W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography calls for entries

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The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, created in 1978 in honour of the US photo essayist, offers, each year, $30,000 to a documentary photographer to complete a current or future documentary project.


“The Smith Fund has supported dozens of world-class photographers who have created bodies of work that illustrate the human condition and provide a voice for those who cannot provide one for themselves,” says Marcel Saba, president of the Smith Fund board of trustees, in a press statement.

The winning project should “follow the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s concerned photography and dedicated compassion exhibited during his 45-year career as a photographic essayist.

“Each year, the Fund’s Board of Trustees appoints a three-member international jury who meet twice during the adjudication process and finalists are selected primarily on the basis of the substantive (and intellectual) merit of their project,” say the organisers. “Finalists will then be asked to submit a comprehensive photographic print portfolio, to write (if necessary) a more detailed and focused proposal, and to answer questions about their project. Grant and Fellowship recipients will be selected based on the detailed proposals.”

Previous winners include Eugene Richards, Paolo Pellegrin, Stanley Greene, James Nachtwey and Sebastião Salgado among many others. Last year, the grant went to Robin Hammond for Condemned, his long term project on mental health in Africa.

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund has also launched the 18th edition of the Howard Chapnick Grant , which was established in 1996 “to honor the memory of Howard Chapnick who headed Black Star photo agency, and acknowledge the value of his enormous contribution to photography.” The annual $5,000 grant is designed “to finance any of a range of qualified undertakings, which might include a program of further education, research, a special long-term sabbatical project, or an internship to work with a noteworthy group or individual, and is not to be used for the creation of photographs.”

To apply to both grants, visit the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund website.