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

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

Announcing the Recipients of The Alexia 2017 Grants

Students train in firearms at the Historical-War Camp, in Borodino, Russia. 24 July 2016. Borodino is famous for a battle fought on 7 Sep 1812 - the deadliest day of the Napoleonic Wars. 350 adolescents are in attendance, ranging in ages from 11 to 16. They are using air-soft guns for the practice and competition. The camp teaches information about the basic kinds of weapons, bases and firing rules,  sniper rifles, and different type of weapons. Sarah Blesener/Alexia Foundation

The Alexia Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of The Alexia 2017 grant competition. The recipient of The Alexia $20,000 professional grant is Sarah Blesener of New York for Toy Soldiers, which documents rising nationalism among youth in the U.S.

The recipient of The Alexia student grant is Monica Jorge of The International Center of Photography for My Grandfather’s Keeper, which documents the sacrifices of senior spouses unprepared for caretaking. The student award of excellence recipients are Camillo Pasquarelli, David Denil, Riel Sturchio and Joy Yi. Continue reading

UPDATE: Interview with Sarah Blesener on Documenting Adolescence and Belonging

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In April of 2016, Sarah Blesener was awarded an Alexia Award of Excellence Grant for Chavi. The work focuses on a surrogate family of fourteen-year old friends living in the projects in the southern Bronx. It explores issues of boyhood, adolescence, and belonging.

In this new interview, we speak with Blesener about working with these young men, what their futures hold and what winning an Alexia Grant meant to her. Continue reading

Announcing the 2016 Alexia Grant Winners

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The Alexia Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Alexia Grants. The winner of the $20,000 Professional Grant is Aaron Vincent Elkaim of Toronto, Canada. The winner of the First Place Student Grant is Nathaniel Brunt of Toronto, Canada.
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