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Edmund Clark and Alex Majoli both receive Smith Fund Fellowship


This year, as photographer Daniel Castro Garcia received the Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, the jury has decided to give the Smith Fund Fellowship not to one but two photographers. Edmund Clark and Alex Majoli were in fact honored this Wednesday night at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Theater in New York City, each receiving a $5,000 to fund their work.

On one hand, Clark’s project entitled The Unseen Consequences and Networks of Air Strikes and Drone Warfare is intended as a multi-media investigation of the expanded use of air-strikes and drone weapons as the primary strategy of the on-going American-led War of Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

Ont the other hand, Majoli’s project, Titanic, deals with the fragmentation and polarization of Europe’s identity as it grapples to come to terms with the realization that it can no longer isolate itself from the crisis unfolding just across the Mediterranean. His photographic approach intentionally makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction.

“The $5,000 Smith Fellowship is important, of course, but given at the jury’s discretion,” W.M. Hunt explained. “Two fellows were selected for recognition. The Jury petitioned the Board to request that both receive the $5,000 Fellowships rather than split it equally as in the past. It is the first time in the Fund’s history.”

Recipients of the 2017 W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund grant and fellowships were selected from hundreds of submissions received from 51 countries. Recent recipients of the grant include Justyna Mielnikiewicz (2016), Matt Black (2015), Joseph Sywenkyj (2014), Robin Hammond (2013), and Peter van Agtmael (2012).

Addionnaly, this year’s Howard Chapnick Grant was presented to Michael Shaw, founder and publisher of Reading the Pictures, a web-based educational and publishing organization dedicated to visual culture, visual literacy and media literacy through the analysis of news, documentary and social media images. The grant is awarded to an individual for his or her leadership in any field ancillary to photojournalism, such as picture editing, research, education and management.

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