Alexia in New Zealand: Lectures, Discussions, Radio Shows, Exhibitions & More

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Last week, Alexia Foundation Executive Administrator James Dooley was a key participant in the the Auckland Festival of Photography, a city-wide contemporary art and cultural event which takes place in Auckland’s major galleries, project spaces, non-gallery venues and public sites during June annually. It is the largest festival of photography in New Zealand.

“My goal was to show the importance and depth of serious documentary work that needs to be done, needs to be shown and exposed, and these projects and many, many others were done with the support of The Alexia Foundation,” explained Dooley on the Auckland Festival was something he thought The Alexia Foundation should participate in. Continue reading

Columbia Journalism Review Discovers Nuance and Poetry in Toy Soldiers

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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

Alexia’s James Dooley on Radio New Zealand

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Alexia Foundation Executive Administrator James Dooley was featured on this past weekend’s Radio New Zealand’s Sunday Morning program, along with journalist, critic and scholar Alison Stieven-Taylor. They were on the show to discuss photojournalism in the smartphone age. Both were in New Zealand as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography.

We are grateful to Radio New Zealand for giving us the opportunity to discuss how important photojournalism is and thankful to our executive administrator for doing it so eloquently. Listen to the full interview in the post. Continue reading

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

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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

AE Recipient José Marquéz on his Momenta Workshop

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Each year, winners of The Alexia student award of excellence grant are given $1500 to be used on an educational experience from a number of choices. 2016 student AE winner José Marquéz used his funding to attend The Momenta Project Los Angeles 2017, a five-day workshop where each attendee documents the mission of a local non-profit.

With the guidance of Momenta, José beautifully told the story of Under The Bridges and On The Streets, a non-profit serving the homeless in the Los Angeles County.

“I’m beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the Momenta Workshop. It was an incredible learning experience that pushed me to be the best I could physically and creatively be in a short period of time,” said José about the experience. Continue reading

The Alexia Foundation at the Auckland Festival of Photography

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For the second consecutive year, The Alexia Foundation will be taking part in the Auckland Festival of Photography. The festival, which runs from June 1-June 24, is a citywide contemporary art and cultural event which takes place within Auckland, New Zealand’s major galleries, project spaces, non-gallery venues and public sites. Its purpose is to further the presence and awareness of photography.

At the festival, Alexia Executive Administrator James Dooley will be discussing The Alexia Foundation’s work, reviewing portfolios, and participating in a panel discussion on culture and identity in photography. Continue reading

Mike Davis at the New York Portfolio Review and More

New York Times Portfolio review weekend. Pamela Chen of Instagram, reviews the work of Andrea Wise, an independent picture editor and visual story teller based in New Jersey. Photo by Mike Davis

Mike Davis, Syracuse University’s Alexia Tsairis Chair of Documentary Photography, was one of the 75 most influential editors, curators, gallerists and book publishers who gathered in New York City last weekend to provide private photo critiques to emerging photographers in the Fifth Annual New York Portfolio Review. The review was sponsored by The New York Times Lens Blog and the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. Continue reading

PhotoWings Speaks With Sarah Blesener on Toy Soldiers

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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

Mary F. Calvert Named 2017 Guggenheim Fellow

US Army Pfc. Natasha Schuette, 21, was sexually assaulted by her drill sergeant during basic training and subsequently suffered harassment  by other drill sergeants after reporting the assault at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. While Staff Sgt. Louis Corral is serving just four years in prison for assaulting her and four other female trainees, Natasha suffers daily from PTSD because of the attack. She is now stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Photo by Mary F. Calvert

Mary F. Calvert has been named a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow for her longterm project, “The Battle Within: Sexual Assault in America’s Military.” The purpose of the fellowship is to provide Fellows with blocks of time to work with as much creative freedom as possible. Calvert has received a 12-month fellowship, which she will use to work on “Prisoners of War: Male-on-male Sexual Assault in America’s Military,” the current and fourth chapter of “The Battle Within.” Continue reading

Sarah Blesener Wins $30,000 CatchLight Fellowship

Students from School #18 perform a show at the local theater in Sergiyev Posad, Russia, 15 Dec 2016. The show promotes the cadet school at School #18. Sarah Blesener/Alexia Foundation

Sarah Blesener is one of three recipients of the inaugural $30,000 CatchLight Fellowship for Toy Soldiers, the same project for which she was just awarded The Alexia 2017 grant. The work explores rising nationalism among youth in the U.S. and Russia. Continue reading