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Photographer Natalya SAPRUNOVA has been awarded the prestigious prize of £2000 for her project “Kildin, a Language for Russian Sámis Survivors”, which explores how the Saami people in Russia are adapting to modernity, while preserving their culture and traditions on their own terms.


A reindeer herder, Igor Chuprov, speeds on his sled past residential buildings in the village of Lovozero. He has just taken part in a reindeer driving competition during Prazdnik Severa (“The Festival of the North”). Formerly semi-nomadic, the Saami community is largely represented in this rural colony of 3,000 inhabitants. From “Kildin, a Language for Russian Sámis Survivors”. © Natalya Saprunova


Natalya SAPRUNOVA, born in the arctic region of Russia in Murmansk, is a freelance documentary photographer and a member of the French photo agency, Zeppelin. She 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. Saprunova now teaches photography at Graine de Photographe school in Paris and works on her own documentary reportages. She has been a finalist or prize-winner in various international competitions. Her main topics focus on the transformation of societies, identity, youth, spirituality and femininity.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have won the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2022 – it will help me to continue my work on the Russian Saami people, with its focus on documenting their own solutions to the safeguarding of their culture and traditions. Thank you to the members of the jury for this prestigious recognition. It motivates me to continue investing in this project, which is very close to my heart.”
Natalya Saprunova
Winner of the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2022




A reindeer herder from father to son, Piotr Galkin is Uliana’s grandfather. Dressed in a traditional reindeer skin outfit, he descends the stairs of his building to go to Prazdnik Severa (“The Festival of the North”) which takes place every year at the end of March. For a long time, he participated in reindeer driving competitions, but at the height of his 93 years, his health no longer allows him to drive. From “Kildin, a Language for Russian Sámis Survivors”. © Natalya Saprunova


The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award of £2000, facilitated by FotoDocument and generously supported by Nikon UK, is granted annually 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 that has a focus on positive solutions.


The participants of the choreographic group “Ognevytsia” (The Fireworks) pose with the Saami flags during the 25th Festival of Saami Music and Culture in Olenegorsk in front of the drawings painted by children on the occasion of the Day of protection of children celebrated in Russia on June 1 each year. From “Kildin, a Language for Russian Sámis Survivors”. © Natalya Saprunova


Submissions were reviewed by international panel in 2022 including:

Andrea Bruce: award-winning photojournalist, co-owner NOOR photo agency, Nikon ambassador;

Donna De Cesare: award-winning photojournalist, associate professor University of Texas;

Nina Emett: award-winning founding director FotoDocument, documentary photographer, curator;

Neo Ntsoma: award-winning photojournalist, founder Neo Ntsoma Productions;

Lina Clerke: honorary judge and daughter of Marilyn Stafford.


Andrei Zhvavyi, belongs to the Saami ethnic group from Russia. He brings back wood from the wreckage of an airliner that he uses as a hangar. It was his father who, working for Murmansk airport, was able to recover the wreckage of an Aeroflot plane in the 1990s. From “Kildin, a Language for Russian Sámis Survivors”. © Natalya Saprunova


“The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award provides a vital platform to celebrate and raise awareness of female photographers in our industry. These women continue to push boundaries through the art of visual storytelling and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. We continue to be impressed by the level of talent the competition produces.”
Julian Harvie, Head of Marketing at Nikon UK


Uliana loves to manage the boat during summer holidays at her uncle’s place in Chalmny-varre village. From “Kildin, a Language for Russian Sámis Survivors”. © Natalya Saprunova


The works considered for the prize must showcase positive solutions to any issues it raises in order to contribute to constructive photojournalism, in line with the wishes of Marilyn Stafford and the aims of FotoDocument. The Award is reserved solely for documentary photographers working on projects which are intended to make the world a better place and which may be unreported or under-reported.


Elena Yakovleva, Uliana’s aunt, prepares her drum to sound it and perform a ritual in front of a sacred stone in the Saami mini-village that she has reconstructed for tourists. She inherited the drum from her brother who was a real shaman. The shamans were hunted down by the Orthodox, then by the Soviets. They were constantly threatened with death, and their drums were often destroyed. From “Kildin, a Language for Russian Sámis Survivors”. © Natalya Saprunova


“The work of the Winner of the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2002 and the Honourable Mentions is truly outstanding. We are reminded each year of the talent, dedication and courage of so many women documentary photographers from all over the world. The discussion to pick the Winner and Honourable Mentions is always passionate but this year there was no doubt that Natalya Saprunova was deserving of the overall prize. We found the images to be original and beautiful, the storyline important and well developed and the focus on solutions particularly strong, with the Russian Saami taking their futures into their own hands. We also found the work of the five photographers awarded an Honourable Mention impressive and hope it will encourage them to complete their projects and seek further support. Congratulations to all and thank you to Nikon UK for their continued belief and support in this exciting and niche photography award.”
Nina Emett, Founding Director, FotoDocument









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.




Fraicheur Déserte

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 its potential is 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.


Children undergoing treatment taste the 5-star porridge prepared by the local organisation Humanity First in DRC, which supports children undergoing treatment for malnutrition in the Mugunga quarter in Goma. From Fraicheur Déserte”. © Arlette Bashizi


Balume MUSHAWA tests the level of oedema on the hands of little Aimé who is suffering from malnutrition at the Mugunga health centre. From “Fraicheur Déserte”. © Arlette Bashizi




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).



Outside of Paradise

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.


Heidi, 29, and her sister Julisa, with Heidi’s 2-month-old baby at home, in Tres Reyes, a marginal neighbourhood located on the outskirts of Cancun, Mexico, and considered one of the poorest and most dangerous areas of the city. Heidi’s baby was born in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, but no midwife of hers wanted to help her give birth at home, so Heidi ended up giving birth in the hospital, despite her fear of the virus. From “Outside of Paradise”. © Claudia Guadarrama


A tourism worker smokes hookah at a local bar in Cancun’s popular nightlife district. Mexico has been one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with 300,000 deaths and thousands out of work. One of the hardest-hit industries has been tourism, with nearly five million people out of work in 2020. Cancun was devastated, with thousands laid off as travel to Mexico plummeted. From “Outside of Paradise”. © Claudia Guadarrama




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.





An Ordinary Eden

“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 contributing to ongoing conversations.


Moving from a hostel to home is a first step and part of a broader journey to getting life back on track. Summer visiting her mum Lyndsey. Midlothian, Scotland. Lyndsey has not had her daughter full time for 2 years now and the pain of that touches her every waking moment. Her daughter, Summer, gave her a soft toy to hug for when she misses her most. From “An Ordinary Eden”. © Margaret Mitchell


C. in his bedroom. Glasgow, Scotland. The paths that lead to homelessness are many, but the support needed to survive it is often just not there. Simply giving a person four walls is not enough. After a period of homelessness, C. got this flat nearly two years ago, but his addictions continue to dominate his ability to return to the life he desires. From “An Ordinary Eden”. © Margaret Mitchell




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.





The Big Forget

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 aging. 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 aging, 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.


Portrait of Kahimbi Mushanana, who is showing the signs and symptoms of dementia, in Ikoma village, Katima Mulilo. Her son, Irvine Mushanana started noticing with age, that his mom became more forgetful and he started noticing behavioural changes, but the doctors assured him that this was a normal part of aging. Irvine knew something was wrong when she started forgetting him and continued his search to find out what was wrong with his mom. He made contact with Alzheimer’s Dementia Namibia who explained to him that his mom was probably living with dementia. Mushanana is supported and cared for by various family members living in her village. From “The Big Forget”. © Lee-Ann Olwage



Lucresia Ndjumbua, a carer at the Alzheimer’s Dementia Namibia care facility in Swakopmund helps Ndjinaa Ngombe with tasks associated with daily living like bathing and getting dressed. From “The Big Forget”. © Lee-Ann Olwage




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, Sarkar 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).




Nothing Left to Call Home

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.


Arati (15) and her sister Ria (9), escaped from their home after experiencing violence. The photograph was taken at their place of refuge in Hooghly. From “Nothing Left to Call Home”. © Taniya Sarkar


We would sincerely like to thank all the photographers who have submitted their work for consideration in 2022.

Our special thanks and admiration goes to the Winner of the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2022

– Natalya Saprunova –

and all the women awarded an Honourable Mention and all on the Shortlist.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to Nikon UK for their support and ongoing recognition of the need for this Award.

The FotoDocument Team and Marilyn Stafford.