Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2018 Winners Unveiled - PhotoBite
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Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2018 Winners Unveiled

The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award, which is promoted by the team at FotoDocument and supported by the micro four thirds manufacturing marvels, Olympus, is awarded each year to a female professional photographer to fund the initiation or completion of a documentary photo essay addressing an important social, environmental, economic or cultural issue, either local or global

Last night, the 2018 winner was announced as being Özge Sebzeci [Turkey] and the runners-up up for the prize were named as Simona Ghizzoni [Italy] and Mary Turner [UK].

Copyright: Özge Sebzeci

The winning work by Sebzeci focuses on the marrying and divorcing of displaced Syrian refugee children in Anatolia. Meanwhile, the runners-up work looks at Female Genital Mutilation in Europe and the survival and endurance of former coal mining communities in the North of England respectively.

The overall winner of the The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award receives £2,000 towards their project and an exhibition in 2019 at After Nyne Gallery, London as well as an exhibition catalogue and mentoring support. There will be two runners-up who will each receive £500 and a selection of images from their final photo essay will be exhibited at the After Nyne Gallery alongside the winner and will feature in the related exhibition catalogue.

Georgina Pavelin, Marketing Manager, Olympus UK, said: “This was one of the hardest and most emotional competitions that I have judged. It is fantastic to see such powerful images being entered in the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage award. The work we awarded addresses many global issues whilst, importantly, offering a solution. It was difficult to select the winners and I would have loved to be able to support further entries. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all who were short-listed, keep up the good work!”

Copyright: Özge Sebzeci
Copyright: Özge Sebzec

The 2018 shortlist for the Award comprised of 30 women, working across the globe on a broad range of subjects including indigenous transgender in Colombia, recovery from opioids in the US, women farmers in Scotland, survivor activists in Bhopal, and with photographers coming from the US, UK, Brazil, Russia, Switzerland, Iceland, Ecuador, Germany, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Scotland, India and Pakistan. The stories range from the personal to the political to the global.You can see the full list of shortlisted photographers here.

Özge Sebzec – WINNER 2018

The winning photographer, Özge Sebzeci, is a Turkish journalist and photographer, covering breaking news and features in Turkey since 2014 and specialising in women’s rights. Previously she worked as a stringer for the European Pressphoto Agency. In 2017, Sebzeci was nominated for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass for emerging photographers and in 2018 she became a Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellow.

Sebzeci’s proposed photo essay for the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2018, Divorced at 15, focuses on the marrying and divorcing of Syrian refugee children who are settled within an industrial area of Anatolia. Not many of the child marriages last and divorce can leave the girl without rights to inheritance and facing stigma. According to the United Nations Population Fund, child marriage rates are estimated to be four times higher among Syrian refugees today than before the war due to the loss of fathers and brothers and the difficult economic conditions.  Some parents marry off their children to get a dowry as income to survive. Divorced at 15 aims to bring awareness and exposure to the issue which will hopefully contribute to ending this practice.

Copyright: Özge Sebzec

Simona Ghizzoni – runner-up

Simona Ghizzoni is an Italian photographer and film-maker focusing on long-term documentary projects related to women. Ghizzoni’s work has previously focused on issues as diverse as eating disorders and the effects of conflict on women’s lives in Jordan, the West Bank and Western Sahara. Since 2015 she has worked on UNCUT about Female Genital Mutilation in Africa. Her work has been published in the International New York Times, L’Espresso, El Pais and has been awarded at World Press Photo.

Ghizzoni’s proposed photo essay for the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2018, is a continuation of UNCUT, focusing on Female Genital Mutilation in Europe, particularly Italy and France. Because of Italy’s difficulty in successfully integrating immigrants, FGM is considered by some migrant communities as a sign of belonging to a tradition. By contrast, France is at the forefront of the fight against FGM from both a legal and health perspective. This is a collective story that sews together several tales of pain, hard fights for women’s rights and, in many cases,  of success and empowerment.

Copyright: Simona Ghizzoni

Mary Turner – runner-up

Mary Turner is a British news and documentary photographer focusing on communities and issues of survival and endurance. Having begun her career in the UK’s news industry, her first in-depth feature about a Travelling community in 2009 has shaped her way of working ever since. Turner’s work has been recognised internationally by bodies including the Amnesty International Media Awards, the Sony World Photography Awards, China International Photo Contest, UK Picture Editors Guild and the Magenta Foundation.

Turner’s proposed photo essay, Dispossessed, focuses on the communities living in former coal mining towns in the north of England. Easington Colliery was once a typical booming coal mining town in the northeast. The skylines were dominated by the engine houses and giant wheels of coal mines and the streets by hundreds of terraced pit-cottages filled with the families of those that toiled deep below ground. Now, these once flourishing towns across the North of England are devastated; the mist rolls in from the sea over boarded-up houses, there is mass unemployment and many young lives are ravaged by drugs.  Nonetheless, the community ties are strong. It is through the telling of small and intimate stories about the local communities that  Dispossessed aims to expose the need for understanding, investment and change.

© Mary Turner

About the author

Read Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2018 Winners Unveiled

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.