W. Eugene Smith $30,000 Grant in Humanistic Photography Awarded

W. Eugene Smith $30,000 Grant in Humanistic Photography Awarded


New York, NY—The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced that San Francisco-based American photographer Darcy Padilla was awarded the 2010 W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography.

Padilla won for her essay “The Julie Project,” an in-depth look at AIDS, poverty and drugs in America. The project earned her a $30,000 grant to continue her work exploring the human condition and the struggles and triumphs of everyday people.

“To be honored and recognized in Eugene Smith’s name, I’m humbled,” said Darcy Padilla. “We all learned through him, his work, his sacrifice, what he dedicated his life to.”

Kosuke Okahara, a photographer from Japan now living in Paris, France, was awarded a $5,000 fellowship for his black-and-white essay “Ibasyo,” which looks at the growing epidemic of teenage girls and self-inflicted injuries.

Both bodies of work were selected from more than 182 entries from 32 countries. “Ms. Padilla’s essay is extremely powerful and moving, and expresses deep concern about several major social issues affecting American society,” said Robert Pledge, chair of the 2010 jury. “In turn, Mr. Okahara’s essay raises awareness about an alarming trend among teenage girls in Japan. The recipients both represent the very essence of W. Eugene Smith’s humanistic approach in photography, and of his lasting legacy.”

Additional finalists are: Dominic Chavez, U.S., for “Death at Birth” (childbirth in the Developing World); Kathryn Cook, U.S., for “Memory of Trees” (1915 Armenian genocide); Andrea Diefenbach, Germany, for “Infants of the Bosnian War”; Liz Hingley, UK, “Under Gods, the Belleville Triangle in Paris”; Anderson Schneider, Brazil, for “The Loudest Whisper Scars of Leprosy in Brazil”; and Martin Weber, Argentina, for “A Map Revisited: Lives and Dreams in Latin America.”

The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography was established in 1979. It is sponsored by the American Society of Media Photographers, the Open Society Foundations, Asia Society, Blurb and Canon USA, with support from Photo District News. smithfund.org