FotoEvidence was founded in 2009 to continue the tradition of using photography to draw attention to human rights violations, injustice, oppression and assaults on human dignity wherever they may occur. Photographs have not only changed people’s perception but, in some cases, altered the course of history.
For seven years, the FotoEvidence Book Award recognized one photographer whose work demonstrates courage and commitment in the pursuit of social justice and, in 2017, FotoEvidence partnered with World Press Photo. The book award was renamed the FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo. The selected project is published by FotoEvidence as part of a series of photo books dedicated to the work of photographers, whose commitment and courage deliver painful truths, creating awareness and intolerance towards violations of human dignity.
Beginning in 2018, The FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo winner and two ﬁnalists will be included in the World Press Photo exhibition mounted in many of the worldwide locations.
Past recipients of the award include: Javier Arceniilas for “Sicarios: Latin American Assassins”, Alex Masi for “Bhopal: Second Disaster,” Robin Hammond for “Condemned: Mental Health in African Countries in Crisis”, Majid Saeedi for “Life in War", Marcus Bleasdale for "The Unravelling" ,Daniella Zalcman for "Signs of Your Identity"and Josue Rivas for "Standing Strong".
Past finalists for the award include: Massimo Berruti, Valerio Bispuri, Paula Bronstein, Fabio Bucciarelli, William Daniels, Maxim Dondyuk, Michelle Frankfurter, Tanya Habjouqa , Jon Lowenstein, Fernando Moreles, Boniface Mwangi, Joao Pina, Andrea Star Reese, Vlad Sokhin, Lizzie Sadin, Lisa Wiltse, Mario Cruz, Hossein Fatemi, Ingetje Tadros, Narciso Contreras, Jan Grarup, Amnon Gutman, Alessio Romenzi ,Fabian Muir, Danielle Villasana and Zackary Canepari.
Members of the book award jury from 2010- 2015 include: Christophe Agou, Lys Anzia, Svetlana Bachevanova. Dimitri Beck, Annie Boulat, Ed Kashi, Olivier Laurent, Jean-Francois Leroy, Greg Marinovich, Regina Monfort, Mark Murrmann, Cheryl Newman, Andre Polikanov„ Reza, Joseph Rodriguez, Marcel Saba, Stephen Shames, Maggie Steber, David Stuart, Mikko Takkunen, Robert Nickelsberg, Alison Stieven-Taylor , Kelli Grant, Nina Berman, Elisabeth Biondi, James Colton,Eli Reed, Molly Roberts, John Stanmeyer, Lars Boering, Daniella Zallcman, Jen Tse, Peter van Agtmael, Sara Leen, Peter Bouckaert, Sara Terry and Muhammed Muheisen.
In addition to publishing the winner of the FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo, FotoEvidence has worked with several ﬁnalists to crowd fund the publication of a book of their work. As a result of these collaborations, FotoEvidence has published Crying Meri: Violence Against Women in Papua New Guinea by Vlad Sokhin, Urban Cave by Andrea Star Reese, Destino by Michelle Frankfurter and Occupied Pleasures by Tanya Habjouqa, Endurance by Omar Havana, This is My Country by Ingetje Tadros, The Dream by Fabio Bucciarelli, Talibes Modern Day Slaves by Mario Cruz, Gaza Girl: Growing up in the Gaza Strip by Monique Jaques.and the English ediiton of 46750 by Joao Pina.
FotoEvidence also pioneered in the publication of digital photo books. When FotoEvidence published Bronx Boys by Stephen Shames, Paul Moakley at TIME Magazine called it, “one of the ﬁrst true digital photo-monographs that can be downloaded to your computer.” (Time.com, August 16, 2011). Since then FotoEvidence has published a series of digital photo books available through the iTunes bookstore.
- The Dream by Fabio Bucciarelli is selected among the Best Photobooks of the Year 2016 by TIME magazine.
- Signs of Your Identity by Daniella Zalcman among the Most Stunning Photo Books of 2016 by Mother Jones.
- Signs of Your Identity by Daniella Zalcmanis selected as one of the Best Books of 2016 by Photo-eye.
- The Unravelling by Marcus Bleasdale was selected as one of the best books of the 2015 by Smithsonian magazine and Mother Jones magazine.
- Occupied Pleasures was selected as one of the best books of 2014 by TIME magazine.
- Destino by Michelle Frankfurter was included among the best photo books of the year by Vogue Italy and Photo-eye in 2014.
- Sicarios: Latin American Assassins by Javier Arcenillas was selected as one of the best books of the year by Photo-eye in 2012.
- Black Tsunami by James Whitlow Delano received the PX3 Bronze Prize for digital photo books in 2012.
Crying Meri by Vlad Sokhin represents a rare triumph of social photography. After publication by FotoEvidence photographs from Crying Meri were adpted for public education campaigns by the Untied Nations, Amnesty International and several othe NGOs working in Papua New Guinea. International attention and a public outcry by concerned citizens brought a response by the government of PNG, which passed the nation's first law prohibiting domestic violence in 2013 and, late last year, eliminated a law that forgave violence against "sorcerers."
The 2016 FotoEvidence Book Award finalist Mario Cruz has also seen his work Talibes Modern Day Slaves provoke and immediate response from the government of Senegal. Cruz gained rare access to false Quaranic schools (daaras) in Senegal where a valid educational tradition has been corrupted, leaving boys in the hands of exploitative teachers (mahouds) who forced them to beg on the street eight hours a day to support the teacher. Cruz captured powerful and disturbing photographs of the lives of young boys subjected to slave-like conditions.
We published Talibes Modern Day Slaves on our website and he received recognition from World Press Photo, who exhibited his work in their traveling exhibit. In June, shortly after “Talibes Modern Day Slaves” came off the press, the President of Senegal, Macky Sali, ordered the registration of all daaras in Senegal, and effort to distinguish legitimate schools from exploitative ones. He also order the police to identify and assist boys begging on the streets and to close the schools that sent them out to beg. The government also used Cruz’s photographs in a public education brochure alerting the public to the issue and encouraging them to report beggars and help identify illegitimate daaras.
The photographers and works published by FotoEVidence have been recognized with many other awards, including: multiple World Press Photo Awards, the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic photography, the Visa Pour ['Image- Remi Ochlik Award, the Robert R Kennedy Photojournalism Award, Picture of the Year International, the National Press Photographers Association Award, World Understanding Award, and the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund grant.
who we are
Svetlana Bachevanova is a publisher and co-founder of FotoEvidence and documentary photographer with interest in human rights that began while living under a communist dictatorship in her native Bulgaria. In 1989, after the fall of the regime, Svetlana join the first anticommunist newspaper "Demokratia" where she led the photo department. Seven years later she became the head of the photo department in the Bulgarian News Agency. Svetlana covered the transition to democracy in Bulgaria, Slovenia, Lithuania, the war in Kosovo and Bosnia, the separation of the Soviet Union, the revolution in Romania. In 2001 Svetlana moved to New York where she founded FotoEvidence to continue her life work of using photography to fight oppression and expose human rights violations. She seeks to help photographers who work to document and fight against human rights violation so the story of her country and friends will never happen again.
David Stuart is a co-founder of FotoEvidence. He is a sociologist with an interest in human rights that began as a teenager at the United Nations International School in New York. He was a founder of the Freelance Players Inc. an educational theater organization on whose board he served for more than 2S years. As the Executive Director of the Disarmament Action Network, he spent ten years working with dozens of organizations to mobilizie opposition to the militarization of US foreign policy and international affairs. He spent eight years with the Boston College Media Reseach and Action Project designing and analyzing research on the mass media and political discourse. He has managed political campaigns and worked as a consultant to social movement and non-profit organizations. He is a writer and photographer living in New York City.
Régina Monfort is a french-born photographer and editor living in New York City. Her work focusing on issues pertaining to youth, cultural identity and social stigmas has been widely exhibited in the United States and abroad.
From 1997 to 2002, Monfort was the New York-based assistant to documentary film director Jean-Pierre Krief on the series Contacts.
She has taught at CUNY/La Guardia Community College, Pratt Institute and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Monfort brings her formal experience working with major photographic legacies to her editing projects. She embraces working with long-form narratives, sequencing and articulating stories so they may serve as enduring testimonies. Since joining the FotoEvidence team in 2010 she has edited a number of books, including: Daniella Zalcman’s Signs of Your Identity, Marcus Bleasdale’s The Unravelling, and Tanya Habjouqa’s Occupied Pleasures.
Susann Tischendorf is a German documentary photographer whose work focuses on human rights, women, identity, and the environment. A strong focus of her current work is life in rural communities in Asia and their importance for resilience building when facing increased migration due to natural hazards, economic instability, and climate change. She also works on the long-term project PRISMS, a collaborative storytelling series about the many layers of identity, migration, and belonging. This topic is very personal to her as she grew up witnessing the impactful transitions in society following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
She studied audiovisual communications at the University of Arts in Berlin and Sorbonne University in Paris, as well as international relations at Johns Hopkins University in Bologna and Washington, D.C. She was trained in documentary film at Arte TV in Strasbourg. During the past 7 years, she has worked for international organizations, including the World Bank and the United Nations, documenting and researching on topics of disaster risk management and resilience building in local communities through inclusiveness, focusing on projects in Asia and Africa. For her commitment in volunteering she was rewarded the Silver Honorary Needle of the Federation of Welfare Associations in Germany.
Her works have been exhibited by the International Photographic Society, the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University, Prachtwerk Berlin, and published by the United Nations and the World Bank Group. She is a member of the Berlin-based photo collective GWS. She was recently selected for the Director’s Grant in Documentary Photography Studies of the International Center for Photography in New York City.
Melike Taşcıoğlu is a book designer, academician and artist. She studied graphic design at Anadolu University Faculty of Fine Arts and San Diego State University School of Art, Design and Art History. She completed her master’s at Anadolu University, and a Proficiency in Arts degree at Köln University and Anadolu University, The Institute of Social Sciences.
Taşçıoğlu’s printworks have often been exhibited solo and in national and international juried exhibitions. She has written two books, one on book design and one on environmental graphic design, and published many articles on the topic of graphic design. She has also self-published her own artist’s books. In addition to her book designing, she works as an Associate Professor at Anadolu University.
Compiled built, and deployed in Islamabad, Nabeel has been field tested for over half a decade now with state of the art tools and technologies. His once lowly performance enjoyed rapid upgrades at National University, where he extended on his base OS to understand Software Engineering in particular and Computer Science in general. After beta testing in startup market, Nabeel found his way as technology consultant for over a year now where he plays active role in establishing enterprise applications. Now a days you would find him orchestrating development activities.
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