Perpignan Friday: Getty awards, parties, and an emotional anniversary slide show

After the inspiring but heart-wrenching conflict-photographers symposium Friday morning, Getty presented slideshows of its five grantees for editorial photography this year. I have mentioned the most recent three before -- David Gillanders, Lynsey Addario, and Eugene Richards -- and I was already pretty familiar with their work. The two earlier grantees I wasn't familiar with, but very impressed by. Ian Martin's biography reads like many photojournalists: after early awards for his work, he star

After the inspiring but heart-wrenching conflict-photographers symposium Friday morning, Getty presented slideshows of its five grantees for editorial photography this year. I have mentioned the most recent three before -- David Gillanders, Lynsey Addario, and Eugene Richards -- and I was already pretty familiar with their work. The two earlier grantees I wasn't familiar with, but very impressed by. Ian Martin's biography reads like many photojournalists: after early awards for his work, he started a wedding photography business to actually support himself and his family. The project that won the Getty grant, on South Africa's poor white communities, marks his re-entry to the photojournalism world. Although Richards' film and photography series War Is Personal was the one that really brought tears to my eyes, Lorena Ros's portraits of adults who were sexually abused as children certainly softened me up (see above). The simple portraits are paired with images of the spaces where the abuse took place or spaces that triggered those memories, and both will eventually be joined by archival images of the victims at the time of the abuse as well as audio interviews about their experiences. Jean-Jacques seemed unimpressed, complaining that we lack information about who the abusers were or what these people have gone through -- but to me this is precisely why the project is so powerful. It's not the abusers we should focus on, as the news media too often has, but the victims whose lives have been irrevocably scarred by the abuse. It's also important just to see these people and recognize that they look just like anyone else -- considering that one in four girls and one in seven boys are sexually abused before they reach the age of 17, they undoubtedly look just like someone you know.

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