Author Archive for burn magazine

Yael Martinez – La casa que sangra

Yael Martinez

La casa que sangra (The house that bleeds)

It was getting dark when I got the call. Luz, my wife, was telling me that they had killed her brother Beto. She was uncontrollable — I had never heard her speak like that. Her voice was shaking, breaking. I could not sleep all night. “Beto was killed, hanged,” resonated in my head, “he was beaten, burned, but they told us that he committed suicide.” Her other brothers, David and Nacho, had been missing for over 3 months. 

 

 

After these events in 2013, I began to document my family and the families of other missing people as well as fractured communities that are immerse in violence in Mexico; I am trying to create work that represents the connection between absence and presence, and this state of invisibility in a symbolic manner, working with the concepts of pain, emptiness, absence, and forgetting. The symbolic construction of the territory where violence penetrate all and this violence crosses the physical and spiritual space of those who inhabit it. The territory as an analogy to a body / space that can be a house, a person, a family, a community or a country.

 

 

Bio

Martínez is based in Guerrero, Mexico. His work has explored the connections between, poverty, narcotraffic, organized crime, and how this affects the communities in his native Guerrero in southern Mexico. He is trying to represent the relationship of absence and presence and this state of invisibility in a symbolic manner working with the concepts of pain, emptiness, absence, and forgetting.

He received the Magnum Emergency Fund, Magnum On religión, and was named one of the PDN’s 30 new and emerging photographers to watch 2017. In 2015 he was selected in the Joop Joop Swart Master Class Latinoamerica. He was a finalist in the Eugene Smith grant in 2015 and 2016. He was nominated to the Foam Paul Huf Award, the Prix Pictet and the Infinity award of the ICP.

 

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Giorgio Bianchi – Donbass Stories

Giorgio Bianchi

Donbass Stories

Several tens of thousands of dead and wounded, over a million refugees. The civil war in Donbass has literally erased entire cities and villages from the map, staining with blood the soil of the European continent for the first time in the twenty-first century.

These are two chapters – Alina and Blind Pit – of my Donbass Stories,  which came to life with the idea to portray as main characters those invisible actors affected by the civil war in that region.

Alina

Despite power cuts, a shutdown of all businesses, curfews, and nearly daily shelling, residents of the rebel-held city of Donetsk flock to the Opera and Ballet Theater on weekends in search of respite from the reality of life within a battle zone. When war broke out around a third of the theater’s performers fled, including key singers and all four of its conductors. A further setback occurred when a wayward missile destroyed the warehouse where most of the stage sets were stored.

The opera house was forced to close in July 2015 because of heavy clashes, then it recruited new staff and was again operative the following September. Despite the ongoing hostilities and challenging circumstances, audience figures at the 960-seat theater have been impressive since its reopening. In the ground floor cloakroom, camouflage military jackets hang among civilian furs and overcoats.

Alina is a professional dancer from Donetsk and a member of the Donbass Opera and Ballet Theatre chorus. She has been studying at the theatre academy since she was a girl and throughout the entire war period she has continued to dance, convinced that keeping performances alive was one of the few ways to make sure the inhabitants of her city would not think about the horrors of war, if only for a few hours.

The rhythm of Alina’s life follows the timings of the theater: from Tuesday to Friday she has ballet lessons and rehearsals, on Saturday and Sunday the performances; Monday is the only day off the performers have and she goes to visit her maternal grandparents with whom she is very close, or she meets up with her ballet girlfriends to take a walk around town or go to the disco. Even if she doesn’t intend to leave her hometown at the moment, she doesn’t rule out the possibility of moving to Russia in case of an escalation of the war.

 

Blind Pit: The Story of Sasha

Sasha is a sightless 31-year-old miner. He works in one of the many independent (kopanki) mines located around the small town of Torez. Raised with three brothers in a dysfunctional family, Sasha lost his sight when he was 11, because of a very bad accident. 
 
 
After a long cohabitation, he married Evgenija (Genia), who had two children – Valerija (15) and Alexander (11) – from a previous marriage. One year ago their third child, Anja, was born. Due to the conflict, the zootechnical farm where they both worked closed down, leaving all the workers without jobs. Because of the economic crisis resulting from the war, many people from the area were forced to choose between joining the separatist militias and trying to get hired at one of the dozens independent coal mines surrounding the city of Torez.
Nonetheless, Sasha remained unemployed for a long time, because nobody would trust hiring a blind man – least of all mine managers – even if his determination and high productivity were widely known. Then, one day he met a Tartar called Ildar, owner of a kopanko, who offered him a job. Since then, Sasha has gone to the mine every day, at 6:30 a.m., led by his father, a miner as well, and goes back home eight hours later with his wife, or one of his elder children. From his house to the mine it’s a 30-minute walk, through fields and woods.
The mine where Sasha works is a thick net of underground tunnels that are never higher than 4 feet and in some places are less than 1.6 feet. These tunnels run under a small natural pond and go as deep as 300 yards. This means that in many places the mine is flooded, which makes it even harder for Sasha and his colleagues to reach the mineral vein. Sasha can go down the mineshaft as quickly and as nimbly as his colleagues. Despite his disability, he has learned to navigate confidently the underground maze, to avoid obstacles and to dodge dangers posed by the uneven beams of the roof, the puddles of water, the slippery clay and the extraction devices placed along the path. His mental map of the mine is made of a continuous flow of sensations that take him, one orderly step after another, to the mine’s core. Sasha’s task is to pour with a shovel the coal, that’s been broken to pieces with a jackhammer, into steel tanks that will bring it to the surface. Sqeezed in a cavity less than 15 feet high, surrounded by the deafening noise of pneumatic drills, covered with coal powder, and immersed in total darkness, made even deeper by his blindness. Accidents are extremely frequent, as it’s well known despite the fact that there are no available official statistics; in the same fashion, there is no available documentation regarding the disease and mortality incidence – well above national average  – among miners due to poor working conditions. Nonetheless, kopankas remain the only source of income for thousands of families.
According to specialists who have visited him through the years, Sasha’s blindness is reversible and could be cured with a corneal transplant. Recently, Sasha has decided to go for the surgery that could help him regain his sight. He and his wife went to the Fyodorov clinics, in Krasnodar and then in Moscow, to undergo preoperative testing. Unfortunately, his healing process is slow and full of uncertainties because of the high cost of the treatment. Maybe one day, upon exiting the mine, Sasha will be able to smile along with his collegues, on seeing the sunlight again, after eight hours spent in darkness.
With director Federico Schiavi, Bianchi is working to create a documentary from Sasha’s story. In order to maintain maximum independence and freedom of movement, they are running a crowdfunding campaign to raise the necessary funds to develop this work. 

 

Bio

Giorgio Bianchi is an Italian photojournalist, documentarist, writer and filmmaker (Rome in 1973). In his work Giorgio has always paid particular attention to political and anthropological issues, and has undertaken a freelance career to focus on a combination of long-term personal projects and client assignments.  He has covered stories in Syria, Ukraine, Burkina Faso, Vietnam, Myanmar, Nepal, India, and throughout all of Europe.  

Since 2013, he has made several trips to Ukraine, where he followed closely the Ukrainian crisis from the Euromaidan protests until the outbreak of war between the government army and the pro-Russian separatists.  Thanks to his robust archive of footage and pictures about the Donbass conflict he is making a documentary film entitled “Apocalypse Donbass”. In 2016 he started covering the Syrian conflict. 

Giorgio has won several international prizes and has received many public recognitions, and his pictures are regularly published in newspapers and magazines, both paper and online.  His work has been exhibited in many international and national festivals. 

 

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Joel Pulliam – Springtime Nightmare

Joel Pulliam

Springtime Nightmare

 

I moved to Tokyo with my family in 2018. For nearly two years, life was happy. Then, without warning, my young daughter died.

Can art begin to convey a father’s grief?  Over three hundred years ago, the haiku poet Raizan Konishi wrote after the loss of his own child:  

I must be crazy

to not be crazy in this

crazy springtime nightmare

 

 

Springtime nightmare, indeed. Outside, the pandemic widens, and emergency orders quiet the city.  Snow falls out of season, blanketing the cherry blossoms. Human contact fades. The streets near my home, once so familiar, appear alien. I wander them, point my camera, and press the shutter. The only images I seem able to capture are those that reflect my own inner state.  

 

 

Bio

Joel Pulliam was born in the United States in 1974.  He studied history and literature at Harvard College, then law at Harvard Law School.  Until 2018, he worked at the United States Department of the Treasury.  Currently, he lives in Tokyo, where his black-and-white photography of the city has been recognized by publications such as the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and Asahi Camera magazine.  His long-term projects center on various areas of Tokyo that have been neglected by other photographers.

 

Related Links

joelpulliam.com

Daniel Hinks – In Sickness and in Health

Daniel Hinks

In Sickness and in Health

2020 this foul year of our lord. Disease, death and decay now plague the world. Rising nationalism, right-wing popularism, global economic fallout and political dogma are not the only virus to scourge this earth. The pandemic has spread globally, causing mass hysteria between the World Health Organization (WHO) and nations, causing mistrust and resentment. World leaders point fingers throw accusations playing the blame game like giddy little school children, seeming to forget that there is more at stake than a false ego and the pride of a nation.

Lest we forget it is human lives that are being played with, we are living in desperate times. Have we lost our humanity, our compassion, our humility for our fellow beings? After all, it was Confucius that said: “Under the sky’s and heavens we are all but one family”.

China had put a blanket ban on gathering and large ceremonies such as weddings and funerals, during the first months of the pandemic to prevent further spread of the disease. As of March 25th, parts of China eased up on these restrictions. Each province and city govern themselves under a local municipal government, which is tightly monitored and complies with the laws and regulations of the central government. This makes things more manageable for smaller provinces and cities to resume business as usual under the proper measures in comparison to its counterparts across the country like Beijing, Shanghai, Guandong and Sichuan. 

Shandong was one of these provinces that eased up on its restrictions rather quickly, due to its low level of recorded cases of Covid-19. Shandong is 746km away from the outbreak with a documented 788 confirmed cases and only 7 deaths. 

Luckily enough for two traffic officers from ZaoZhuang in Shandong province, a population of 4.18Million people and only 24 reported cases and no deaths. Sun Meng, 27, and his bride to be Xu FeiFei, 31, were worried that their big day might not go ahead as planned. However, as luck has it, the ceremony was able to take place.

 

 

There is an ancient Chinese tradition of selecting a date for the wedding. The use of both persons birth year that corresponds with the animal of that year is used. Along with the time of birth as they align with aspects of Wu Xing the five elements, this brings luck, prosperity and happiness to life and in marriage. It is believed that if you alter the date, it will bring challenges to your life along with pain, sorrow and anguish. 

Sun Meng and Xu Fei Fei, despite their apprehensions, were over the moon to be able to spend their magic moment with their honored guests.

Putting politics and this cold-blooded bummer, which we find ourselves aside and taking a moment to appreciate this beautiful moment between two human beings, for what is a marriage. Love, compassion, tolerance and unity. Everything that makes us human. This wedding serves as a beacon of hope of the future. Shining its light through the darkness at the end of the tunnel.

 

Bio

I am a documentary photographer, visual artist and trouble maker; I am constantly fascinated by the human condition. I take on stories that I truly believe in something that can peak my interest and curiosity, turning that energy outwards into creating work. Looking at the state of the human existence but concentrating on the resilience of the human spirit.

I have a profound belief that the still image has the ability to change people’s minds. Even in today’s modern forever changing fast paced world of now! now! now! and limited concentration spans. The access that your subjects allow me when working is imperative to the work that I create. I treat my subjects with complete respect and photograph them with dignity and complete diligence in order to help tell the truth and bring their stories to life.

My work is intended to bring about understanding of different cultures, races, religions and bridge the gap between humans rather than extending it. Bringing people closer to create a more thoughtfully educated world.

 

Irina Werning – La Cuarentena

At first, we bought some food, I’m a stocker by nature so I already had most of the food in that picture.

Irina Werning

La Cuarentena

It’s the new normal ! Lockdowns are being championed as a solution to the spread of the number one enemy: the coronavirus. In developing countries like Argentina, where 40% of the population lives in poverty, it’s difficult to just stay fixated on the fear of infection when one realizes how daunting the economic setback of these strict lockdown policies are for most of the population. In these economies so many more workers carry out hands-on work which is incompatible with the new moral high ground of social distancing. So many more are also likely to be employed informally and thus are clinging to cash payments in exchange for the type of daily work which the government has black-listed and penalized. It’s hard to buy much time with lower income and lower saving or to wait for hand-outs from bankrupt governments. In addition, experts advise that the peak of the virus spread should fall in June, precisely as winter hits South America. When you add to this the fact that developing countries have less old population and less “diseases of civilization” like diabetes or heart problems, this makes you wonder if the solution is worse than the disease.  

Behold! My family in full lockdown in Buenos Aires (41 days and counting…)

I wish I could say I’m one of those great moms who creates an activity for their kids to play and heal in such difficult time, but I’m not. I just can’t survive without a project.

Bio

Irina grew up in Buenos Aires. She studied a BA in Economics and an MA in History. She began to travel in Asia and Middle East and ended up in London where she studied an MA in Photojournalism and lived for 7 years. She’s now back in Buenos Aires and focuses on personal long term projects. She loves to build sets and invent stages for her subjects. She can spend hours in a tool shop. 

 

Related Links

irinawerning.com

 

Gianmarco Maraviglia – Winter Came in Spring

Gianmarco Maraviglia

Winter Came in Spring

We’ve seen the masks. We’ve seen hospitals and cemeteries. As always happens as reaction to a dramatic event there are different stages, different approaches. Then there is the everyday life. The search for a new normal, new rhythms, something to hold on to pretend that everything is fine.

 
Most of our life certainty is nothing more than repetitions. The alarm clock that rings at the same time, children go to school, cooking in the evening, going to bed knowing what is going to happen the next day. A kind of rhythm of existence. But when rhythm breaks down, it turns out how fragile is the balance we base our lives on. On the other side, leaving this safety zone forces you to find new dynamics, to search for new geometries from chaos.
As in an unexpected chemical reaction, the elements seek a new stability, a new order. Covid has already brought about enormous changes in our society, and the humans appear again capable of adapting with extreme speed, in search of a new balance. The same dynamics are found in a family, closed at home for two months, looking for a new form of everyday life.
 
 
Here in Milano, Lombardia, Italy – perhaps the most affected area in the world by the new coronavirus – this year here winter came in spring. Italy has been in a lock down situation for two months now. The emergency laws enacted by the government are among the most restrictive in the world. You cannot leave the house without a self-certification, and only for urgent reasons. As a photojournalist I worked on the news, on the empty streets, on the masks … But as a narrator I could do nothing but visually tell the changes that were happening quickly around me. 

Bio

A humanistic background allows me to get closer to the stories I tell with the respect that every person deserves, respect for being told for what they really are, avoiding the path of visual spectacle of pain or poverty. I believe in the value of information as the first thing, for this reason my research does not stop only to the dramatic stories, because our world is fortunately still able to offer stories of great redemption, of rebirths, stories not yet told but that give hope for the future. I have the pleasure of working with magazines like Der Spiegel, Washington Post, CNN, Corriere Della Sera, Io Donna, Mare, Cicero and many others. I’m the proud founder of the non-fiction communication and brand journalism collective Jolly Jolly Grog. I’m also a teacher of photojournalism at IED Milano and Officine Fotografiche. I hope to leave a better world to my two kids, Olivia and Yago.

 

Related Links

gianmarcomaraviglia.com

Sissie Chang – Don’t Throw Away Your Daughters

Sissie Chang

Don’t Throw Away Your Daughters

My grandmother just celebrated her 98th birthday. She’s lived with my two aunts for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I don’t recall having any long, meaningful talks with my grandfather. One of the few things I do remember is a statement I overheard him telling my mother when I was a little girl: “Why are you spending so much money on her education? She’s only going to run off to get married when she turns eighteen.” I was told that sons were prized because they carry on the family name. Daughters… Well, they’re just “guests.” It’s how traditions are, and I understood not to ask certain questions.

 

 

My grandparents had three daughters, and like the most traditional Chinese families, they continued having children until sons were born. As my grandfather’s health declined, his second and third daughters—both retired, unwed, and living under the same roof—were his primary caregivers. These same two daughters continue to take care of my grandmother today.

Meanwhile, a few time zones away, I’m suddenly living back at home, taking care of my own mother as she undergoes cancer treatment. It’s funny, none of us have run off yet. We’re still here.

 

 

As the years passed, I watched the prized sons of the family become more and more distant, and I couldn’t help but start to question that notion about daughters being unimportant.  

I guess my grandfather was wrong. Don’t throw away your daughters.

 

 

Short Bio

Sissie Chang is a documentary photographer based out of Orange County, California. At one time, she was a firm believer that the most intriguing stories, and those with the best backdrops, required a passport. She eventually discovered that the most engaging human stories are actually the ones you see on a daily basis.

Her first self-published book, Don’t throw away your daughters, is slated for release Spring 2020.

 

Related Links

sissiechang.com

Mafalda Rakoš – A Story to Tell

Mafalda Rakoš

A Story to Tell

[ FUJIFILM/YOUNG TALENT AWARD 2019 FINALIST ] 

“You don’t really fit in… You don’t fit into the group of normal people, because you’re anorexic. And you don’t fit with those affected by anorexia, because you’re a man.“ – Thomas, 21. Our process always starts with a conversation. What does it look like, your mental cage? What do you feel, see, think, hear, taste and smell? And where shall we go to take that picture of it? A Story to Tell resulted from many encounters with ten men affected by anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Being well-aqcuainted with the topic myself, I was wondering: how is it to be affected as a male? The protagonists of this project, many of them trans*, gay, bisexual or otherwise associated with a genderdiverse community want to show: everyone can be affected.

 

Very often, it was shocking to listen. They told us about the shame, invisibility and unrecognition that they experience, not rarely resulting in serious self–harm and even suicide attempts. Their stories were more extreme, more violent and more painful than I would normally hear it from women. Yet, together with journalist Ruben de Theije, we kept drilling towards the true conflicts in the intersection of social expectations and big emotions; conflicts that lie at the heart of the stories they wanted to tell.

 

 

Short Bio

Mafalda Rakoš (*1994, AT) is a visual artist based between Austria and the Netherlands. Educated at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague and Academy of Fina Arts in Vienna, she also holds a BA in Anthropology from Vienna University. Her projects often move along the intersection of art, documentary and journalism and attempt to dive deep into protagonist’s stories around safety, pain and trauma. Since 2013, she has been researching eating disorders through a collaborative and research-based practise rooted in documentary photography and cultural anthropology. The main platform of her work are books which gained attention in contests such as Kassel Dummy Award and the European Publishers Award for Photography; furthermore, it is regularly shown in international exhibitions and other contexts such as congresses for eating disorders (2016), or a hospital (2017). It was recognized by Awards such as c/o Berlin New Documentary Talent, the Steenbergen Stipendium and the Documentary Project Fund Emerging Vision Award.

 

Related Links

mafaldarakos.com

 

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The Fujifilm/Young Talent Award is supported by Fujifilm

 

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Chris Donovan – The Cloud Factory

Chris Donovan

The Cloud Factory

[ FUJIFILM/YOUNG TALENT AWARD 2019 FINALIST ] 

As a child, I looked up at the billowing smoke stacks of the refinery and asked my father if they made all of the world’s clouds. “No,” he replied. “They make money.” I grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick – an industrial city on the east coast of Canada – bookended by Canada’s largest oil refinery and a pulp mill owned by the same billionaire family. Despite the enormous wealth controlled by the Irving family, we also have the highest rate of child poverty in Canada, at around 50%. This billionaire family also owns every newspaper in the province. The Cloud Factory project is my way of fighting against censorship and addressing the environmental and social implications of industrial classism on my community.

 

 

Jacques Poitras, author of Irving vs Irving, says of the Irving control of the media: “Newspapers are a historical record of our time. The concern with the Irving papers is not what is being written about, but what is being left out.” The goal of project is to fill in some of these blanks. For residents of the Bayside neighborhood, adjacent to the refinery, it feels like a lot is being left out. Resident Lisa Jacquart says her non-smoking neighbors are “dropping like flies” of lung cancer. With no studies on the air quality in this specific neighborhood, it’s impossible to hold the company accountable for these issues. Canada is now at a crossroads. A proposal to create the country’s longest-ever pipeline, which would transport oil to the refinery in Saint John, is currently on hold. As we get closer to electing a conservative Prime Minister in the Fall, that is expected to change. This is a complicated story of a town that relies on a damaging industry for survival. It must be approached with nuance and collaboration. As a Saint Johner, this is my story, and I hope you can help me tell it. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

 

Short Bio

Chris Donovan (b. 1995) is a visual storyteller based in Toronto, Canada. Hailing from a small industrial city on Canada’s east coast, most of his work focuses on the interplay between industry and community. Chris’ work has been recognized by POYi, the Sony World Photo Awards, and the Canadian Pictures of the Year – including being named Photojournalist of the Year in 2017 and 2018. Hi clients include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s Magazine, Reuters and others.

 

Related Links

chrisdonovan.ca

 

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The Fujifilm/Young Talent Award is supported by Fujifilm

 

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Ute Behrend – Bear Girls

Ute Behrend

Bear Girls

[ EPF 2019 FINALIST ]

How do young girls become strong women? Adolescence is the theme of my new book. At the beginning I tell a story about a fictional “Indian tribe” that separates its pubescent girls and dresses them in bearskins. In this way they are protected from premature sexualisation. The result is a shelter that gives the girls the opportunity to develop freely and self-determinedly in this important phase of their lives. I call these girls “bear girls” and draw parallels in our society, where free spaces for adolescent girls become less and less. Many young women try to evade the stereotypes of sexualised identification that are shaped by society and the media. This is often evident in similar behaviour patterns, e.g. wearing very large sweaters that girls like to “borrow” from their father’s wardrobe.

 

 

 

In “Smart Girls, Gifted Women”, Barbara Kerr examined the similarities that later became strong women. She found that all girls had time for themselves, the ability to fall in love with an idea, and a “protective cover”. None was particularly popular and most remained relatively isolated in their age group. Interestingly, this rejection gave them a free space in which they could develop their uniqueness. Parallel to the portraits of the girls I take photographs with a focus on nature, wild animals and the concept of distance and closeness. I then work on combining these single images to final pairs. The references between the pictures are intended to stimulate the viewer to link the content of what he has seen. Out of one’s own memory and also out of cultural memory.

 

 

 

 

Short Bio

Biografie 2019 Artist Book, Bear Girls, (artists‘ book) Publisher: BummBumm Books, Cologne, Germany 2015 Teaching assignment, Academy for Communication Design, Cologne, Germany 2011 The Last Year of Childhood (artists‘ book) Publisher: POWERSHOVEL.BOOKS, Tokio/New York 2009 The Door Behind the Wall | Project with handicapped and non-handicapped inhabitants of the Dr. Dormagen-Guffanti foundation, Cologne, Germany 2008 – 09 Teaching assignment, College of Higher Education Bielefeld, Germany 2008 Zimmerpflanzen (artists‘ book), publisher: Snoeck Verlag, Cologne, Germany 2007 Teaching assignment for Visual Communications Merz Akademie,Germany 2006 Mermaids, video Galerie 11, in the Gruner + Jahr publishing house, Hamburg, Germany 2005 Teaching assigment, College of Higher education Voralberg, Austria Märchen, Fairy Tales (artists‘ book) Publisher: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walter König, Cologne, Germany 2004 Observer and Indoor Plants (booklet) latent, aristotelean mimesis within the thriller genre | label: www.bold-dvd.de 2002 Art goes School | State Chancellery, Saarland, Germany 2001 kunstKöln special edition 1996 Girls, Some Boys and Other Cookies (artists‘ book) Publisher: Scalo Verlag, Zürich, Switzerland 1987-93 Academic studies: Photographic Design University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Dortmund, Germany 1985-87 Academic studies: Communication Design 1979-82 Apprenticeship as a carpenter

Related Links

utebehrend.de

 

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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation