The World Press Photo Foundation has announced the six talents from North and Central America in its ongoing 6×6 Global Talent Program. Aimed at picking out under-recognised visual story-tellers from around the world, the 6×6 programme is now on its fifth region, out of the six identified around the world. This time, the talents picked out were: Dylan Hausthor, USA; Ian Willms, Canada; Mariceu Erthal García, Mexico; Nydia Blas, USA; Tomas Ayuso, Honduras; and Yael Esteban Martínez Velázquez, Mexico.
Each talent has been picked out for two stories: Hausthor, for example, submitting a project called Past The Pond, Setting Fires, about arson in small-town America; and Wood Grain Lick, a documentary and fictional look at life on the edges. Willms’ projects are As long as the sun shines, a story about oil sands extraction in northern Alberta, Canada, and its effect on the local community; and We shall see, about the death of his biker father. Mariceu Erthal García’s projects are Iriana, shot on a holiday in Cuba; and Letters to Gemma, about a young Mexican woman who disappeared seven years ago.
Nydia Blas’ project Whatever you like “is a concise exhibition exploring the ways in which Black girls learn to reclaim themselves for their own pleasure”; while The girls who spun gold was shot with a Girl Empowerment Group set up by the photographer in Ithaca, New York. Tomas Ayuso’s The Right to Grow Old: Los(t) Boys of CDMX follows a group of young Hondurans attempting to make a new life in Mexico City; The Right to Grow Old: The Prologue to Displacement from Honduras considers one young man as he’s forced to migrate from San Pedro Sula.
Yael Esteban Martínez Velázquez’s The house that bleeds shows the photographer’s own family as it comes to terms with the loss of three young men killed or disappeared in Guerrero, Mexico’s poorest and most violent state. Their blood in my blood looks at Afro-descendants in Mexico, a group that numbers around two million yet has historically been underrepresented.
The 6×6 talents are suggested by a global community jury of nominators; from these nominations, the six talents from North and Central America were picked out by: Juan Brenner, a photographer and independent art director from Guatemala; Ana Casas Broda, a photographer, editor and co-founder of Hydra + Fotografía in Spain/Mexico; Barbara Davidson, a Canadian photographer; and Loup Langton, and American freelance photographer and editor.
The 6×6 Global Talent Program’s first cycle will be completed in February 2019, and the photographers’ work included in the 11th Yangon Photo Festival from 18 February to 10 March 2019, and at Miami Photo Fest’s nightly multimedia presentations from 27 February to 03 March 2019. This follows the first exhibition of the 6×6 programme at LUMIX Festival for Young Photojournalism in Germany, and exhibitions in Kuching, Malaysia and Maputo, Mozambique, in 2018. The 6×6 Talents’ work are also published in World Press Photo Foundation’s Witness online magazine.
World Press Photo is perhaps best-known for its annual competition; entries are now open for the 2019 awards via www.worldpressphoto.org