Interview with Monica Jorge: On Documenting Alzheimer’s and Dementia Within Her Family

January 29, 2017 - Newington, Connecticut:  My grandmother, Maria, waits for my grandfather to stand up from a chair in the center of their cramped bathroom and exit the bathroom on his own during a morning routine on January 29, 2017.  My grandmother insists that he do as much as he physically can.  Certain days he is able to do most on his own but during recent months he has had medical issues which have made it much harder and required more physical assistance from Maria.

This past April, Monica Jorge was awarded the Alexia First Place Student Grant for My Grandfather’s Keeper which intimately documents the sacrifices of senior spouses unprepared for care taking. By focusing on the experience of her own grandmother, Jorge provides an account of how a wife became a nurse and the difficulties that lie in this new life.

In this new interview with Jorge, we discuss what this project means, how she is accomplishing it, and what impact she hopes it will have. 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

UPDATE: Mary F. Calvert’s “Missing in Action: Homeless Women Veterans”

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Today is the last day of Mary F. Calvert’s Alexia Foundation Instagram take over. All this past week, she has been sharing powerful images and the moving stories of women, whose brutal sexual assaults while in the U.S. Military resulted in their homelessness.

In this post, we talk about some of the recognition Calvert’s work has received, why her project is so important, and “Prisoners of War: Male on Male Rape in America’s Military,” the current stage of her long term work on Military Sexual Trauma. 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

UPDATE: Aaron Vincent Elkaim Talks of Progress and Purpose

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In April, Aaron Vincent Elkaim was in the last days of a two month trip working on the long-term project, Where The River Runs Through, when he learned that he had been awarded the $20,000 Alexia Professional Grant. He had thought that he was on his final trip, but the Alexia Grant would allow him to continue to show the world the severe impact Brazil’s major hydroelectric expansion in the Amazon has on the ecosystem and the people who live there.

In a new interview, Elkaim talks about what is next for Where The River Runs Through, what effect he intends his project to have and how The Alexia Foundation is helping him accomplish it. Continue reading

Mary F. Calvert on ‘Missing in Action: Homeless Women Veterans’ 

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In a new Alexia Foundation video, Mary F. Calvert discusses her Women’s Initiative Project, ‘Missing in Action: Homeless Women Veterans.’ The project will be on display at the ‘Alexia at 25′ exhibition this week from June 13-19 at the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph. Continue reading

6 Questions for Alexia Student grantee Alcee Walker

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Alcee Walker received the 2015 Alexia Foundation Student Award of Excellence for his project “Pain of Love,” a documentary about his own dysfunctional family in West Palm Beach, Florida. It is a story of “the emotional legacy of a broken family and the lasting effects of childhood trauma.” Continue reading

8 Questions for Rahul Talukder, Alexia Student Grantee

View of the collapsed Rana Plaza building from a nearby rooftop, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photo: Rahul Talukder.

Rahul Talukder is the Alexia 2015 Student Runner-up for his project Collapse of Rana Plaza, a documentation of the survivors and dependents of those who died in the 2013 tragedy in Bangladesh. Two years after the second largest industrial man-made disaster in the world, Talukder believes it is important to “document how this disaster lives on through the life of the survivors and the families who lost their source of income.” Continue reading