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Honor Roll: Finalists for the 2021 W. Eugene Smith Fund Grants

By David Schonauer   Monday August 2, 2021


The 2021 W. Eugene Smith Fund Grants shortlist has been announced.

As it did last year, the Fund’s Board of Trustees decided to forego its tradition of presenting a single grant to one photographer and to instead present five recipients each with $10,000 grants.

“The Board of Trustees recognized that many economies and foundations around the world were still feeling the impact of the pandemic and determined that the $40,000 grant and previously awarded $5,000 Fellowships would have a greater impact if used to support five photographers with $10,000 grants,” explained Phil Block, president of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund.

Despite continued issues surrounding the pandemic, the number of entries submitted for this year’s Smith Grant was among the most received in the grant’s 42-year history. “We continue to see year-over-year increases in the number of total entries to our grants and fellowships, as well as increased diversity in the backgrounds and cultures of entrants,” said Smith Fund board member Aidan Sullivan.

This year’s finalists were selected from entries submitted from 62 countries. They are:

Lalo de Almeida (Brazil) for the project “Amazonian Dystopia: A Trip Through the Trans-Amazonian Highway.”

Dario De Dominicis (Italy) for the project “To the Left of Christ,” a look at pollution in Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay.

Kimberly dela Cruz (Philippines) for the project “Death of a Nation,” which looks at the deadly war against drugs in the Philippines.

Fabiola Ferrero (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) for the project “I Can’t Hear the Birds,” which focuses on families who’ve fled their homes in her home country.

Marco Gualazzin (Italy) for the project “Mwavita – Born at Time of War,” about sexual violence on Congo.

Melissa Lyttle (USA) for the project “Where They Stood,” which looks at what happened to Florida’s Confederate statues.

Zed Nelson (United Kingdom) for the project “The Anthropocene Illusion”

Cristopher Rogel Blanquet (Mexico) for the project “Beautiful Poison,” which looks at the use of agrochemicals in Mexico's flower industry.

Nicolo Filippo Rosso (Italy, based in Colombia) for the project “Exodus,” which follows the outflow of migrants from Venezuela.

Danielle Villasana (USA, based in Turkey) for the project “Abre Camino,” which explores the issues transgender women face in Central America.

In addition, finalists were named for the $10,000 Howard Chapnick Grant honoring work in field ancillary to photojournalism such as picture editing, research, education, and management. Go here for more.
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From Dario De Dominicis

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