Sarah Blesener: Lumix Festival Exhibitor and International Photographer of the Year

2017 Alexia Professional Winner Sarah Blesener has been selected to be one of 60 exhibitors at the Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalists. Taking place from June 20-June 24th in Hanover, Germany, the festival attests to the power of photojournalism in our image-oriented world.

She has been selected the International Photographer of the Year, for “Beckon Us From Home.” She received a $2500 cash prize in recognition for her outstanding work. International Photographer of the Year is dedicated to creating new opportunities to showcase the best photographic work and introduce leading talents to the world of contemporary photography. Continue reading

Sarah Blesener’s “Beckon Us From Home” at Anastasia Photo

The Alexia Foundation is pleased to share the news that Sarah Blesener’s 2017 Alexia Professional Grant project, “Beckon Us From Home,” will be on display at New York City’s Anastasia Gallery Feb. 20-April 1. The Artist’s Reception is Feb. 27.

We are proud to have been able to support this work and we look forward to seeing reach the prestigious platform of Anastasia Photo. We hope you will find time this spring to see the work in person. Continue reading

Sarah Blesener Sweeps the Publishing World This Weekend

Alexia 2017 Professional Winner and 2016 Student Winner Sarah Blesener is having an incredible weekend. Extensive work from her both of her Alexia projects is being published in print and online this weekend in National Geographic, California Sunday and The New York Times.

The Alexia Foundation could not be prouder to support her important work. We are thrilled to see all of these chapters widely published, reaching millions across nation, and bringing important conversations about youth, patriotism and nationalism to the fore. Be sure to pick up your copies of this outstanding work tomorrow. Continue reading

Quest for Honesty And Integrity Is More Vital Than Ever

It is thanks to your generous donations that The Alexia Foundation has had one of our most impactful years to date. Our winners are telling pressing stories thanks to your support. We are writing to celebrate this year, and to ask you to help us make 2018 even more impressive.

At a time when the quest for honesty and integrity has become more vital than ever, The Alexia Foundation is unwavering in its commitment to photojournalism. We believe it is a strong force – bringing us closer to the world we inhabit, stirring compassion and driving action. As we prepare to award our 2018 grants, we ask, do you stand with us?

If you believe in the power of photojournalism to drive change and change lives, as we do, please give generously to The Alexia Foundation this year. Continue reading

Columbia Journalism Review Discovers Nuance and Poetry in Toy Soldiers

Today, Columbia Journalism Review published an article entitled “Photographer who captured youth patriotism in Russia turns lens to Trump’s America,” which discusses Toy Soldiers, from Sarah Blesener, winner of the The Alexia 2017 grant.

The article looks at how Blesener has approached the topic of patriotism in first Russia and, now, in the U.S. Blesener explains why and how she was able to go beyond basic imagery of guns to find the moments that reveal identity. Continue reading

“Toy Soldiers” in The Guardian & Sarah Blesener on Context

Images taken in Russia from Sarah Blesener’s 2017 winning Alexia project Toy Soldiers were featured today by The Guardian. “Over 200,000 youth are enrolled in cadet clubs that offer a potent mix of patriotism and play fighting. Photographer Sarah Blesener captured the camaraderie among the students in her series,” The Guardian tells us.

According to Blesener, it was early reception to her published work from Russia that compelled her to turn her lens on the U.S.

“There’s nothing crazy that’s happening there that’s not happening here. It’s the same kind of dialogue… If we do it here, it’s just called patriotism. If they do it in Russia, it’s called nationalism,” Blesener explained in her recent PhotoWings interview. Continue reading

PhotoWings Speaks With Sarah Blesener on Toy Soldiers

PhotoWings, a nonprofit organization dedicated to utilizing the power of photography to further deep thinking, communication, and action, was our esteemed partner in our recent seminar Latin America: Stories That Drive Change. In addition to providing financial support for the seminar, they also made sure that the event and members of the Alexia community who attended were documented.

The first videos they released from the event are from their extensive interview with Sarah Blesener, The Alexia 2017 professional winner. In the video we are sharing today, Blesener speaks with PhotoWings about how Toy Soldiers came to be and what she hopes the work conveys. Continue reading