MARILYN STAFFORD FOTOREPORTAGE AWARD
ANNOUNCES WINNER OF 2023 PRIZE
Photographer Ana Maria Arévalo Gosen has been awarded the prestigious Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2023, for her photo essay Grandmothers at 30, highlighting teenage pregnancy in Venezuela through a series of portraits of young women with their families, and an intimate visual documentation of their lives, and the organisations trying to help them.
ANA MARIA ARÉVALO GOSEN
Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Ana María Arévalo Gosen (b.1988) moved to France in 2009 to study Political Science and discovered her passion for photography. Now based in Madrid, she works as a freelance visual storyteller, focusing on women’s rights, and social and environmental issues. A National Geographic Explorer and member of Ayün Fotógrafas, she combines research and intimate stories to create emotional, honest narratives for social change. Her project “The Meaning of Life” documents her husband’s battle with testicular cancer, raising awareness and funds for male cancer research. “Eternal Days,” which explores women’s conditions in Latin American prisons, won multiple awards, including the Leica Oskar Barnack and Camille Lepage awards. Ana also received the World Peace Photo Award in 2021. Her work has been featured in international media and exhibited globally, including Fotografiska New York, Ernst-Leitz Museum, and Leica Gallery in Madrid, Miami, Taipei, and London.
“I am deeply grateful for the honour of receiving the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2023. This prize is genuinely unique, extraordinary, and unusual because it emphasises the importance of showing positive initiatives and inspiring change through photography. As a Venezuelan, I am deeply motivated to document the solutions implemented by organisations working to prevent teenage pregnancy in my country. The award will help me raise awareness, foster safer environments for sexual and reproductive education, and contribute to a brighter future for Venezuela’s next generation. Thank you to the jurors, and congratulations to all of the shortlisted artists!” Ana Maria Arévalo Gosen
Grandmothers at 30
Venezuela faces the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in South America, exacerbated by the 2015 economic collapse and mass parental migration. Despite these challenges, positive solutions have emerged, empowering young mothers and addressing the issue’s primary causes. Various NGOs, such as the Niña Madre Foundation, provide young parents with tools for responsible parenthood and sustainable living. Collaborating with organisations and doctors, Ana will use the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award to continue documenting these kinds of initiatives to prevent repeat teenage pregnancies and provide education on sexual and reproductive health.
The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award of £2,500, 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 Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2023 submissions came from a wide range of countries including the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Turkey, Russia, Egypt, the US, Canada, India, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria, Australia.
Submissions were reviewed by international panel 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.
The works considered for the prize must showcase positive solutions to any issues they raise in order to contribute to constructive photojournalism, in line with the wishes of Marilyn Stafford (1927-2023) 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.
“The entries for the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2023 were particularly diverse and of a very high standard. The process has been especially moving in the year of Marilyn’s death. Knowing we can continue her legacy by creating impact with this Award, thanks to the support we receive from Nikon Europe, is heartening. Ana Maria Arévalo Gosen is a very worthy recipient of this year’s award with her tender and intimate portrayal of teenagers in Venezuela dealing with pregnancy, and we look forward to watching how she will expand her work by documenting local solutions to this complex and emotive issue. We hope each of the photographers receiving an Honourable Mention by the judges will feel recognised for their incredible work.” Nina Emett, FotoDocument founder, Curator, Photographer
Julian Harvie, Marketing Director, Nikon Northern Europe, says: “We are thrilled that Ana has been selected as the winner of this year’s Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award. Unearthing these poignant narratives for the women in Venezuela demands creativity, courage, and passion – epitomising everything that Marilyn believed in, and that Nikon has sought to empower for more than 100 years. Ana’s ground-breaking work is a beacon of Marilyn’s legacy, reminding us all of the truly powerful role photography can play in changing our perspective on the world – a role Nikon is honoured to support through this award.”
Honourable Mentions for the
Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2023
A photographer and author, Alixandra Fazzina’s work focuses on under-reported conflicts and the often forgotten humanitarian consequences of war, reframing stories for our time. Known for her in-depth investigative reporting, Alixandra is recognised for her compassionate and empathetic approach towards the human condition, spending prolonged periods in the countries and regions where she works. Studying Fine Art, Alixandra Fazzina began her career as a war artist, going on to work as a frontline news photographer for the press. She has since worked independently on in-depth investigative projects with a focus on refugees, human trafficking and the devastating human consequences of war. A co-owner and member of NOOR Images, her work has been published in books and across international titles and her photographs exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide.
‘Yeman Contraflow’ investigates shifting patterns of displacement in the shadow of war in Yemen. In the Gulf of Aden, Alixandra captures this untold story of refugees flowing in both directions between Yemen and the Horn of Africa in search of safety or a better life. These routes have become the most travelled and most deadly in the world, with a backdrop of people smuggling, violence, torture, and abuse. Seeking to reframe traditional refugee narratives and work as a piece of advocacy, this photo essay ultimately aims to challenge where fears of migration really stem from.
Driven by principles that protect human rights, Elisa Mariotti focuses on long-form documentary photography and social issues. In 2019 she founded a photography laboratory for children in a protected community. Part of the resulting work was published in a scientific journal. Her first photographic book “From the Same Land” was published in 2020. “Work Target” was about Palestinian children arrested by Israeli militias in the West Bank territories. To date she is working on “A Letter From Home”, a project about the rehabilitation, education and personal development of drug addicts in an Italian drug recovery residential community. “Yes We Do” is an ongoing project about the economic gender gap. She has been a finalist and prize-winner of various competitions.
A LETTER FROM HOME
According to the United Nations’ World Drug Report 2021: “Drug use killed almost half a million people in 2019”. The devastating effects of drug use have not been stemmed since last century. San Patrignano is a long-term drug recovery residential community in Italy. 26,000 people have been hosted since 1978, with 4,000 years of prison converted into rehabilitation programmes. These photographs are part of an ongoing project launched in 2021 on the rehabilitation and personal development of residents who work in dog kennels, one of the activity areas of the community. Here, sharing emotions is key. For the first year, letters represent the only contact with the outside. There are often human relations to be reconstructed or at least to be understood. Writing a letter means finding the courage to accept one’s own and others’ weaknesses. It is a hard, deep, and long fight with an unpredictable ending. But it’s worth it. Always.
Adopted from Kirov, Russia, aged 2, American artist Svet Jacqueline’s work focuses on the impact of trauma and displacement experienced by children in conflict zones. She has been working in Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion in early 2022, documenting a war-torn country through the eyes of Ukrainian youth. She is a photo essayist in the books, ‘Relentless Courage: Ukraine and the World at War’ and ‘Ukraine: A War Crime’ published by Fotoevidence. All About Photo named her one of the best modern photographers in their September issue and CNN featured her as one of 12 women and non-binary photographers of note of 2022.
‘Unoccupied Playgrounds’ promotes awareness of the obstacles and resilience of Ukrainian youth as they reclaim their childhoods in a warzone. An aftermath story is developing in real-time as the war continues. As they grow older, some of them will be drafted into the war as young adults. Some will help raise the siblings that their parents died to protect, and some will never return to their childhood homes or cities again. The beautiful thing about children is the joy they find in the most unlikely circumstances. They run, play, and laugh in the face of the evil that has become their reality. Sharing the experience of children who have been living in bunkers and otherwise affected by the war will help fundraise for rebuilding schools and recreational centres and provide necessary supplies and comforts that will help preserve the childhoods that Russia has destroyed.
Taniya Sarkar (b.1992, Kolkata, West Bengal, India) studied journalism & mass communication at Maharaja Manindra Chandra College, Calcutta University, and completed her MA in journalism & mass communication at Calcutta University, in 2015. Her work was exhibited at Indian Photo Festival in 2020 and Städtische Galerie Nordhorn, Germany as part of the exhibition ‘CLOSE CONTACT’ in 2021-2022. She is a grant recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund (Student grant), Inge Morath Award 2021 (Finalist), Magnum Foundation 2021, Generator Grant 2021, Experimenter Grant 2021, Social Documentary Grant, Murthy Nayak Foundation and SACAC in 2021. International Center of Photography (ICP) New York, awarded her the prestigious Mary Ellen Mark Memorial Scholarship to join the One-Year Certificate 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 states of West Bengal and Bangladesh. It broadly investigates how these events have historically manifested as patriarchal violence against women, and explores religious intolerance since partition, institutionalised terror for electoral purposes in recent years, and pre-established local networks of civic engagement by critically analysing the centuries-old co-existence between Hindus and Muslims. Since Taniya grew up in West Bengal, the stories about communal violence have rarely featured the voices of women who have endured the brunt of partition’s pain. With these personal narratives of women forgotten in Bengal’s communal violence, she intends to fill in the gaps.
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About Marilyn Stafford
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, Marilyn Stafford’s photographic career was accidentally launched in New York in 1948 when she was asked to photograph Albert Einstein by friends making a film about him. From there on, her photography took her across the world, starting in Paris in 1950. There her friendship and guidance by Magnum founders Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson shaped her work. In 1958 Stafford travelled to Tunisia to document the plight of Algerian refugees fleeing France’s ‘scorched earth’ aerial bombardment in the Algerian War of Independence. While completing commissions for a number of Paris fashion houses she also photographed children living in one of the city’s worst slum neighbourhoods, Cite Lesage-Bullourde. In the early 1960s Stafford traveled widely in Lebanon photographing the everyday lives of the Lebanese people and to India in 1971 where she documented the country’s only woman Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, and her involvement in the Bangladesh Liberation War. She settled in England in the mid-sixties, where she was one of only a handful of women photographers working on Fleet Street. Stafford’s work spans from 1948-1980 covering a range of subjects including refugees, tribal peoples, international fashion and prominent historical figures including Edith Piaf, Lee Marvin, Sir Richard Attenborough, Joanna Lumley, Sir Alan Bates. Her work is syndicated through Sipa press, Paris and Camera Press, London. Marilyn passed away in January 2023.
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