1991 — student award of excellence
Darcy Padilla is a photojournalist and documentary photographer living in San Francisco, California. Published internationally, her awards include the first Alexia Foundation Professional Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Award, the Open Society Institute Individual Fellowship, the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography, and World Press Photo Awards. Best-known for "The Julie Project," the story of the life and death of Julie spans 18-years starting with a chance encounter and provides an in-depth look at poverty, AIDS, and social issues affecting American Society.
My proposal for a photo project in furtherance of world harmony and understanding involves continuing my two-year effort to document prison conditions in the United States and abroad. Although I have photographed a prison in Chile, most of my work is done at prisons near my home in the Bay Area. For instance, I spent nine months photographing people in the AIDS ward at the state prison in Vacaville, CA, where even healthy but HIV-positive inmates are isolated from fellow prisoners - society's most isolated members cast even further from the realm of human contact.
With the United States recently overtaking the Soviet Union and South Africa as the country with the greatest percentage of its population behind bars (one million prisoners), the need to chronicle American jails becomes even more important all the time, to continue doing so is my goal.