2022 W. Eugene Smith Grant Judges Named

2022 W. Eugene Smith Grant Judges Named


New York, NY—The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced the judges for its 2022 annual grants. This includes the W. Eugene Smith grant, Howard Chapnick grant as well as the W. Eugene Smith Student grant.

This year’s judges include Eli Reed, an internationally renowned photojournalist, Magnum member and W. Eugene Smith grant recipient. Other judges are Naveen Kishore, founder of Seagull Books, the Seagull Foundation for the Arts and Seagull School of Publishing; Akinbode Akinbiyi, a photographer, writer and co-curator of this year’s Rencontres de Bamako (African Photography Encounters); NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati, cofounder and artistic director of photo.circle, Nepal Picture Library and Photo Kathmandu; Whitney Matewe, photo editor at TIME; and Emmeline Yong, cofounder and director of Objectifs. w-Eugene-Smith-Grant-onPAN

Moreover, members of the Smith Fund board of trustees were chosen by their board colleagues to serve as chairs for their respective grant categories. These members are Michelle Dunn Marsh (W. Eugene Smith grant); John Fleetwood (Howard Chapnick grant); as well as Noelle Flores Théard (W. Eugene Smith Student grant).

Furthermore, the W. Eugene Smith Fund is accepting applications for all grants through May 31, 2022 (11:59 EDT). The fund currently presents $65,000 annually to documentary photographers. In addition, it has presented more than $1.1 million in grants and fellowships since it was founded in 1979.

“Each year, the Smith Fund invites renowned industry leaders to select grant recipients from hundreds of incredible projects. This year’s judges represent a global view and a vision of excellence in considering documentary photography, as the Smith Fund has maintained since its inception,” said Scott Thode, president, the Smith Fund.

The fund will announce finalists in all categories this July. It will unveil grant recipients in October 2022.

W. Eugene Smith Grant

The Smith Fund will also return to its tradition of a single award of $40,000 for the W. Eugene Smith Memorial grant. It will award an additional $5,000 as a fellowship to one applicant. What’s more, two finalists deemed worthy of special recognition will each receive a grant of $2,500.

Michelle Dunn Marsh will chair this year’s adjudication panel. The panel also includes award-winning photojournalist Eli Reed and Naveen Kishore. Marsh is the cofounder of the collaborative publishing platform Minor Matters. She has also held leadership positions with Photographic Center Northwest, Aperture Foundation and Chronicle Books.

© Nicolò Filipo Rosso, 2021 W. Eugene Smith Grant Recipient

The Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is traditionally presented annually to a single photographer whose past work and proposed project follow the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s humanistic photography and dedicated compassion as a photographic essayist.

Naveen Kishore lives in Calcutta, India. He established Seagull Books in 1982—a publishing program in the arts and media focusing on drama, film, art and culture studies. Today, it also publishes literature, including poetry, fiction and nonfiction. In 1987, Kishore established the Seagull Foundation for the Arts and set up the Seagull School of Publishing in 2012.

Eli Reed has photographed world events for 40+ years. He joined Magnum Photos in 1983, becoming a full member in 1988. Reed was also a professor of photojournalism at the University of Texas at Austin from 2005 to 2021. In addition, his photography has been published in most major newspapers and magazines throughout the U.S. He has also photographed approximately 30 feature, documentary and cable network films. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors; they include the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Documentary Photography, the Leica Medal of Excellence and the 2021 Gordon Parks Choice of Weapon Award.

Howard Chapnick Grant

John Fleetwood is a photography curator, educator and director of Photo: (Johannesburg). He is also cohead of Photography at the Royal Academy of Arts (KABK, The Hague). Fleetwood was the director of the Market Photo Workshop for five years. In addition, he is a Smith Fund board member and will chair this year’s jury for the 26th Howard Chapnick grant.

This grant is not intended for the creation of new work by photographers but for those who support them. The $10,000 grant enables the recipient to finance a range of qualified undertakings. They may comprise special research, a long-term sabbatical project or internship. The grant honors the memory of Howard Chapnick from the Black Star picture agency and his enormous contributions to photography.

Joining Fleetwood on this year’s panel are Akinbode Akinbiyi and NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati.

Akinbode Akinbiyi was born in England of Nigerian parents. Moreover, he is a freelance photographer, curator and writer based in Berlin. His focus is large, sprawling megacities. He walks and works primarily in and on the four major African cities of Lagos, Cairo, Kinshasa and Johannesburg. He also wanders in other major cities, such as Khartoum, Addis Ababa, Dakar and Bamako.

NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati lives in Kathmandu, Nepal, and works at the intersection of visual storytelling, research, pedagogy and collective action. She is the cofounder and artistic director of photo.circle, Nepal Picture Library and Photo Kathmandu. These platforms work towards creating learning opportunities as well as other resources for visual storytellers.

Smith Fund Student Grant

Noelle Flores Théard is a senior digital photo editor at the New Yorker and part-time faculty in the BFA photo program at Parsons. She is also cofounder of FotoKonbit, a nonprofit created in 2010 to engage, educate as well as support Haitians in the telling of their own stories through photography. She is a Smith Fund board member as well as chair of this year’s grant.

Now in its fifth year, the Smith Fund Student grant encourages students to utilize the photographic medium as a form of humanistic observation and social activism. The $5,000 grant provides a special category for collegiate-level students (photo and non-photo majors) to submit their documentary photography and tell their stories.

Joining Théard on the adjudication panel are Whitney Matewe and Emmeline Yong.

Emmeline Yong is the cofounder and director of Objectifs. The visual arts space in Singapore focuses on film and photography and their value to society. Since 2003, Objectifs has cultivated original voices in visual storytelling. It also seeks to inspire and broaden perspectives through the power of images with a year-round program of exhibitions, screenings, residencies, talks and workshops.

Whitney Hollington Matewe is a queer visual storyteller of color. She is also a photo editor, producer and creative at TIME magazine. Previously she was a photo editor at National Geographic magazine, the New Yorker, the Intercept and several Condé Nast publications.