Magnum Foundation has just announced the 2017 grantees of the recently launched Magnum Foundation Fund, a program to expand creativity and diversity in documentary photography. In collaboration with the Prince Claus Fund, the Magnum Foundation Fund provides production grants, project development support and mentorship to both emerging and experienced practitioners.

Of the 120 photographers nominated by 27 international editors, curators and educators, 10 grantees, including Nigerian Photographer, Nneka Iwunna,  were selected by an independent editorial committee. The 10 projects chosen cut across 9 different countries. The projects are:

  • “State Business: Chapter IV” by Mari Bastashevski addresses the expansion of private military contractors and the intersection with foreign aid in the horn of Africa.
  •  “The Last Yugoslavs” by Marko Drobnjakovic explores the dissolution of multiethnic societies and the challenge of preserving individual and collective memory.
  •  “ Less Than Human” in the Philippines by Carlo Gabuco chronicles President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal drug war as seen through the eyes of affected children.
  • “Foreigner: I Peri N’Tera” by Daniel Castro Garcia documents the experiences of unaccompanied minors migrating to Italy.
  • “Expansión” by Eduardo Hirose explores societal dependence on illegal and informal gold mining in Peru.
  •  “Left Behind” by Nneka Iwunna examines widowhood across various ethnicities in Nigerian society.
  • “Esther C.” by Mimi Cherono Ng’ok reenacts the life and disappearance of a Kenyan student in Kampala, Uganda, a case that remains unsolved.
  • “Open Mourning” by Musuk Nolte documents investigations of Peru’s 15,000 missing people cases and the processes of exhumation, delivery, and burial of found bodies.
  • “El Deslinde” by Alessandra Sanguinetti expands on the twenty-year long project “The adventures of guille & belinda,” with a particular focus on the socioeconomic conditions of the Argentine countryside.
  •  “Tea Workers of Bangladesh” by Faiham Ebna Sharif highlights the plights of plantation workers bearing the colonial legacy of marginalisation and oppression.

Representing a range of styles and approaches, the selected projects each demonstrate a commitment to social issues and a curiosity for exploring new models of storytelling. Marisa Mazria Katz, Director of Media Initiatives at Creative Time, remarked, “I was in awe of the work of the applicants to this year’s Magnum Foundation Fund. Each and every one has dedicated their practice to issues that affect people around the world.”

The Fund places emphasis on photographers working within their home region or community. Of this year’s 10 grantees, 7 are working within their home countries. The 2017 Magnum Foundation Fund grantees will work on their proposed projects over the coming months and submit completed work in the late fall of 2017.


Top featured image: Photograph by Nneka Iwunna from her series “The Vendor,” honing in on the engrossed faces of daily readers at newspaper stands across cities in Nigeria. Courtesy Magnum Foundation