The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund has announced the recipients of the 42nd annual Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, as well as the recipient of its 4th annual Smith Student grant and 25th annual Howard Chapnick grant, which is awarded to encourage leadership in any field ancillary to photojournalism, such as picture editing, research, education, and management.
Understanding the continuing struggles and financial need many are still facing, the Fund’s Board of Trustees again voted to place a moratorium on its tradition of presenting a single grant to one photographer and instead present five recipients each with $10,000 grants. The Fund’s board first made this decision last year during the height of the pandemic and voted to extend the moratorium on a single grant recipient for another year. Since the Fund’s inception in 1979, it has awarded over $1 million to photographers whose past work and proposed projects follow the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s career as a photographic essayist.
Recipients of the 2021 W. Eugene Smith Grant include Lalo de Almeida (Brazil), Kimberly dela Cruz (Philippines), Melissa Lyttle (USA), Cristopher Rogel Blanquet (Mexico), and Nicolo Filippo Rosso (Italy).
Lalo de Almeida : “Amazonian Dystopia” (Brazil)
Amazonian Dystopia documents the occupation of the Amazon and its impact on the rainforest and its inhabitants. Brazil is home to 60% of the Amazon rainforest, which is a key regulator for the planet’s living systems and the country’s rainfall rate. Despite this importance for the planet’s future, the region continues to be exploited in the same predatory way since colonial times.
“It is a great honor, and deep responsibility, to be part of the history of this grant that perpetuates the legacy of Eugene Smith and the best values of humanistic photography,” said Lalo de Almeida. “At a time when the Amazon rainforest has never been so threatened, the grant will help give more visibility to what is happening in the region.”