Announcing the 2015 Alexia Foundation Grant Recipients

PUERTO GIRALDO, COLOMBIA - An operator performs the cuts the skin of a caiman that has just been shot down. This delicate process occurs in several steps.The caimans are killed by a cut on the neck made by hand with a knife by a specific operator who performs only this task. Photo by Paolo Marchetti, 2015 Alexia Professional Winner

PUERTO GIRALDO, COLOMBIA – An operator performs the cuts the skin of a caiman that has just been shot down. This delicate process occurs in several steps.The caimans are killed by a cut on the neck made by hand with a knife by a specific operator who performs only this task. Photo by Paolo Marchetti, 2015 Alexia Professional Winner

The Alexia Foundation is pleased to announce that we have selected the recipients of our 2015 Grants. Paolo Marchetti has been awarded the 2015 Professional Grant. Michael Santiago has been named the 2015 Student Winner.

To show the brutality of the intensive breeding farms used to produce skins and furs for the fashion industry.

Finalists for the professional grant were Matt Eich, Charles Mendel, Ed Ou and Corinna Kern.

Marchetti of Rome, Italy, will utilize the $20,000 grant for his project “The Price of Vanity.” The work will document the brutality of the intensive breeding farms used worldwide to produce skins and furs for the high-end fashion industry. It intends to expose this cruel cultural trend driven by remorseless beauty demands.

Upon being notified by Mike Davis, Marchetti asked: “Are you serious? Are you joking?”

Once he was assured that the news was true, he said, “This is terrific news for me, this is incredible. I am so grateful to the judges.”

Besides the normal feed and milk that his pigs are fed, Mr. McGill feeds his pigs a various sorts of breads to help fatten them up. He also does not have a proper tool to transfer all the bread so he uses an old shopping cart to transport the feed. Michael Santiago.

Besides the normal feed and milk that his pigs are fed, Mr. McGill feeds his pigs a various sorts of breads to help fatten them up. He also does not have a proper tool to transfer all the bread so he uses an old shopping cart to transport the feed. Photo by Michael Santiago, Alexia 2015 Student Winner.

Michael Santiago was named the student winner for his project “Stolen Land, Stolen Future.” Santiago is a senior at the San Francisco Art Institute. His project will document the lives of black farmers, who have fought to acquire and maintain land throughout the country, despite facing extreme difficulty along the way.

As the student winner, Santiago will receive full tuition to study at the Syracuse University London Program, a $1,000 cash grant to help produce the proposed body of work, a $500 B&H Photo Gift Certificate, tuition to Foundry Photojournalism Workshop and $500 will be awarded to his academic department.

Rescuers carry a survivor pulled out from the rubble after 77 hours. Photo by Rahul Talukder, Alexia Student Runner-up

Rescuers carry a survivor pulled out from the rubble after 77 hours. Photo by Rahul Talukder, Alexia 2015 Student Runner-up

The student runner-up is Rahul Talukder from the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for his project “Collapse of Rana Plaza,” which will follow the survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse and the dependents of those who died. Talukder will receive half tuition to study at the Syracuse University London Program, a $500 cash grant to help produce the proposed project, a $250 B&H Photo Gift Certificate and tuition to Foundry Photojournalism Workshop.

Kelly Creedon of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Md Shahnewaz Khan of The Photoart Institute in Chittagong, Bangladesh and Alcee Howard Walker of the School of the Visual Arts in New York were named Award of Excellence Recipients.

Courvosier Cox, 14, poses for a portrait in the role of his imagined character of a fashion designer in the living room of his home in Durham, N.C., on September 9, 2014. Cox, one of six children in his family, dreams of pursuing a career as an actor, singer, and comedian in Los Angeles.

Courvosier Cox, 14, poses for a portrait in the role of his imagined character of a fashion designer in the living room of his home in Durham, N.C., on September 9, 2014. Cox, one of six children in his family, dreams of pursuing a career as an actor, singer, and comedian in Los Angeles. Photo by Kelly Creedon, Alexia 2015 Award of Excellence Recipient.

Creedon’s project “Being 15: Navigating Adolescence as a Young Black Male” will explore the complex challenges of young Black adolescents coming of age in America today through the lens of one young man.

The substance of aluminum factory is very risky for the workers where they are completely exposed without any protecting gear. Shakil (12) covered with all those aluminum substance at the 06 factory. Aluminum Factory in Chittagong, Bangladesh. (6/23/2013). Photo by Md Shahnewaz Khan, Alexia 2015 Award of Excellence Winner.

The substance of aluminum factory is very risky for the workers where they are completely exposed without any protecting gear. Shakil (12) covered with all those aluminum substance at the 06 factory. Aluminum Factory in Chittagong, Bangladesh. (6/23/2013). Photo by Md Shahnewaz Khan, Alexia 2015 Award of Excellence Recipient.

Khan will examine child labor in Bangladesh in his project “Fallen Stars.”

In “Pain of Love,” Walker will continue his project documenting himself and his family, examining the pain and trauma hidden below the surface.

Film still from "Pain of Love." Photo by Alcee Walker, Alexia 2015 Award of Excellence Recipient.

Film still from “Pain of Love.” Photo by Alcee Walker, Alexia 2015 Award of Excellence Recipient.

The Award of Excellence winners will receive $1,500 to be subtracted from the tuition for the SU London Program upon acceptance, or a Momenta Photo Workshop tuition, or a Kalish Workshop tuition provided by The Gilka Grant. They will also each receive a $500 cash grant for his or her proposed project and a $100 B&H Photo Gift Certificate.

Finally, Ata Ranjbar Zidanlo of Khabarnegaran College in Iran was honored with a Judge’s Special Recognition award for his project “Addiction of Women to Drugs in Iran.”

Carlos Javier Ortiz, Sarah Leen, Mike Davis, Julia Dolan, Aphrodite Tsairis and Peter Tsairis at the 2015 Alexia judging weekend. Photo by Drew Osumi.

Carlos Javier Ortiz, Sarah Leen, Mike Davis, Julia Dolan, Aphrodite Tsairis and Peter Tsairis at the 2015 Alexia judging weekend. Photo by Drew Osumi.

The judges for this year’s grant competition were Sarah Leen, Carlos Javiar Ortiz and Julia Dolan. Leen is the Director of Photography for National Geographic Magazine. Ortiz is an American documentary photographer and experimental filmmaker. Dolan is The Minor White Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum in Oregon.

Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you all for sharing with us your powerful proposals and moving images.

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7 thoughts on “Announcing the 2015 Alexia Foundation Grant Recipients

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  3. I was an entrant in the professional category: I thought the theme was to illustrate how increased cultural understanding contributes to world peace … Brutality in high fashion does not seem to fit this. (I agree, however, that human vanity should not come at the expense of suffering by animals or humans.) I just wonder that when a topic like this is your winner, how I could have strengthened my entry to be more competitive? I don’t see a strong connection between killing animals and world peace. Why did you prefer this entry over mine, which is directly about world peace through better cultural understanding? I don’t see how your recipient’s project serves the mission of the Alexia Foundation. Please help me understand. Thank you.

    • Judges considered proposals and images equally. They responded to “The Price of Vanity” proposal, which is to expand understanding of the consequences of choosing to wear fur and exotic animal skins by showing what such a choice means. In essence, the proposal is to explore a layer of our global society that few people are aware of and even fewer have seen. That will definitely increase cultural understanding and may affect people’s choices. That is photography that drives change. They also applauded the winner’s skill as a visual storyteller.

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  5. Congratulations to the winner, the photography is really beautiful. But with all the crises happening in the world today, I would have thought of different topics to be a winner of “promoting world peace” grant. Animals are important and violence is horrible for all creatures, but don’t you agree that we should focus on a more peaceful world for humans first before we think about animals?
    I think this topic was too neutral for the turbulent in the world today. Congratulations for the winner again :)

  6. Pingback: Congratulations to the 2015 Alexia Foundation Grant Recipients

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