From a press release issued today by The Aftermath Project:
THE AFTERMATH PROJECT ANNOUNCES
2008 GRANT WINNER
The Aftermath Project is pleased to announce that KATHRYN COOK, Istanbul, Turkey, has won the 2008 Aftermath Project grant of $25,000 for her project, “Memory Denied: Turkey and the Armenian Genocide.”
A one-time special award of $2,500 will also be given to finalist Natela Grigalashvili, Tbilisi, Georgia, for her project “Refugees of Georgian Villages.”
The work of all five photographers will be featured in the Spring 2009 publication, “War Is Only Half the Story, Volume 2,” co-produced by Aperture (New York), Mets and Schilt (Amsterdam), and The Aftermath Project. The first volume in this series, featuring the work of the 2007 Aftermath Project winners and finalists, will be published in Spring 2008.
This year’s grant was judged by Jeff Jacobson, photographer (“Melting Point,” Nazraeli Press) and a member of the board of The Aftermath Project; Scott Thode, deputy picture editor, Fortune magazine; and Sara Terry, photographer and founder of The Aftermath Project.
Kathryn Cook is an American photographer based in Istanbul whose work is represented by Agence VU and Prospekt. Her project “Memory Denied: Turkey and the Armenian Genocide” explores the memory of the Armenian massacres that occurred during the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. Recognized as “genocide” today by more than a dozen countries, Turkey still vigorously rejects that claim. Cook’s work follows the remains and traces of an ambiguous, dark history – the definition of which is still being fought over nearly a century later.
Cook’s images reveal a subtle picture, a narrative of glimpses that might exist only in the minds of those who remember, or who have heard firsthand the accounts of the bloody purges. Her work also addresses how violence committed nearly a century ago has manifested itself in present-day Turkey’s national identity. And it explores the many ways that the greater implications of memory and history continue to resonate at home and abroad.
First Finalist Natela Grigalashvili, a Georgian photographer, won a special one-time award of $2,500 for her project about refugees who have fled conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, in the Caucasus region, and have settled in villages in the mountains of Georgia.
Other finalists include Pep Bonet, a Spanish photographer represented by NOOR, who submitted his ongoing project, “Faith in Chaos,” about the lives of young people in post-conflict Sierra Leone, including amputees, the blind, former child soldiers and those with psychiatric challenges; German photographer Tinka Dietz, who proposed a new project, “The Mines of Stari Trg,” about a now-defunct mine and the miners who worked there, in the industrial complex of Trepca, which has long been a symbol of the ethnic struggles of Kosovo; and German photographer Christine Fenzl, who submitted her ongoing project, “Looking Forward – Streetball,” a look at the way many NGOs around the world are using street ball in troubled and post-conflict settings, particularly in their work with children (her proposal included Cambodia, Afghanistan and Nigeria).
The Aftermath Project is a non-profit organization committed to telling the other half of the story of conflict—the story of what it takes for individuals to learn to live again, to rebuild destroyed lives and homes, to restore civil societies, to address the lingering wounds of war while struggling to create new avenues for peace. The Aftermath Project provides grants to photographers to support their efforts to document the aftermath of conflict around the world, and seeks to help broaden the public’s understanding of the true cost of war through publications, exhibitions, and educational outreach. To learn more, please visit: www.theaftermathproject.org.
The 2008 Aftermath Project grant was made possible largely through the support of the Open Society Institute.