

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EPF 2014 winner

Alessandro Penso

Lost Generation : This is the Story of Young, Unaccompanied Migrants in Greece

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Hundreds, thousands, hidden in the abandoned industrial areas that surround the port of Patras or in the old disused train station in the centre of Corinth.
I found them in the “urban holes” that dot the landscape of an Athens wounded by the crisis. They are the kids I followed for this project, some of whom are very young. After desperate journeys, they arrive from the wars which have tormented their countries in recent years. But war, for them, was only the beginning of the tragedy.
Those who come from the Middle East and Central Asia are trying to reach Europe, the land I am lucky enough to call home, through its eastern door, Greece. They then get stuck there, amidst increasingly harsh security checks and racism which tragically often degenerates into neo-Nazi violence. For many, there is the hope of being able to rebuild the sort of life that would be impossible in their countries.
The young Afghans I met are mainly fleeing the forced militarization practiced by the Taliban in Afghanistan, subsequent to the war that affected the country in 2001. For many others who are fleeing a scorching North Africa in revolt, the hope is to have recognized the rights denied by the radicalization of the violence in their country of origin. Persecution for religious and ethnic reasons, or due to political opinion, could allow them to obtain refugee status in other European Union countries, but certainly not in Greece.
For this reason, they are forced to hide, because having a Greek police record would mean the end of the dream of safe reception in Europe. I learned that this is set out by the Dublin Regulation, the EU law with responsibility for granting asylum. According to the regulation, the country where a person is first identified is the country that has the duty and right to decide whether to grant refugee status or not, irrespective of where the application for asylum is made.

 

Bio

Alessandro Penso studied clinical psychology at Rome’s La Sapienza University. In 2007, he received a scholarship to study photojournalism at the “Scuola Romana di Fotografia”. Since completing his studies, his work has won several awards, including the PDN Photo Student Award, the PDN Photo Annual Award, Px3, the Project Launch Award in Santa Fe 2011, and the Terry O’ Neill TAG Award 2012, Sofa Global Award 2013, 1st General News of World press Photo and Magnum Foundation Emergency Found. Alessandro is deeply committed to social issues, and in recent years he has been focusing on the issue of immigration in the Mediterranean. Mediterranean countries are providing an outlet for the phenomena of cultural closure, xenophobia and violence, which represent, for migrants, an insurmountable obstacle to their enjoyment of even the most basic human rights.

 

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Alessandro Penso

 

 

 

EPF 2014 – the winners

 

 

 

 

EPF 2014 WINNERS

 

Alessandro Penso, winner – $10,000

Birte Kaufmann, runner-up – $3,000

Kiana Hayeri, honorable mention

 

 

EPF 2014 FINALISTS

 

(in alphabetical order – out of a total of 1135 entries)
Laia Abril
Dominic Bracco II
Max Cabello Orcasitas
Marco Casino
Alejandro Cegarra
Stephen Dock
Ditte Haarlov Johnsen
Meeri Koutaniemi
Justin Maxon
Annalisa Natali Murri
Jordi Pizarro
Valerio Polici

 

 

The full essays of the winners and finalists will be published here on BURN over the next few days and weeks,
as well as the list of the shortlisted selection. Stay tuned!

 

 

EPF 2014 JUDGES

 

(in alphabetical order)

Mauro Bedoni | Photo Editor, COLORS Magazine

Jim Estrin | Editor, New York Times LENS blog

Donna Ferrato | Photographer

Erik Vroons | Editor-in-Chief, GUP Magazine

 

 

Judge’s statement:

 

The amount of excellent work that we viewed made this an extremely difficult judging process.
Many entrants were worthy of recognition, but our job was to pick only a few.

Alessandro Penso brought new insight, and a sense of intimacy, to an important topic.
His story goes beyond what others have done on migration. The well composed images
reflect his commitment and the time that he has put into the story.

Birte Kaufmann gives us a look into the daily life of The Travelers,
an indigenous Irish nomadic group. The images are lyrical, yet also direct.
Her vision is pure and tender.  We hope this beautiful body of work will be developed further.

Kiana Hayeri was born in Iran but went to high school and college in Canada.
Her work has focused on  Iranians both in her home country and her adopted one.
She goes well past the stereotypical representations of Iran and brings us both an insider and outsider perspective.

 

 

Previous EPF Winners

 

The 2008 Emerging Photographer Fund grant was awarded to
Sean Gallagher for his essay on the environmental Desertification of China.

The 2009 Emerging Photographer Fund grant was awarded to
Alejandro Chaskielberg for his 8×10 format essay on the Parana River Delta ‘The High Tide’.

The 2010 Emerging Photographer Fund grant was awarded to
Davide Monteleone for his essay ‘Northern Caucasus’.

The 2011 Emerging Photographer Fund grant was awarded to
Irina Werning for her essay ‘Back to the Future’.

In 2012 three Emerging Photographer Fund grants were awarded:
one major to Matt Lutton for his essay ‘Only Unity’ and
two minors to Giovanni Cocco for his essay ‘Monia’ and to Simona Ghizzoni for her essay ‘Afterdark’.

In 2013 four Emerging Photographer Fund grants were awarded:
one major to Diana Markosian for her essay ‘My Father The Stranger’ and
three minors to: Iveta Vaivode for her essay ‘Somewhere on Disappearing Path’,
Oksana Yushko for her essay ‘Balklava: The Lost History’ and
Maciej Pisuk for his essay ‘Under The Skin; Photographs From Brzeska Street’.

 

 

Editor’s note:

 

I cannot express my thanks enough to Donna, Jim, Erik and Mauro.
This very fine EPF jury worked collectively so hard and so thoroughly to finely tune their choices…
They thought this through very carefully from every angle to award this grant to the photographers most deserving.
Of course once it gets down to the finalists, the choices become extremely difficult. This is where they really went to work.
Lots of back and forth discussion and yet consensus reached.

 

Burn Magazine revolves around the EPF. Our most important curatorial contribution
to the oftentimes chaotic landscape of photography today. By choosing a jury whose lifetimes have been spent in looking
at photographs and making photographs, we try to give our Burn readers a distilled version of the best work of all that
flows before their eyes everyday.

 

Most importantly our mission is to give recognition to the finest emerging authors out there and to provide some funding to at least
a few to keep going and to continue making a mark. Our previous winners prove this is not in vain.

 

Many thanks especially to my EPF Burn team of Anton Kusters, Diego Orlando, and Kaya Berne.
First off , they must deal with me!! Never easy. In all seriousness, they all show amazing dedication to the spirit of
doing something which just feels good. To provide a platform for the up and coming.

 

Special thanks to Susan Meiselas of the Magnum Foundation. Nobody on the planet is more dedicated to allowing new talent to develop.

 

-dah-


The Emerging Photographer Fund was created and is directed by David Alan Harvey,
and curated by Anton Kusters & Diego Orlando, with Kaya Lee Berne.