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Arlette BASHIZI is a documentary photographer and photojournalist born in 1999 in Bukavu, Congo DRC and now based in Goma, where she is working on various projects and reports since 2018. Bashizi strives to promote a positive image of her community in using her art to denounce the problems that affect her society. Her focus is on issues related to women and youth, interrogating their role and place in society. Her work has been exhibited in the US, France, the UK and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2021, one of her photographs was awarded in the category Good Governance: Human Rights, Justice of the 2021 Women’s Photojournalism Awards. She was a recipient of the ‘Creativity is Life’ grant offered by Africalia to support young African artists in July 2020. She participated in the 4th edition of the Canon Student Development Programme, a mentoring workshop session organised by Visa pour l’Image in 2020.



Twenty-seven million people live in a situation of acute food insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the most fertile countries in the world with great agricultural potential. It has about 80 million hectares of arable land – the largest cultivable area in the world after Brazil. The country also holds half of the continent’s water resources. Yet it is potential still largely under-exploited with a fairly high rate of malnutrition and a food insecurity crisis. This photo essay aims to show the contradiction between the productivity of the Congolese soil against the high rate of malnutrition in the region, as a call to action to the authorities to make better use of the Congolese soil and subsoil in order to remedy the problem of malnutrition and to invest more in agriculture to improve the economic development of the country.

© Arlette Bashizi




Chiara FABBRO is an Italian documentary photographer and journalist based in London, focusing on human rights and migration. She has several years experience working with refugees and migrants, both in London and abroad, including at several European borders. Her work spans from the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur, through the squats in the Balkans to the beaches of the Canary islands. She strongly believes in the importance of documenting the struggles and victories of our world, and in the evocative power of photography and words to tell stories in complementary ways.



“I know what it means to feel invisible” Belma told me, when we met in Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a café near the river Una, which marks different sections of the border with Croatia. That same border has been leaving thousands of people stuck in the country for months, as they try to reach Europe across the Balkans, due to the repeated pushbacks by the Croatian police. In 1992, when Belma was just 12 years old, during the Yugoslav wars, she had to flee with her family. “Now I always make eye contact when I meet a migrant” she said. The people she refers to mostly come from Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also Iran, Iraq or Syria. They have fled wars, persecution or hardship and get stuck in a country where the memories of the war are still vivid. Whilst there have been some racist reactions to the situation, many are showing their solidarity with the people who transit through their country and this work focus in part on these positive stories.

© Chiara Fabbro





Christina SIMONS is an award-winning international documentary photographer with a passion for justice and a compulsion to observe. She provides key commentary into some of the unknown issues, places and aspects of this world. Her work has been exhibited throughout Australia, the US, the UK, Spain, Russia and Mexico. Part Icelandic and part American, Simons resides in Australia as a true citizen of the world speaking multiple languages. Having worked in the visual arts industry for over twenty-five years, she is a technical master of imagery. Her work traverses many interests and is represented in publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian UK and with several NGOs such as Medicines Sans Frontiers and UNICEF.



The Roma of Europe have a long history of living on the outskirts and fringes of society, which has been met with racism, prejudice, stereotyping and intolerance. Millions of Roma live in isolated slums, often without any electricity or running water, and struggle to get the health care they need. Many live with the daily threat of forced evictions, police harassment and violent attacks. Romani children also often suffer segregation in schools and receive a lower standard of education. Roma have more health problems, worse housing and lower literacy levels than non-Roma people. This situation is not the inevitable result of poverty. It’s because of centuries of prejudice and discrimination from governments, institutions and individuals. Together, they have pushed the great majority of Roma to the margins of society – and kept them there (source Amnesty International). Simons seeks to change perceptions of the Roma community in Messolonghi, Greece, by portraying them in their daily lives and giving them agency to shape their own futures through collaboration with the municipalities where they reside.

© Christina Simons




Claudia GUADARRAMA is a documentary photographer based in Mexico, focused on long-term projects about social justice, human rights, and gender issues in Latin America. She has more than eighteen years of experience working in photojournalism and documentary projects. Her photography has been featured in the New Yorker, Smithsonian Journeys, GEO France, TIME, Paris Match, L’Équipe, Le Monde, The Guardian, and various Mexican publications. She is the recipient of the 2021 LHSA Photography Grant, Magnum Foundation grantee, and a Women Photograph member. Her project ‘Before the Limit’ about the journey of Central American undocumented migrants across the Mexican south border, received the 2004 Inge Morath Award, and the 2005 Canon Female Photojournalist Award at Visa Pour L’Image Festival. The exhibitions of her work include the Upper Austrian Museum of Contemporary and Modern Art Lansgalerie Linz (Austria); Fotografie Forum Frankfurt (Germany), Espacio Fundacion Telefonica (Madrid).



Even though Cancun and Riviera Maya, Mexico, are among the top most visited tourist destinations in the world, most travellers are unaware of the existing inhabitants of this region and the complex reality they face as the tourism industry impacts their lives. Mass tourism has been the economic engine of Cancun, but today, it seems that it is no longer a solution for most of its inhabitants, they work in the tourist sector for low wages in an environment of luxury and opulence; while they live in poverty, overcrowding, and marginalised conditions. In Riviera Maya, there are hundreds of communities in nature reserves where ecotourism causes an environmental imbalance and dispossesses its inhabitants of their lands. ‘Outside of Paradise’ explores the impact of the tourism industry and the complex reality experienced by the local population in one of the most visited tourist regions in the world.

© Claudia Guadarrama






Irene BARLIAN is an independent documentary photographer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her documentary photographic interest primarily focuses on social, environmental, cultural, and women’s stories. She has a particular fondness for the vibrancy in Southeast Asia and continues to document social life and witness history. The most significant element of her professional ventures is devoted to personal, long-term projects. She has contributed works to publications such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, Vice, and Sidetracked, amongst others. Her works have been exhibited in group shows in the US, France, Switzerland, and Greece.



Land of The Sea is a story about the impact of climate change along the northern coast of Java Island. It focuses on conveying the narrative from the perspective of women and exploring the concept of local wisdom in mitigating this environmental issue. Indonesia is one of the countries hardest hit by climate change. According to Climate Central’s report ‘Flooded Future: Global vulnerability to sea level rise worse than previously understood’, around 23 million coastal residents in Indonesia are at risk of annual sea flooding by 2050. The archipelagic country has more than 17,000 islands and the majority of them are on the brink of disappearing because of rising sea levels. Indonesia is the biggest island nation in the world. But, if global temperatures continue to rise, the islands will soon be lost to the sea.

© Irene Barlian





Julia RENDLEMAN is a freelance photojournalist based in Richmond, Virginia interested in human health, history, community and the environment. Her work has been used to advocate for affordable housing reform and for harm reduction approaches to substance abuse and rehabilitation. Her work was chosen for the best of American Photography 37 (for 2020). She attended the 7th annual New York Portfolio review in March, 2019. She is the July 2019 Project Support Awardee of the DocumentaryProjectFund for her personal project “Down the Pike,” a series about American housing insecurity. She was a September 2017 grantee of the Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists, investigating the implications of drug use and drug policy on women as it relates to the opioid crisis. Julia has received three grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. In 2010, she was named a Getty Images Emerging Talent Photographer. That same year she received a Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography for a story about a women’s prison in southern Illinois. Julia received hostile environment training through Reuters (2019) and is FAA Part 107 Drone Certified. A photo Julia made of two young ballerinas at the foot of the Robert E. Lee monument during the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 went viral. Julia now serves on the board of Brown Ballerinas for Change, an organisation created by the ballerinas and their mothers. Before journalism, Julia was a bartender in New Orleans, where she learned the art of listening. In Fall 2022, Julia will begin teaching photojournalism at her alma mater, Southern Illinois University.




Not Long Gone is a story of home and loss told through my family’s personal experience of losing its matriarch and through the wider lens of a region experiencing its own population loss. Through this work, I hope to share a greater understanding of home, memory and loss and what ties us to homeland and family. This project combines new work with my archive of unpublished images from home. Recognition by the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award will allow me to produce more images focused on my own family’s story and others that exemplify how population shifts are playing out in America’s  ruralheartland. I am motivated to explore the themes of death and cultural loss in an under-reported area of the country, where I am from.

© Julia Rendleman




Lee-Ann OLWAGE, born in 1986 in Durban, is a visual storyteller from South Africa. Her work is about identity, collaboration, and celebration. She is interested in using the medium of photography as a mode of co-creation and celebration. With her long term projects, she aims to create a space where people she collaborates with can play an active part in the creation of images they feel tell their stories in a way that is affirming and celebratory. Notable awards include a World Press Photo Award, 2020, Winner of This Is Gender, 2021, Pride Photo Award, 2021, CAP Prize shortlist, 2022, Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award shortlist, 2021, International Photography Awards Honorable Mention, 2020 and selected for The New York Times Portfolio Review 2022. She is a member of Native, Women Photograph and African Women in Photography.




According to the WHO, around 55 million people have dementia worldwide, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year. Due to low life expectancy, many African countries are not included in discussions about population ageing. More importantly, little attention is given to understanding cultural meanings ascribed to dementia which is becoming a growing health priority in less-resourced countries. The population of Sub-Saharan Africa is ageing, which increases the number of those at risk of dementia. In some Sub-Saharan African countries, the symptoms of dementia, which may lead to strange erratic behaviour and memory dysfunction can easily be misread and are sometimes associated with madness or superstitious beliefs. It is important to understand cultural meanings ascribed to dementia and cognitive impairment in order to provide culturally congruent care and support for people with dementia and their families. Inclusive discussions about dementia in Sub-Saharan Africa are essential if policymakers and key stakeholders are to improve the well-being of people living with dementia and their caregivers.

© Lee-Ann Olwage



Margaret MITCHELL is a Scottish documentary photographer whose work ranges from exploring communities and children’s worlds through to long-term projects on social inequality. Bridging the psychological and the social, her work explores the intricacies and complexities of people’s lives with a particular emphasis on place and belonging. Her book ‘Passage’ (Bluecoat Press, 2021) reflects on a cycle of inequality, asking questions on the nature of disadvantage and privilege in a study over three generations. Her ongoing work ‘An Ordinary Eden’ explores home and belonging and the indelible trace of trauma homelessness leaves in people’s lives. She is the recipient of a number of awards including in the Sony World Photography Awards (Contemporary Issues, 2nd) and The Royal Photographic Society’s IPE160. Her work has been acquired for the permanent collections of the National Galleries of Scotland and the Martin Parr Foundation.


“Where do I want to go? Somewhere slightly better than here.” Michael

To be without a home is not only a tangible experience for an individual but also an emotional one, where the necessity for safety and security accompanies a need to belong. In ‘An Ordinary Eden’, individuals in Scotland offer an insight into the practical and psychosocial impact of past or current homelessness on their lives. This long-term project employs image, text, and collaborative work to reflect on the larger questions about our society and who we want to be. A society that cares for others in a timely manner or one that ignores, disregards, doesn’t try hard enough. This project aims to bring together all that pulls me in as a photographer: people’s histories, the inner and outer worlds of the individual, working with people to highlight aspects of their lives and amplify the issues they face, addressing inadequate policies, and contribute to ongoing conversations.

© Margaret Mitchell




Natalya SAPRUNOVA, born in the arctic region of Russia in Murmansk, is a freelance documentary photographer. She is also a member of the French photo agency – Zeppelin. Saprunova first worked as a French teacher, then studied at the École des Métiers de l’Information in Paris and became a French citizen. In Russia, she worked as a photographer for a daily newspaper in Murmansk. Natalya now teaches photography at Graine de Photographe school in Paris and does documentary reportages. She was a finalist or prize-winner in various competitions. Her topics are the transformation of societies, identity, youth, spirituality and femininity.




Living in the village of Lovozero on the Kola Peninsula in Russia, the hinterland of Murmansk city, are a long line of reindeer herders whose traditions have almost disappeared due to sedentarisation by the Soviets in the 1920s. Settled to work in Kolkhozes, they no longer had the right to be Saami: the practice of the language and the wearing of the traditional costume were prohibited. Today there are 1500 people, and some 200 speak the Saami language. Nowadays, the  Saami of Lovozero are taking urgent action to safeguard their culture and traditions. Faced with disagreements on the phonetics of the Kildin dialect, the language should finally be able to federate the people. In addition, the whole community is fighting against mass tourism of the Saami culture and have set up masterclasses to transmit the real traditions and know-how. Proud of their intangible traditions, these people strive to preserve their ancestral practices, such as reindeer herding, while adapting to modernity.

© Natalya Saprunova



Ngadi SMART is a Sierra Leonean Photographer. Her focus is on documenting cultures, social issues and intimacy. Her work often speaks on how people self-identify and choose to present themselves in front of the lens. Recently, she has also been interested in documenting Black sensuality and culture from an African point of view. She aims to show as many representations of African people, and what it means to be African, as she can. Her photography has been published on CNN, British Journal of Photography, Vogue Italia, Atmos Magazine, and I.D Magazine, and she has recently finished shooting two environmental commissions – the first shot in Ivory Coast for the Royal Photographic Society, and the second for shot in Sierra Leone for Wateraid, in collaboration with British Journal of Photography.




‘C’est pas Fini’ (It’s Not Over) is my series for the RPS Environmental Awareness Bursary on an issue impacting the historic town of Grand-Bassam, Côte d”Ivoire. Bassam is an old French-colonial seaside town which was once the nation’s capital, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, however its infrastructure has not been maintained. Grand-Bassam’s unprecedented extreme 2019 flooding affected the N’Zima community greatly, and the threat of a return to this level of water rise is something that haunts many. Having also photographed another environmental issuse caused by climate change affecting the water crisis in Sierra Leone in my documentary photo-collage series ‘Wata Na Life’ (Water Is Life) I would hope to continue to creatively highlight how the effects of Climate Change are affecting the West African coast in various ways, as these are ongoing issues already altering the region, often caused by Western industries and companies.

© Ngadi Smart




Taniya SARKAR is a photographer based in Kolkata, the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. She has pursued her Bachelor’s (2012) and Master’s (2015) degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Calcutta. She was selected as a WaterAid India fellow in 2019. During her fellowship in 2020, she witnessed massive communal violence in Delhi, the capital of India. Later, in the same year, she started researching communal violence in her own home state, West Bengal, which has had a long history of communal violence and partition since Indian Independence (1947). The ongoing project ‘Nothing Left to Call Home’ is a witness account of Bengal’s communal violence since partition. In 2021, the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York awarded her the notable Mary Ellen Mark Scholarship to attend the graduate programme in Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism (2021–2022).



Unearthing women’s narratives on the multi-faceted and complex communal events since India’s partition and independence in 1947, ‘Nothing Left to Call Home’ is a visual research project centred around the Indian state of West Bengal that investigates how these events have historically manifested as patriarchal violence against women. Since 2020, the project has been focusing on collecting the accounts of women from Bengal who were disproportionately affected by communal polarisations. Untold numbers of women were raped and murdered in Bengal during the Great Calcutta Killing in 1946. These events caused profound changes in community relations and completely wrecked Bengal’s psyche, which lasted well into the immediate postcolonial period as well as continuing still today. Official narratives cast the violence as purely political, but women who have witnessed and survived these events reveal that these clashes are more complicated, arising at the intersection of politics, religion, and patriarchy.

© Taniya Sarkar



Victorine ALISSE is a French photojournalist and documentary photographer, and member of the Collective Hors Format. As the granddaughter of a farmer, she has worked extensively on transformations within the agricultural world. For two years, she explored the disappearance of the peasant world in France with her series ‘We All Had a Peasant in the Family’. She continues to interrogate the different faces of agriculture in Israel and in Palestine. She is also interested in new narrative forms by combining texts and images. Alisse collaborates with media such as Le Monde and Libération and with NGOs. She is co-winner of the Caritas Photo Social Prize in 2021 with JS Saia. She has been selected by Artpil in 2022 for the 30 Under 30 Women Photographers.



Land – owned, controlled, conquered – is at the heart of the conflict in the contested space between the Mediterranean and the Jordan river. This photo essay explores both the loss of connection to the land for Israeli farmers and the Palestinian farmers’ struggle to save this precious resource. In the West Bank, farmers try to find solutions to save their land that Israel is slowly taken over. Often, their only choice is to work on Israeli farms, where wages are much higher. On the other side of the Green Line, Israeli farmers fear the link to the land is being lost. As young people turn away from farming, they are forced to rely on a foreign workforce of Thais, Jordanians and Palestinians. This project explores this contrast and diversity by interrogating the farmers’ attachment to this land, which, imbued with religious and political significance, shapes the identity of both people.

© Victorine Alisse




Once again the standard of entries to this niche and exciting FotoAward has been particularly high and we salute all the women who have entered and who continue to devote their working lives to making a difference through positive visual storytelling. Our huge congratulations go to this impressive shortlist – we are overjoyed with the selection and we know that choosing the overall Winner and Honourable Mentions will be very difficult. Our enduring gratitude goes to Marilyn Stafford in whose name this FotoAward operates and to our wonderful friends at Nikon, who continue to support it year on year through recognition of its aims.


The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award is granted to a professional woman photographer towards the completion of a compelling and cohesive documentary photo essay, which addresses an important social, environmental, economic or cultural issue, whether local or global and which, in part, aims to showcase solutions / create positive impact for any issues it raises. The overall winner is awarded a grant of £2,000. All shortlisted applicants are featured on the FotoDocument website.






© Christina Simons (front image)